Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chris Montez "Wishes You Love" and "Sunny"-ness

The angelic Rock n' Roll voice of (Ezekiel) Chris Montez jolted me with surprise after having found the record at a local Goodwill. Although I'm a musician that ignores the use of lyrics quite often, I found Chris' words compelling through the tone of his short-ranged but satisfyingly harmonic singing.

Chris began as a Rock n' Roll lead singer in his early 20s, making some early attempts with songs such as "Let's Dance" and "All You Had To Do Was Tell Me," a few hits coming from the Hawthorne-born local. After joining the label A&M in 1965 and after some wisdom and vocal advice from Herb Alpert, Chris began an interest for ballads and drifted from his Rock n' Roll roots in pursuit of a softer sound. His two albums in 1966, The More I See You and Time After Time, are significant from his previous band recordings, marking his transition from Rhythm & Blues into Easy Listening melodies.

Upon my whim of mindless track skipping throughout the album, my insatiable tendency to find that one SPECIAL song had been fulfilled when I dropped the needle on A-Sides track two. The gentle sound and lyrics of "I Wish You Love" serenades a particular woman with over-sentimental thoughts of love, hope and promise, which is a bit "corny on the corncob" but what else can you do about it if you were in love? What intrigues me the most is Chris' soft voice, and the jazzy accompaniment complements Chris' singing as the song is intro-ed with welcoming chimes of the xylophone. Through the track, I'm reminded of a specific scene in the 2002 film Punch Drunk Love, of when Barry (Adam Sandler) is searching for Lena (Emily Watson) in his so-called "business trip" to Hawaii, whereas Shelley Duvall's "He Needs Me" could be easily substituted with the cheeriness of Chris' wishful song. The track after it, "Sunny," seems to follow in a similar formula but under a slightly faster range of BPMs and different key, yet equally satisfying to the entire album.

I hope these two tracks bring "Sunny" and "Wishful" days for all you listeners out there. Enjoy, and have a good day.

[Article drafted on 12/4/2009. Published on 8/19/2010.]


"I Wish You Love"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

24electric Vol. 1: Cruisin' Deep

Its been a long time, and I'm sure many people may think look&listen had died on the turn of a new decade. After nearly a year's worth of hiatus, I've returned to the ol' blog with plans to get stuff poppin' again.


I had mentioned in Indisputable (circa Feb '09) that I had been working on a Deep House/Dance House mix. I admit that I'm not the most punctual person, but after a year and six months, after some "hard drive digging" here and there for my lost edits and recordings, I rediscovered the batch of mixes I had begun and finally did the dirty work to have it posted for your pleasure.

Currently, I've been juggling around with some new genres and sounds, which had led me to creating a new section for look&listen that focuses on electronic dance music. I call it 24electric.

When I first crossed Deep House music, I was a bit bewildered from the its vibe: do I dance or do I sip wine and lounge the night away? Perhaps the underlying beauty of the genre is that you have either option, and when is it ever bad to have choice? At times, the sound of Deep House somehow reminds me of outer space, of driving at night, of something gentle or delicate, yet the sound seems unofficially reserved for the mid to classy listeners. The lyrics from most Deep House I've heard, otherwise House music in general, delivers positive and encouraging messages of hope, which is something I find rare in lyrics today.

Although barely edited, nor my cleanest work of tapes, I hope you listeners out there enjoy this new section of music and look forward to more future volumes of 24electric.


Vol. 1: Cruisin' Deep

Track listing:

1. The Kelly Project - Won't Let You Go
2. Dennis Ferrer - All The Things I Look For
3. Neurotron - Outside
4. Blue Six - Music and Wine (Teksoul Dub)
5. Bioground Feat. Joeee - Soulful People
6. Lisa Shaw - Let It Ride (Jimpster Remix)
7. Bah Samba - And It's Beautiful
8. Cassius - 1999 (Remix)
9. Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You
10. Kylie Minogue - Love At First Sight
11. Janet Jackson - Rock With U