Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Gotan Project

I absolutely love tango music, I find it amazingly sexy, and trip-hop is probably my favourite genre ever, so when the two are fused together as perfectly as done by The Gotan Project, I am in ecstasy. Based in Paris, the project consists of Phillipe Cohen Solal (from France), Eduardo Makaroff (Argentina), and Christoph H. Müller (Switzerland). The band formed in 1999 and their first album, Le Revancha de Tango is still one of my favourites (although I am not terribly familiar with the latest few). The music is a brilliant synthesis of traditional tango elements with elements of samples, beats, and breaks. It has a chill vibe all the while something about it just seethes sensuality. Many of the vocals have that early-radio/vinyl kind of quality, giving it a haunting sound that brings me into a dark world of smoke-filled tango halls in Buenos Aires. There are amazing moments of bandoneón, piano, and strings throughout the album, and there are remixes and sampling of many beautiful traditional tangos, all with an incredible trip-hop life to them. Santa María (del Buen Ayre) is among my favourite tracks on the album. Be sure to check out their website and other albums!

The Gotan Project

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Jagged Little Pill

There are certain albums that have a profound effect on one’s life, and for me Jagged Little Pill is one. Alanis’ American debut is in my Top 5 Albums list (a list with no particular order, soon to be told in full), and continues to be a staple of any social listening among my friends and I. Whenever I talk about Jagged Little Pill, the only word I can use to describe it is “perfect”. The music, the lyrics, and expression are all divine. From the very beginning the album is fueled by an intense resentment and frustration, which is very relatable to many. You Oughta Know is revered among my peers and the great expression of angst and the video a huge piece of nostalgia. Hand In My Pocket sings my life story – but then doesn’t it tell everybody’s? Jagged Little Pill is intensely personal and lyric writing by Alanis is just incredible. “I’m sad but I’m laughing/ I’m brave but I’m chicken shit.” – Hand in My Pocket really sings the dualities of life. “It’s like meeting the man of my dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife”: Ironic – though often criticized for being a series of more unfortunate events than truly ironic (ironically enough) – is another favourite of anyone I have ever listened to the album with. Another thing I find incredible about Jagged Little Pill and Alanis in general is the phrasing of her lyrics. Nobody else could stretch out syllables to the contours or rhythms Alanis is able to without sounding ridiculous or unnatural, but somehow Alanis has a truly unique phrasing when it comes to the delivery of her lyrical content. I really believe that this is an album that should be committed to memory by all.

A little about Jagged Little Pill: the album is Alanis’ third album, although it is the first to be released internationally. It also scored Alanis 6 singles: You Oughta Know, Ironic, You Learn, Hand in My Pocket, Head Over Feet, and All I Really Want; and the album spent 12 non-consecutive weeks at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts. It was ranked one of the top selling albums of the 90s, and has now been certified Diamond. In October 2002, Rolling Stone ranked it number 31 on its Women In Rock – The 50 Essential Albums list, and in 2003 the magazine ranked it number 327 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album also holds a title in The Definitive 200 Albums list, in which it is placed at number 26. It held 1st position on the Australian, Belgian, Dutch, Finnish, New Zealand, and UK albums charts.

Just for fun: What is Alanis’ other hand doing?: Sporcle!