I’ve had a bit of a thing recently for female vocals…
Lorna Bennett slays on “Breakfast in Bed,” a song that oozes the kind of vintage tongue-in-cheek sexiness that makes it seem twee when compared to the outright raunchiness of more recent pop music – a good example of which is Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s “Chick on the Side,” (1987 is recent?) an ode to cheating-ass marks and mark-ass cheats as oppose to Bennett’s sugar sweet dedication to fucking in the morning (that is what she’s on about, right?).
Now Siriusmo’s probably a bit more well known for dropping keyboard-led spacey, disco bombs than churning out vocal led, french house stompers (don’t worry the keyboards are still there on this one), but it’s the vocals that get me. Meandering innocently through the melody, it seduces and makes German (Yes. German.) seem like the sexiest language on the continent.
Both of Carmen’s tracks illicit the same vibe, translating Siriusmo’s filtered samples into a stripped back disco affair as well as uttering the same sort of generic party vocals that Dana is probably purring in German. Though my friend Bart tells me that “Boot Geklaut” means “Boat Snatch” so fuck knows what Dana’s on about.
What strikes me about the Carmen tracks in particular is how well they sit next to the current sonic landscape. 1984 was a long time ago but I don’t see “Throw Down” feeling out of place next to La Roux or Little Boots (though I reckon it’s miles above either). It seems weird that we harvest so readily from our past but we rarely investigate it with much more interest than a window shopper. That’s us I guess. Window-shopping through the past.
Finally Aretha Franklin’s performance brings the kind of dry honesty that I adore about soul music. It preaches truth in a way church never could. Unless you go to Aretha’s church that is. And quite frankly, the band, though excellent, could be pissing in a flower pot in the background for all I care. As long as those vocals, smooth, sweet, harsh or hoarse, are up front and proud, I’ll be there.