Monday, June 09, 2008


Don't worry. Be happy. Sit in the sun and smoke some weed and nod your head to that cheerful, almost child-like reggae beat. Why, you could spend all day un-stopping toilets with a plunger, and as long as you've got headphones on and all the songs chugging that same thumpitty-hip-hop rhythm, it ain't really work at all, mon.
Appropriately, our makeover begins with "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down.") Next, a strange lesbian twist to "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." Since time and space can warp when you're on the ganja, you can forgive our sultry sepia Sappho for ad-libbing, "by the time I'm to the moon, she'll be working..."
Lyrics sometimes baffle these artists, hence the half-plural "Crimsons and Clover." But when you're dealing with whitebread lyrics like "Sugar Sugar," any shading is welcome, including brass and clip-clop percussion obscuring some lines about the candy girl's sweet kisses. Hey! "Pour your sugar on me, baby!" Likewise, it's satisfying to hear Bobby Vinton's "Roses are Red My Love" made a bit thorny.
Some of the reggae artists don't bother with silly white men's lyrics at all, not when they can play on their Emenee organs or smack pots and pans around instead, so just groove on the tinkertoy arrangements given to basically rotten songs like "Hooked on a Feeling" or overdone numbers like "Whiter Shade of Pale." Sometimes the pace is slowed down quite effectively, as in the slinky, sax-dominated re-take on Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe," now tredding water somewhere between Jamaica and Texas.
Ethnic songs like the orgasmic French "Je 'T'aime" or Dylan's Eskimo folk tune "The Mighty Quinn," might as well get absorbed into the mind-numbing musical patois of conk-conk ca-thonk. And don't worry, be happy...YOU can do a karaoke to the instrumental version of "Blowin' in the Wind."
Jump on this download and get, among the aforementioned: Games People Play, Stranger on the Shore, To Sir with Love, Words, Love is Blue, Winchester Cathedral and a host of others.
20 Whitebread Tunes Go REGGAE

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