Tuesday, March 29, 2005

COME ON, COME ON, COME ON, COME ON JUST TAKE IT! If you download only one song from iTunes this month -- and, really, why would you stop there? -- but make sure it's the Joss Stone/Melissa Etheridge "Cry Baby/Piece of My Heart" tribute to Janis Joplin from this year's Grammy Awards and already much praised in these parts (see comments, too).

Two things relevant to your American Idol-watching tonight will become immediately apparent:
  • The talent gap between turns-18-in-two-weeks Joss Stone and the performers who require American Idol to be discovered is measured not in inches or feet, but miles. As good as you may think Kelly Clarkson or Fantasia Barrino is, Miss Stone's talents just blow them away. What a remarkable voice.
  • How much of singing is about infusing the song with your own personality. Now, I don't generally think of Melissa Etheridge as a "singer", but when she starts on "Piece of My Heart", it's just incredibly moving. As bad as you thought Carrie Underwood's countrified take on the song was before, it's even worse in comparison to this. Quality singing requires selling the authenticity of the emotions of the words, and Etheridge, with all she's been through, God bless her, makes you believe it. C'mon, take it! Take another little piece of my heart.
Tonight on Idol: is it finally time for Tribute To Mope Rock? I'd love to see Federov tackle "Boys Don't Cry", Bo Bice on "Love Will Tear Up Apart Again" and Constantine telling us that "hopes may rise on the Grasmere, but honey pie, you're not safe here . . . "

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