Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'D CHRISTEN HER 'VICTORY,' AND SHE'D MAKE IT: By popular demand Because Isaac and I were emailing last night after the UNC-MSU game fell well out of reach, the first in a possible series of fantasy-booked "if Idol had more interesting theme weeks" sessions, starting this week -- and here, there was at least some demand (thanks, moo-shu) -- with The Songs of Polly Jean Harvey.

(Seacrest: "During the early-'90s alternative rock explosion, perhaps no female artist had a more distinctive vision, or was more critically praised, than England's Polly Jean Harvey. Over the course of her first three albums, Harvey established herself as one of the most individual and influential performers of the era, with her songs addressing love, sex, obsession, religion and the male-female power dynamic with remarkable intensity. These days, Harvey continues ...")

Our assignments:

Rounds: Missed. Maybe a little on-the-nose, but how could I give the song to anyone other than the remaining mother? (Isaac)

Macintyre: Dry. I think a person, which is not to say Macintyre, could do a nice piano-centric version of this song. Beef up the chords on the verses and layer them over each other. Then remember, on the choruses, that the piano is a percussion instrument. This song doesn't require spectacular vocal talent, and it could be done well by someone with imagination. Yes, I realize this is totally non-traditional casting. (Isaac)

Lambert: 50 Ft Queenie, and preferably the 4-Track Demos version. I don't think there's a better song for him to brag, wail and gender-shift than this one. (Adam)

Iraheta: Getting to pick for Iraheta in PJ Harvey Week is like choosing a song for Bo Bice during Southern Rock Week -- it's all in the wheelhouse, and it's just a question of making it perfect. It's a coinflip between "Sheela-na-gig" and "Dress" off the first album, each of which has tremendous power behind it, and I'll go with the latter, if only because the rapidity of the lyrics at the end of the former might be a bit much for the 16-year-old. (Adam)

[Isaac: How I would pay for someone on Idol to sing "put money in your idle (Idol?) hole." Incidentally, I have fantasized that both of these songs would be put to good use on Grey's Anatomy -- "Dress" during the "Ava is crazy" reveal last season, and "Sheela-Na-Gig" for the moment when Kevin McKidd's PTSD simmered, then boiled over with the choking. PJ Harvey would be perfect for a show built around a number of characters who are both strong, independent, successful women and also sometimes dark and twisty, as they tell us.]

Gokey: This feels a little easy, but "Victory." A big crowd pleaser with a giant chorus, no need for subtlety or self-awareness. You could see him in a leather jacket, waving his arm around with the squint-smile while the lights go all white and David Cook rock starry behind him. (Isaac)

Giraud: Perhaps the hardest to peg in this round, because he doesn't do "angry" well. And something like "Snake," which I think he could hit tonally, just can't be sung by a straight guy. "Meet Ze Monsta" maybe, but he doesn't have the swagger; "Oh My Lover" can probably be converted into something piano-centric and a bit brisker, almost with a Coldplay feel. (Oh, wait: Giraud + Coldplay? Oh well.) (Adam)

Desai: another tough one. I'll go with the melodic, but weird and inappropriate, "Happy and Bleeding." Mainly I don't want to give him anything too strong, like "Man Size," which would put him in his not-credible angry strut mode, or too lush, like "Send His (Her?) Love to Me," which I don't think he could handle. (Isaac)

Allen: "Send His Her Love To Me". How can you not go with the one song that's based off an acoustic, flamenco-ish guitar riff? Easy song to sell, clear lyrics, soulful delivery -- Kris might win this week. (Adam)

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