Hall & Oates, Prince and preparing to return to his big moment on screen

If I put “Hall & Oates” and “euphoria” in the same sentence, would you believe me?

It’d depend on the situation.
But in the case of what I experienced 14 hours ago, I’m a believer that it could happen because it did. Naturally, I wasn’t expecting it, but the euphoria while listening to “Kiss on my List” swept my mind to parts unknown. By the time it was ending and I was waking up, I shuddered to wonder if I’d already passed the crucial turn I take to work every day that takes me into New Jersey.

A couple Sundays ago when I was at the mall (and Best Buy), I bought three CD’s and a copy of “She’s out of my League.”
Its not LMAO-hilarious, but pleasantly funny and enjoyable.

I’d be considering for a while getting a greatest hits CD of Hall & Oates since a couple of the songs on the radio that I like have come to my attention as their songs.

I also was considering John Mayer just because I have a thing for subtle steady drum rhythms which plays throughout his single “Heartbreak Warfare.”

Of the three, I still haven’t listened to Michael Bublé, but I’m going to be preparing myself to step back into the 80’s with 1999 tomorrow morning, and The Time leading me back home after my halfday tomorrow at work… training to take over the Sunday shift for our weekend person who’ll be leaving us in August.
Its not just me, all of the lab techs are getting the training… I just happen to be getting it twice…

Nearly a year ago when I had to get my driver’s license renewed, I found out that the DMV wasn’t open on Mondays, the only weekday I have off… ridiculous, why me?
But I managed to get off for a halfday, coming back around 12 or 1pm that day… I played The Time the whole way and it made me feel great.

I hate to admit it, at least at this moment, but Morris Day has a way of making you feel better after a hard day.
… going to continue to be adverse to him until I actually listen to the two albums I have. I’m doing my best to block the music out of my head so when I hear it, it’ll hit me full force and therefore, instant frown-turned-upside-down.

Last week, I played John Mayer’s newest album every day and I was pretty impressed. The first time around, though, some songs were kinda sad and one nearly put me to sleep. Once I worked out the kinks, I’m still impressed. I didn’t know that he had a distinct sound, but he plays a certain guitar in most of the tracks on the album that is his sound.

Check this, track 5 “Perfectly Lonely,” the guitar and the melody of it reminded me of a Prince song. “4ever” from Lotusflow3r…. the verses for “4ever” at least.

Its hard to explain… it comes from years in chorus and concert choir… when I sing to my favorite artists, I sing in their key and try to imitate their voice best I can. I don’t know, because when I sing to myself, it’ll sound like I’m listening to the original.

But with some artists I’ve picked up recently, its impossible to do because they’re almost guys with a lower vocal range.

When I sing to Rob Thomas, my own voice comes out because I’m not suited to attempt to imitate him.

It started happening with John Mayer with his song “Half of my heart.” Here, he duets with Taylor Swift, but you really don’t hear her voice until towards the end. I think the voice that comes out is closer to Taylor Swift, but it sounds nothing like her when she finally makes an appearance.
I’m guessing the duet boils down more to a duet of guitars, her playing the acoustic rhythm and him playing his signature guitar sound.

There are a few songs of his that I’d tag as “interesting.”

It took a few listens to figure out what he was singing, but the lyrics bring out an intriguing storyline in assassin.
He talks about every night he slips into this girl’s bedroom, puts time in and leaves as the sun comes up so his face isn’t revealed. Supposedly she fell asleep on top of him and he couldn’t get away in time.
You hear the chorus for the first time and everything comes together.

I was a killer
was the best they’d ever seen
I’d steal your heart before you ever heard a thing
I’m an assassin and I had a job to do
Little did I know that girl was an assassin too

There’s a sweet little sample of a song afterwards called “Crossroads.” The guitar sound in it is unique beyond recognition. The quality of it sounds like something you’d hear in a garage or a basement. I don’t even know how to describe it other than its “grungy” and “urban.” There’s an edge to it that drew me to it right away.
The song itself is only 2 minutes (and change) long.

Towards the end of that week, I put in my Hall & Oates CD for good measure. The transition had me a little nervous because I was digging John Mayer so much.

  1. Sara Smile
  2. Rich Girl
  3. It’s a Laugh
  4. Wait for me
  5. You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
  6. Kiss on my List
  7. You make me dreams come true
  8. Private Eyes
  9. I can’t go for that (no can do)
  10. Did it in a minute
  11. Maneater
  12. One on One
  13. Family Man
  14. Say it ain’t so
  15. Adult Education
  16. Out of Touch
  17. Method of Modern Love
  18. ?? (I forget, I only listened to it once, lol) Some things are better left unsaid

The first four songs were from the 70’s, something I could definitely distinguish right away.

Sara Smile, I’m just starting to appreciate a little bit more now that I’ve been listening to it. It has the feel of, say… what Prince did with his earliest songs. If anything, it screams “premiere song” and “first single” because it has very little to it. Its short, sweet and to the point.

Rich Girl is funny in the ironic sort of way because even though I’m not rich, some of the haters on .org would probably say that song was about me… but as much as it should make me feel self-conscious, I enjoy it too much to really care. For some reason, I get the feeling that I’ve heard it before… like on TV commercial or something, YEARS ago.

It took me a while to figure out what they were singing, but after checking the song title, the key word is “Laugh.”

“Its a laugh” screams disco as does the song that follows.
After getting to hear it a couple of times, its something I look forward to in the line up. There’s a run through the keys and a dominant saxophone to bring with it the beat. There are starts and stops in the verses, but after a quick guitar solo, we get to the chorus, which runs by twice, each run with a different accompanying back-up vocal from Oates.

There is a wave of invigoration that swells at the end of the first run of the chorus and the unexpectedly loud drums (usually their percussion isn’t as dominant) that brings with it excitement that sweeps me up almost every time.
Crazy as it sounds, I believe I heard this song in a dream I had last night or I was hearing it as I was waking up this morning.

The guitar in “Wait for me” carries a sense of melancholy. The first few times I listened to this song, it threatened me into a puddle of emotions. Its very sweet, though the repetition helps take away the need to cry my eyes out.
I believe that the song “Everytime you go away” is one of theirs also, and the melody of this song is actually very close to that.

The first time I heard the next song, I’m thinking that I’d heard this before… then I quickly realized why it was so familiar. Years ago, when the bus driver had a soft rock radio station playing, I’d hear this version of “You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin'” a lot… and it drove me insane because it sounded like they were singing it off key from the original. I’d find myself tilting my head in attempt to right it with no success.

So it left a bad taste in my mouth when one of the songs I’d been looking forward to was following.

Today was probably the first time I listened to “Kiss on my list” since getting the CD that I actually enjoyed it.
Probably because I’d heard it enough times that I knew most of the words without trying to remember and the rhythm of the chorus was coming to me more easily. Its easier to breeze through a song when you know all the words.
The euphoria hit as the guitar solo in the middle of the song came around and I’m just remembered where I was. How I managed to drive on course without swerving off the road is beyond me… that darn multi-tasking thing is going to get me into trouble someday, but I LOVE my music.

This is the first of the 80’s songs on the CD. The keyboards are what set it apart for me from a lot of the 80’s songs.
You hear similar sounding keys in their other big 80’s hit “Private eyes” but a different ensemble of instruments is backing it up, giving the song a completely different vibe.

But in between the two songs is “You Make my Dreams”… for years, I’d thought that it was a Billy Joel song because Oates’ back-up vocals made me think of that song “Savoire Faire” from the movie Oliver & Company. I barely even pay attention to the rest of the words, I just hear “you make my dreams come true” and that’s all I really care about. Its a signature song of theirs, but so what? Its a short track, there isn’t much to it.

“Private Eyes” I’d heard a couple times before, though not as often as “Kiss on my list” and “Out of Touch.”
Its one of those “that’s Hall & Oates?” type of songs. I don’t know its them until after the fact.
The lyrics intrigue me, though. For some reasons, I thought they were referring to eyes that one of the guys had on the back of their heads that’s watching the one girl.
But private eye as in detective Sam Spade private eye? That’s about the size of it.
It’s become a favorite.

“I can’t go for that” is a song I think I’ve heard several times before (referring to the instrumental that opens the song just before you hear the vocals), but I haven’t heard the words before.
It has something of an R&B edge rather than something poppy or anything close to rock.

The music of it had me believing that it was on the same album as “Maneater,” which has that similar urban beat/rhythm backing it up.

The song in between “Did it in a minute”… I dunno about this one. Its easy to learn, but because the same words are repeated over and over… and over…
And I googled, but couldn’t find what the hell it means.
Did what in a minute?

You did it, You did it , You did it, You did it, you did it in a minute…
I know, I know, I know, I know…

and so it repeats…. and repeats.

I don’t get it, man. Is it supposed to be one of those macho things? I lost my virginity in a minute… if that’s the case, shame on you, Hall & Oates… pigs…

all that aside,

“Maneater” is the track I’m most familiar with out of all the songs. I’d hear it so many times, though never bothered to learn the words.
One of the highlights is the saxophone face-off during the instrumental break where you hear one play in the left speaker and the one in the right speaker echoes what the first sax played… and it goes on for a couple minutes.

On VH1, this was noted as one of the 100 greatest hard rock songs… I don’t think I’d even consider it a rock song… there’s nothing that really rocks about it in the general sense of the word… but it is awesome.

The next two songs I skip because I just don’t get. “One on One” is just repetitive… Hall spending time alone with a girl… nothing really original about it.

Then the next song, I just remember a line like “Leave me alone, I’m a family man”… I get nothing out of it, not even what the signifiance of the title is.

“Say it isn’t so” struck me right away as a good track.
It was unique among the rest of Hall & Oates tracks, though the rhythm of it was something close what I’ve determined their sound to be.
At first, and this is still true, it made me think of the group Wham!… namely the Christmas song “Last Christmas”… I love that song to death, I’m sorry to bring up Christmas in July.

I like the way it starts and the way the chorus sounds with the duo of the vocals.
But as the song starts winding down, the chorus disappears and different words and rhythms replace the original, though the music remains the same.  That’s the only thing that really disappoints me about it.

“Adult Education” sounds like a promo they did for the corresponding album, something to sell it to the public. The drums in the beginning remind me of another 80’s song that I can’t really recall at the moment and a lot about the song reminds me of a few things that are stamped in some songs of this amazing decade.
I’ll have to give it a few more listens to determine what they are.

The last two songs, I only heard once each. I caught “Method of Modern Love” on the Sirius XM 80’s station the other day as I was leaving for break… I had to look at the name of the song to figure out what the hell they were spelling aside from L.O.V.E…
I figured at this point that because I’d already heard “Out of Touch,” the one I was looking most forward to hearing… I’d just stop with that and move onto another CD because there’d be no point.

I’ll have to check into it on YouTube, but for some reason, the version of “Out of Touch” on the CD felt different than the one I’d played online several times over the past few weeks… basically ever since I found it was one of theirs.

Often at work, I’d hear a completely random song that I like and have no idea who sings it… then I’ll hear it several more times, I’ll have to google it to see who does it.
This was probably the ultimate gem among gems by artists unknown (at least to me)… a Hall & Oates song that I loved to death and was overjoyed to hear it was them… amazed me to no end.

I could probably sing the chorus endlessly and never get bored of it.

You’re out of touch, I’m out of touch, but I’m out of my head when you’re not around…

I’ll stop before I start typing that endlessly (or copy/pasting it, lol)

I took the CD out of my car after listening to it this afternoon just because I really needed a break, though I think my obsession is reaching its peak as I’m recollecting all these amazing songs.

I got the idea today after listening through Hall & Oates again (and ejecting it), some John Mayer, that I’d hear a handful of songs from Diamonds & Pearls and put in 1999 in hopes of easing my transition back to the Purple Rain era of Prince’s career in time for my big debut on Paisley Radio.

But I ran out of time, but managed to play all of the songs I meant to play.

Money don’t matter 2night
Live 4 Love

You get a little something different from every song.
The first one is Prince as the engimatic musical genius.

Cream is where you hear him being commercial with an easy-to-sing-along-to pop song… and Prince being playful and at times, egocentric (“you know I wrote this when I was looking in the mirror, right?”)

Money don’t matter 2night is him being serious, using his lower range… something of a 90’s “Sign o’ the Times”

Insatiable is a love ballad to combines elements from “International Lover,” “Do me Baby” and “Adore.”
The only thing disagreeable about it is the music video… somehow it doesn’t quite hit me right when I watch it as I’m hearing the song. Mainly because there’s a woman in the room in the video… and in a couple scenes, several… seems a little ridiculous to me, but hey, what do I know? I’m just here for his heart-stopping sweet-talk…. there’d been several times these past few weeks when I stopped breathing by the end of the song.

Live 4 Love, more than ever, is standing out for me as an amazing track. But also the whole delivery of it is completely different from the rest of the songs on the album. Insatiable has me to the edge of comatose and immediately the drums, the guitar solo and Prince’s delivery of vocals wakes me back up. It’d compare it to a shot of adrenaline, though maybe not as intense as that scene in Pulp Fiction (the whole reason I don’t want to watch that movie is because of that one scene… we watched just that scene in Health Class when we were learning about heroin… not a good feeling, plus I really have a big adversion to needles).

The meaning is lost to me amidst the steady drum rhythm, wicked guitar solos and Tony’s only crediable rap… even that I can’t make much sense out of, though I have a better grip on it than his rap in “Push”… but hell, I don’t care. As much as it annoys me that I don’t get the legitamacy of the song on the album, I don’t care as much as I’m rocking out to the last minute with that amazing guitar. The finish is probably one of my favorite ending notes of any Prince song.

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