Album: Katrina and the Waves
The first thing you need to realize is that the songwriter for Katrina and The Waves, Kimberly Rew, was in The Soft Boys.
It was his guitar and voice that matched Robyn Hitchcock’s on 1980’s Underwater Moonlight, still one of the greatest psychedelic guitar albums ever manufactured on this or any other world.
So he already had a lifetime pass before he even wrote any of his greatest songs.
When the Soft Boys broke up and Robyn Hitchcock went to follow his muse for 35 utterly delightful years (and counting!), Rew hooked back up with a drummer called Alex Cooper he’d played with prior to The Soft Boys, who had been playing in a cover band that included the powerhouse vocalist Katrina Leskanich.
Lord, do I love Kathleen Edwards’ voice.
A singer-songwriter from Canada who has been putting out records since 2003, her voice is basically bottled-up melancholy, which adds a tinge of sadness to even the most upbeat lyrics, and yet never smothers her more downbeat lyrics with too much sadness.
Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Of course, it’s always been a thing that Kanye West isn’t that great of a singer or even that great of a rapper.
But that’s never bothered me, because he’s always owned his technical limitations, and on a production as large as “POWER” they serve to humanize his otherwise outsized music, and his otherwise outsized public persona.
In fact, it would actually make his music worse if he were better, because there would be nothing to bring him back down to earth and reveal him as not just an insecure, arrogant asshole, but an insecure arrogant asshole who lives to make this music.
Album: The College Dropout
One of the most polarizing figures in the current musical landscape, it’s almost guaranteed that Kanye West will be remembered by future generations — long after whatever stupid-ass shit he said and did outside of the music that he produced (or, I guess, in his lyrics) — as one of the absolute indisputable musical geniuses of the early 21st century.
To me — and this will probably piss off a lot of the folks who “just don’t like” Kanye — the musical figure he most reminds me of is Jimmy Page.
Did you know that Leftoverture was Kansas’ fourth album? On a major label? And if you did, can you name the three albums that preceded it? I mean, without looking it up on Wikipedia or Discogs? Of course you can’t.
I have no proof of this, of course, but I feel like the “not having a hit until the fourth or fifth (or later) album” was a particularly 1970s thing. Just off of the top of my head: REO Speedwagon, Foghat, KISS, AC/DC, Rush, Peter Frampton, Blue Oyster Cult, the list goes on and on.