The Spinners

Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category

♪ Papaya (Edu Manzano, 2007) ♪

In Dance, OPM, Pop, Richard Bolisay, Track Reviews on December 8, 2010 at 5:36 am

Game KNB? wasn’t really fun until Edu Manzano stepped in and filled the shoes of Kris Aquino. Her fuss over the contestants’ personal life made watching it uncomfortable, whereas Edu, on his part, did the talking with the right smack of confidence and humor. The replacement became a hit, and to add better recall, the host launched his album on the show called World’s Greatest Dance Steps. Its carrier single, “Papaya,” is viral. Of course, Edu had to do the moves. The steps are silly but fun, and they’re so addictive even contestants are game to do it. It’s a good thing that “Papaya” has no lyrics: it is really meant to get you up, shake your booty, and move your fingers up and down. It became strikingly associated with Edu (whose role in the song is mere promoter) that when Ambassador Kristie Kenney guested on Umagang Kay Ganda, she took pleasure in dancing “Papaya” on national television. Months later, the hosts of Good Morning America were also into it, calling it the new “Macarena.”

*included in the upcoming “A Decade in POP: OPM in 50 Songs”

– Richard Bolisay


♪ Drunk Girls (LCD Soundsystem, 2010) ♪

In American, Dance, Richard Bolisay, Track Reviews on April 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

Okay, I admit: I love James Murphy. Whatever record or single he comes up with I lick with relish. Pretty much what makes him such an exciting musician is his consistency, how he never trips over fame and detaches himself from the music he makes, still basking in the fun of his infectious beats and rhythms. The first single from his upcoming album is no exception to that. “Drunk Girls” is like any song one would expect from LCD Soundsystem after Sound of Silver, which is less about the song being predictable than it being cleverly conceived. From the lyrics (Drunk girls wait an hour to pee) to the arrangement (the drunk girls! hook in the background alluded to The Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat”), it all feels so wasted. The hilarious words and the groggy repertoire work like a partygoer’s dream to reach booze heavens, kicking the toxic track in anticipation for Murphy’s third album to be released. Party anthem it seems, “Drunk Girls” is amusing as far as amusement goes, pleasurable without any sense of condescension, with Murphy’s shrills drilling a hole in every hedonist’s head. Tipsy fans are already shouting, “Let us have the record!” To which Murphy answers, “In May, you idiots!” Oh, how fun.

– Richard Bolisay

Download “Drunk Girls”

♪ Imma Be (Black Eyed Peas, 2009) ♪

In American, Dance, Hiphop, Rex Baylon, Track Reviews on January 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm

The Black Eyed Peas, in my opinion, are the epitome of everything wrong with pop music in the 2000’s. Their songs, in the immortal words of William Shakespeare, are full of sound and fury but ultimately signify nothing. Their attempts to be taken seriously as an anti-establishment hiphop act are thwarted by the fact that majority of their songs are sold to the highest bidder to promote whatever hot new merchandise Corporate America is trying to ram down people’s gullets. Although they pride themselves as being a culturally diverse group, the white oversexed female vocalist is really the one getting most of people’s attention while the original multi-ethnic members are reduced to being mere background players. And if that isn’t saying enough, their songs are bland, unimaginative, and pander to the lowest common denominator.

Their latest single “Imma Be” is both derivative and repetitious. Somehow it raises the doubt whether or not the band can call themselves a band if they just rely on drum machine to make all the melodic decisions for them. The song itself celebrates the sort of hiphop posturing that went out of fashion a decade ago, and instead of adding their own unique take on the subject, all The Black Eyed Peas do is offer some cliché lyrics sandwiched between a mind-numbingly unoriginal chorus. The song is reminiscent of a prepubescent fantasy of living the “good life” brought about by MTV and a whole host of other bloodsucking corporate sponsors. Furthermore, I’m conflicted whether I should be angry that a song like this is so popular or sad that many people will go through their entire lives thinking that The Black Eyed Peas are the best thing that the alternative hiphop scene can offer. If you want rap with a different sort of flavor, try listening to Del La Soul, Mos Def, The Roots, M.I.A., or Jurassic 5 and forget the juvenile hiphop affectations of this  overrated quartet.

– Rex Baylon

♪ Zero (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 2009) ♪

In American, Dance, Indie Rock, Oliver Ortega, Track Reviews on January 21, 2010 at 7:30 am

At any time, it feels like Karen O is about to break into “Heart of Glass”. Of course it does not happen, like the typical promise: “yeah, yeah, we’ll get there.” Instead we are nowhere, even if the catchy opening electro-guitars have laid the path clearly for us. Which is a good thing because where is zero anyway? Somewhere here, a bit there. There’s that push-pull so expected of alt acts finally redefining their previous act. But the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are not moving into “Pretty in Pink” territory; not yet, though it does sound so “Right Here, Right Now” of Jesus Jones fame, not Kylie Minogue. Lame then? But here we are amused, and here we are dancing anyway.

– Oliver Ortega

Animal (Ke$ha, 2009)

In American, Ayn Marie Dimaya, Dance, Electronica, Pop on January 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

Ever since the beginning of the pop-driven world, artists have manufactured themselves as “unique” in order to sell albums. After all, there’s no other way to be noticed in an environment so crowded. And there’s nothing wrong with fun, shallow music. The songs are catchy, yes. And danceable. And very, very addictive. My problem is that in the midst of developing their image, these artists, most of them arguably talented, somehow lose the soul that does make them unique. Or in this case, confuse the soul with $wagga. What angers me more is the whole point (or pointlessness) of Ke$ha being obvious. It’s written smack in the middle of her name in the form of an oh-it’s-so-uniquely-candid dollar sign. Money makes the world go round and people are eagerly buying her product. Never mind the mind-numbing inanity of it all.

– Ayn Marie Dimaya

Go—The Very Best of Moby (Moby, 2006)

In American, Compilation, Dance, Dodo Dayao, Electronica, Techno on January 8, 2010 at 6:50 am

Never mind the career overview bollocks. Single-record Best Ofs—Ok, the import has 16 tracks and a remix bonus disc, we get 15 tracks and no bonus disc but this is the Philippines, what’d you expect?—smack of cash-in.  A no-brainer, that. This is techno’s poster boy of sellout. Yeah yeah, the cross-purposes between art and commerce have long ceasefired and nearly everyone sells out, cashes in. So why hang the DJ? Moby did it mega than most is why. But let’s be fair here. We go back, me and this born-again crusading straightedge showbiz geek vegan purveyor of melancholic techno.  Him meshing spooked-up Twin Peaks strings with electro-throb on Go (still his finest four minutes) was, barring primordial New Order, my unofficial indoctrination into electronica per se and the record that came after, Everything Is Wrong, my first time to forage blind in unknown—and, in theory, forbidden, for the rockist prude I used to be—territory since someone fed me the Residents’ Eskimo without qualifiers. Him finding Jesus literalized the rave/church parallels all those techno-drug tropes were hinting at, eventually making the Gospel Vs. BPMs of Play somehow both wondrous and trite. And his upfront, fiercely idealistic activism had the headbutt you want from activism. You could say half of  Go—The Very Best of Moby is the falling from grace, the way it pays mere lip service to the stellar Everything Is Wrong, wisely sidestepping the career kamikaze of Animal Rights, but bearing out the pedestrian self-cannibalizing  of 18 and Hotel—the sound of turntablist ingenuity outing itself as one-dimensional popcraft. Unfair to dis him on that, though, as half the alt-rock/dance brethren of his time trafficked in fluff more throwaway than his. Least Moby’s had a sense of its own fleeting quality, its uselessness. And had its moments—“Move” is nearly sublime, “Feeling So Real” pumped-up and full-on, We Are All Made of Stars” secondhand Enopop that holds up, “In My Heart” derivative but pretty, and new track with Debbie Harry superstar walk-on “New York New York”: pointless but fun trash-glam wankery.  It’s actually the other half of the Go tracklist, spewing forth from his tasty but overexposed Play, previously and rampantly whored out to sell everything from SUVs to Leonardo DiCaprio, that plays more like a fall from grace. The pitfalls of underestimating advertising and its power to deteriorate and supersede whatever empathies pop music forges  in you,  to trivialize it into no-context fuzak, to make it nearly unlistenable as anything but an elegy to that ruinous point of no return when a song that once took you to the river now just reminds you to upgrade your cellphone.

Dodo Dayao

Good Humor (Saint Etienne, 1998)

In Alternative, British, Dance, Dodo Dayao, Rock, Synthpop on January 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Playfulness tethered, cosmopolitan breeziness in its place, it’s the ease in which the buoyant songs don’t try too hard that wins you over. The point of summer being, of course, not trying too hard. Whatever pop vein Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs tap for surplus, it’s always favored lilt, and no matter how bluish-grey the hues get, every time Sarah Cracknell opens her mouth, she always lets the sunshine in.

– Dodo Dayao