Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bliss Part 17

Comes in the form of RDJ's 2004 album, The Futurist.

Naturally, this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. It definitely helps if you're already a fan. Helps even more if you're familiar with his work on Ally McBeal, where he first showcased his singing talent to a mass audience.

The Futurist features 10 tracks, 8 of them penned by RDJ himself ( only Your Move and Charlie Chaplin's Smile are covers ).

I was pleasantly surprised by this little nugget of information, because the original compositions are actually very good.

An early favourite - my preferences change after repeated listens ( regular readers will know this :)) - is 5:30, a smooth jazz-pop-rock number that I can't get out of my head.

Another great track: Kimberly Glide, a beautiful, introspective piece that's heavy on the piano arrangement and jazz inflections. Very cool. :)

The song which seems to address RDJ's personal struggles most directly is Man Like Me.
Just read the lyrics and you should be able to see references to drug purchases and not showing up at work ( derailed his acting career twice ).

Vocals-wise, RDJ reminds me a lot of Tom Petty. Not an exact fit, but the styles are pretty similar, no?

Of the covers, Smile is a winner indeed. Can't find a high-quality recording of the original RDJ version on YouTube, but this Enigma-esque remix is nice too.

Any chance of an encore album? :)

Another activity I'm enjoying immensely these days: reading a damn good novel.
Namely, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain.

And I just realized that Amazon posted major spoilers, argh!!!
Don't scroll down if you don't want to ruin the experience!

It's a terrific book - fast-paced, intelligent, with vividly drawn characters, lots of intrigue, and minimal foul language.

Since I assume del Toro isn't that well-versed in the English language, I shall give Hogan credit for the exquisite prose. Haven't gotten this many goosebumps since Jeff Lindsay's Dexter In The Dark. I'm only 100 pages in, and can already count quite a few great passages scattered within the compact-sized chapters. Will try to quote them in the next entry.

I borrowed this months ago but had to return it when I got side-tracked by other tomes. Finally managed to get my hands on it last week, and will try my darndest to finish it just in case someone decides to place a reservation.

It's amazing how much reading can be done just before bedtime and during breakfast. :)

Till next time...

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