Thursday, March 01, 2007
Tony Sunshine Is Right
Full disclosure: I am Tony Sunshine. My readership* is small enough that I'm not worried about public outcry if I reveal that I was paid a hefty sum to let some 21st century Zelma Davis pretend he handled the vocals on this remake of the Patrick Swayze classic. It's all good, though - I didn't do it for fame. I did it for financial reward, emotional catharsis** and the artistic challenge of conveying the song's anguish in a lithe hip-hop context. While I think some of the song's character is lost (without the climactic key change underlining the swing from torment to bittersweet acceptance, the song's mood is merely pensive), I'm proud of my "baby, PLEASE" embellishments. The track still succeeds as erotic ear candy.
That said, there remains an obvious flaw: the lack of Diddy. The original "She's Like The Wind," for all its earnest majesty and commercial success (Swayze, despite his continuing status as a renaissance man, has yet to top it), is a left-field choice for a streetwise make-over. Due to historical precedence, it's the kind of initially off-putting interpolation most people associate with Diddy and his self-regarding "uh"s. Lumidee's vocal presence*** is minimal enough that there's plenty of room for the music impresario's grunted verbal encouragement. As it stands, "She's Like The Wind" lacks the grandeur necessary to bring listeners back to the time when multiplatinum was a matter of weeks rather than months and the internet**** had yet to remove all luster from the artform.
The singles on Press Play are doing better than they have any right to, but "She's Like The Wind" shows by comparison how far he's strayed from his initial mission: turning '80s cornflake into feel-good struts for the youth of America with a minimum of fuss. While he still dresses like a champion***** and does his best to make his songbirds sound good, recent singles lack the infectious obviousness that made his late '90s heyday so rewarding to proto-poptimists. It was so much more fun to laugh in the jealous faces of haters and wanna-bes when his accomplishments seemed effortless.
Here's an example of better times, when Diddy was capable of instilling fresh energy into a forgotten slice of retro-chintz with bravado to spare:
If I was still on speaking terms with Mario Winans, I'd try to get him to propose We Invented The Reggaeton! Don't act like it wouldn't rule.
*especially after a full month without posts, sorry.
**I've known the pain of an unreliable lover, yes.
***I was under the impression this track was being produced for Zooey Deschanel's upcoming debut album, Limelight Fantasies: A Personal Journey Through American Film, and hopeful our collaboration would increase my chances of meeting/doing her, but you never know where songs will wind up nowadays. While I have no interest in meeting/doing Lumidee, I wish her all the best with her psuedo-career and anxiously await a song where she's in key.