Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – “Love For Sale”
Lady Gaga recently released a compilation of remixes from the album “Chromatica” and I must honestly admit that the accumulation of synthetic sounds has surpassed me. Fortunately, the calming down came quickly and in not just any form. The artist has combined her powers with the legendary Tony Bennett to face Cole Porter covers.
The pair had already proven that they fit together perfectly with the well-received album “Cheek to Cheek”, so no one should be surprised that this time is the same. 61-year-old Bennett says goodbye to the audience with this album, so some of the songs seem to be more sentimental. It’s hard not to ascribe a double meaning to the words “Yes goodbye baby and amen, we hope to meet you from time to time” – in the solo track “Just One of Those Things”. The artists get along very well in joint arrangements, but “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “I Get a Kick Out of You” or “Night and Day” stand out.
Although Lady Gaga does not need to prove to anyone that she is an excellent artist, it must be admitted that she seems to be more and more aware of her vocal. He is much better at projects where he can show off his scale than pop songs. She just doesn’t need rearranged compositions to distract from her voice. It is a pity that such projects are so rarely decided.
ATLVNTA – “ATLVNTA”
The album “ATLVNTA” is the debut of the duo formed by Kasia Golomska and Kamil Durski, who previously became known under the name Lilly Hates Roses. It is difficult to put any label on their work. It’s a generally understood alternative, a lot of electronics there, but there is also rap and pop. Feel that ATLVNTA is still looking for its way and trying different paths.
The structure of the album suggests that the duo wanted to tell a coherent, though divided into chapters (the role of the scale is played by electronic cutscenes lasting several dozen seconds). Most of the songs feature similar themes that form what can be called a story about a young man’s life in a place that makes him very lonely. Golomska and Durski combine micro-stories with various elements, e.g. references to (pop) culture, an example of which is the band Rammstein, mentioned several times. There is a sense of isolation in the lyrics, but also nostalgia – for what? To better times? But when were they? It is not entirely clear, because the narrative is suspended in a specific timelessness, which is not bad at all – it makes stories universal.
The ATLVNTA team had some idea for their debut and it is palpable. They emphasized their emotions so strongly – melancholy, longing, but also a dose of skepticism towards reality – that the listener can easily tune in to their message. However, as it happens with debuts, there are ambiguities or even clashes. Sometimes Golomska’s vocals are not enough to break the instrumental layer. Interestingly, Durski is doing much better in this area – when his voice “enters”, it becomes interesting. Sometimes the album lacks variety, and the songs that are very similar in style merge into one mix. As already mentioned, this is a debut, and ATLVNTA still has many different areas to explore.
Hansz Zimmer – “No Time to Die” – soundtrack
The soundtrack to the 25th installment of James Bond, the last with Daniel Craig in the lead role, was written by Hans Zimmer, one of the greatest film music stars of the last thirty years, a composer as popular, crossing the borders of pop culture and controversial. Hence, the decision to employ him to illustrate the adventures of agent 007 also sparked discussions – the first question was whether an artist so in love with electronic instruments in recent years would be able to reliably approach a more acoustic, orchestral sound, which we remember from John’s scores Barry, the author of eleven Bond soundtracks. Fortunately, this is exactly what happened, which does not mean that we can speak of a complete success.
Compositions that Zimmer wrote for the needs of “Nie Czas Dieanie” do follow the traces of the musical language cultivated in this series by, for example, David Arnold – we are dealing with a full swing, dynamic score, written for a full orchestra, with an emphasized role of wind and percussion instruments , perfectly reflecting the insane pace of chases, shootings, fights and other action sequences, which we hear especially in the powerful themes “Message From an Old Friend”, “Opening The Doors” and enriched with the choir “Norway Chase”. There is still electronics in it, but served in moderation and tastefully.
On the other hand, there is a lot of tension and suspense in this music (“Not What I Expected”, “Someone Was Here”), opening the space also for more lyrical moments that fit into the highly emotional aspect of the film. This is the nature of even the beautiful “Home”. The composer also reached for the famous John Barry theme from the 1969 movie “In Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, wonderfully resonating in the short lyrical piece “Matera” – this has its dramatic justification, which of course should not be revealed to anyone before watching movie. Of course, we most often hear the classic “James Bond Theme” by Monty Norman, which appears in most songs, often in short quotes or like an echo from the past that catches up with the hero also on the screen.
It is not music that Zimmer would discover, it does not sin with originality, and on the album it is a bit “jagged”, but you can hear that he probably had a lot of fun creating it. Certainly when composing “Cuba Chase”, the best piece in the set, an intriguing mixture of orchestral bravado, big band sounds and Cuban salsa. On the other hand, the final crescendo in the form of the seven and a half minute “Final Ascent” will not leave anyone emotionally indifferent. Only one thing can follow – “No Time To Die” by Billie Eilish, but we’ve all known it for a long time.
Mat – “Young Matczak”
Mata introduced himself to the world in December two nineteen, dropping “bombs” on the holy school. “Patointeligencja” raised the pressure of the ties, the media rubbed their hands on the clickbytes, publishers sent who they could, who they could, from the rapper’s surroundings. Almost two years later, the album “Young Matczak” is released, which tries to sum up the post-pato stage. With varying degrees of success.
There are songs about trying to live on my own (“IKEA”): “my mom and dad will want me to come back / but I have to grow up, but I have to / light the fire myself, pack my suitcase, diplomas / stand in the middle of the living room and eat two large gibbons “. Then we have a rap report from housewarming party (“Blok”): “I know that the block is already shaking / but I have the New Year every day, night after night / give it a melange, I will pour vodka and juice on you / and you do not keep fucking me that we are too loud / appreciate / that it was only two o’clock and your windows weren’t blown out “.
Then “Chained Bobo” and the controversial way of convincing people to legalize marijuana. Before we hear about the main subject of the song, the lyrics will say: “I smoke ten joints a day, and I can’t make a roll / Greetings to my friends, because I don’t know what without you / Three, two, one, zero, whore, chained bobo is coming in”. After such a gibberish beginning of the album one gets the impression that there is no revealing meaning behind these lyrics. However, the longer the 58-minute album lasts, the more themes seriously come to the fore.
Noteworthy is “2001”, the first-person story of a student dealing with the topic of school through the prism of loneliness, multiplayer games and online lessons. A moving text about the death of a loved one can be heard in the song “67-410”. The title contains the postal code of Sława, a town by the lake in the Lubuskie Voivodeship, where the rapper’s parents come from. It is an attempt to capture the last moments shared with the grandfather who passed away during the pandemic.
Apart from personal themes, there are also songs about public life. “Patoreakcja” is a summary of the public turmoil that broke out after the premiere of the single and an attempt to answer the question what was its impact on the life of a young man. The second of them is “Parrot”, the protagonist of which is Marcin Matczak, the rapper’s father. It’s an intelligently told story with a pinch of salt at the topic of being recognizable: “once we went to dinner, the waitress came and said:” let me have an autograph “, then I take out a pen and she wants a parrot and that I should give it back to him, okay” .
Despite a few strong fragments, it is a lumpy album that leaves you unsatisfied, but don’t worry – Mata still has time to jump over the high bar.