Thursday, October 4, 2007

There Ain't No Gold, and There Ain't Nobody Like Me

If you're a dedicated reader of "One Poor Correspondent" -- and what other kind is there? -- you've probably noticed that I have an affection for the Seventies style of pop music popularly known as "wimp rock." It would make my life complete if, when David Gates dies, CNN calls me to help them make sense out of it all. ("Well, Wolf, when David sang 'Lately I'm a-praying,' it really encapsulated the mood of a lot of people in early-Seventies America who saw their lives spinning out of control.")

One person who shares this affection is none other than the R&B producer and performer known as Babyface, whose new album Playlist contains eight covers of some of the wimpiest wimp rock ever recorded: Dan Fogelberg's "Longer," Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle," Bread's "Diary." You wonder how he managed to avoid "Please Come to Boston" -- no, wait, "Please Come to Boston" is on there too! At least he didn't make the career-killing mistake of covering Lobo.

We here at OPC have mixed feelings about this. While we love these songs, we would never be so foolhardy as to cover them and expect people to pay money to hear them again, when oldies radio is often too embarrassed to play even the originals. Plus, Babyface was awfully wimpy already; we'll never forgive him for wimping up Eric Clapton on that terrible "Save the World." (Babyface repays the favor here by covering "Wonderful Tonight.") A wimp covering wimpy songs doesn't sound like such a hot idea. Linkin Park covering "Please Come to Boston," now that would be interesting.

On the other hand, "Diary" is a really great song, and any further exposure for it can only be good.

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