I don't think Danity Kane was very good. But the bigger problem with that reference point is that Danity Kane was the quintessential manufactured band—literally pieced together on television. Dawn's solo albums, though, are defined by her autonomy.
I'm not assigning values to either approach or saying one is better than the other, but it makes the Danity Kane reference point doubly misleading
― Evan R, Tuesday, 15 January 2013 18:39 (seven years ago) link
Ahem anyway going back to talking about the album - I think the fact that exactly the same vocal treatment is used on every single track goes some way towards explaining accusations of samey-ness. I'm not really that keen on the autotune that's all over this, she's evidently got a great voice and it just flattens everything out, especially the high notes and melisma when she should be sounding her most expressive. It gets kind of frustrating after an hour. I mean she used the same trick over most of Armor On so maybe I wouldn't care if the songs were better but I can't help but feel a lack of joie de vivre here.
― Matt DC, Tuesday, 15 January 2013 18:42 (seven years ago) link
― Evan R, Friday, 18 January 2013 15:46 (seven years ago) link
OK, I'll bite the bullet and admit I don't know how to embed YouTube videos on this site anymore. What am I doing wrong?
― Evan R, Friday, 18 January 2013 15:47 (seven years ago) link
Don't do the short version of the address. Do the full version.
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 18 January 2013 15:52 (seven years ago) link
the URL (without spaces) should look like:
http:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=[videoID]
URLs that start with that pattern will autoembed. Don't use the shortened share URL and don't use secured (https) URLs
― Bel-Air the Fresh Prince, sitting in a chair (DJP), Friday, 18 January 2013 15:55 (seven years ago) link
Thanks! OK, lemme try this...
― Evan R, Friday, 18 January 2013 15:58 (seven years ago) link
Terrible. Sorry everybody.
― Evan R, Friday, 18 January 2013 16:00 (seven years ago) link
― queef ka queef (Spottie_Ottie_Dope), Friday, 18 January 2013 16:03 (seven years ago) link
Wow I really like this whole album.
I will contribute this which I feel has some sonic similarities to Goldenheart (mostly the hand claps).
― hurricane weather (forapper), Friday, 18 January 2013 22:14 (seven years ago) link
confused as to how there somehow isn't a pop track to rally around. like, actually mystified. how is "Riot" not blatantly, completely that? does it need to cram in *more* radio trends (house beat, 4/4 handclaps, squelchy synth, vocal stutters, the MELODY FROM MOVES LIKE JAGGER EVEN)? (n.b. I really like "Riot" but ffs) "Pretty Wicked Things" has a fucking dubstep drop! I mean, sure, this probably is not going to go anywhere near radio, any format, but those are marketing factors, not anything in the music. (and I've love to be proven wrong)
oh, and I really, really like this album, a lot more than _Armor On_. which I did hear and wasn't as impressed as others. "Frequency" probably most slept on track.
― katherine, Friday, 18 January 2013 23:44 (seven years ago) link
Love this album.
― MikoMcha, Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:21 (seven years ago) link
"'86" is the single, makes sense to me as the most accessible song on the album even if i don't see it helping her odds of ever getting on the radio.
― the legend of bigger yansh (some dude), Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:25 (seven years ago) link
Not sure if 86 is especially the most accessible - it is one of my favorites - but my only complaint about this album is that there's a lot to take in And that I could have probably done without the title track...
― MikoMcha, Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:28 (seven years ago) link
Agreed re title track. As a general rule Dawn is better when the music is honed in on rhythms so it stands to reason that a piano ballad would be a stretch.
Mind you I've only gotten this in the last few hours and listened to it once. What did strike me though is that in some ways this reminds me more of #A Tell-Tale Heart than Armor On - that sense of consistency of vibe and the flow from track to track being more important than the individual songwriting.
"Frequency" hit me hardest on the first run through.
― Tim F, Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:35 (seven years ago) link
'accessible' is kind of subjective, i guess, i just meant a slow jam like "'86" has a little more mainstream potential than most of the stuff on the album. she's good at those kinds of songs but hasn't done them much since A Tell-Tale Heart xp
― the legend of bigger yansh (some dude), Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:35 (seven years ago) link
"86" does sound amazing on this though, it just feels so relaxed and open.
― Tim F, Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:39 (seven years ago) link
for it, I have lifted my embargo on 21st century records named after years from the 20th century
― the legend of bigger yansh (some dude), Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:41 (seven years ago) link
i love "86" (so, so much) but actually for me it makes less of an impact surrounded by the rest of the album than it did as a standalone single
― teledyldonix, Saturday, 19 January 2013 04:53 (seven years ago) link
This album reminds me a lot of Kylie Minogue's 'Impossible Princess' (sans the latter's rock tracks), oddly. It would have been tremendously important to me at fifteen I suspect.
― Tim F, Saturday, 19 January 2013 07:31 (seven years ago) link
Cumulatively it's wearing, hence not as effective as Armor On; at times her vocal melodies are barely there.
Keepers so far: 86, Return of a Queen, Frequency, In Your Eyes, Pretty Wicked Things.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 19 January 2013 13:14 (seven years ago) link
Wiki: "86","86'd", "86ed", or eighty-sixed when used as a verb in American English, is a slang term for refusing service or getting rid of something.
i just meant a slow jam like "'86" has a little more mainstream potential than most of the stuff on the album
i'm still used to thinking of the bangers as potential crossover tracks - "riot" and "in your eyes" are the most obviously mainstream-friendly but they kinda play the function that "faith" did on armor on, ie they sound amazing because they come at those junctures and nothing surrounding them sounds like them. in terms of slow jams, "86" took a while to grow on me as a single (maybe because even though dawn hasn't exactly hidden her imogen heap influences, the vocal treatment brings home the similarity maybe a bit too much?) but in album context really opens up. "frequency" seems like the stand-out slow jam - just completely gorgeous and silky, and hearing her natural head voice amidst all the vocal treatment elsewhere makes it stand out even more.
― lex pretend, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:03 (seven years ago) link
the melodies are there, they just take a while to grow on you - i didn't find this immediately hooky. but not hearing them on first/second listens isn't a reason for dismissal.
― lex pretend, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:04 (seven years ago) link
I don't actually like "Pretty Wicked Things" all that much, I've decided. It's definitely the most heavyhanded song on the album.
"Frequency" is amazing though, agree that it's the vocal naturalism that really makes it, she should have done a few more tunes like that i reckon.
I don't feel like I'm gonna be as attached to this as I was to Armor On (or indeed #A Tell-Tale Heart, which remains underrated), but it's not about melody which mostly seems quite striking to me. Maybe it is the heavyhandedness, maybe I just want more obvious sensuality (i.e. maybe i'm just being unadventurous in what I want from dawn).
Only four listens in though, so who knows.
― Tim F, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:08 (seven years ago) link
Never noticed the title actually being in the lyrics before, I admit. I suspect the title is meant to be ambiguous and/or have multiple meanings, though -- the apostrophe in front of '86 in the title certainly makes it look like an abbreviation for 1986, it sounds more '80s than anything else on the album, and directly precedes a cover of a song first released in 1986.
― the legend of bigger yansh (some dude), Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:10 (seven years ago) link
just me that was instantly reminded of this then :/
― r|t|c, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:14 (seven years ago) link
Cumulatively it's wearing, hence not as effective as Armor On; at times her vocal melodies are barely there
I agree with this I think, I must have played this six or seven times through now and I'm still finding it a slog from start-to-finish. Kinda think the preponderance of stately widescreen walking-pace epics leads it feeling a bit ponderous as a whole (Goliath ffs). Armour On, whichever mode Dawn and Druski are in, is so much more limber an album. It's stronger as a piece and the individual songs are better throughout as well. I doubt Goldenheart would suffer at all from culling a third of the songs, rhythmically it feels kind of square a lot of the time, melodically it's workmanlike rather than sublime more often than not.
The outtro is a really brave move but also kinda shows up Dawn's melodic limitations. It's beautiful because Clair de Lune is a beautiful piece but its melodic and harmonic scope is so much vaster than anything here. I'm not going to hold not being Debussy against anyone but Dawn sounds dwarfed by the piece and content to wander round a tiny fraction of its melodic landscape.
My favourite bits here are when Dawn is at her most unashamedly soppy - Break of Dawn, In Your Eyes, 86 - or showing a bit of spirit (I want at least two or three more songs like Northern Lights).
― Matt DC, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:15 (seven years ago) link
lol the wiki for her 2005 album as "Dawn Angeliqué":
The featured guest as composed by alternative singers and rappers, are them the rapper Jon Jon, the ragga singer B'Shipe and the signed in DJ Khaled's Terror Squad, Pooh Bear, who also handle the production of album. The album was not widely recognized, nor had decent sales, but it leveraged her musical career, which was later expanded with Sean Combs.
― the legend of bigger yansh (some dude), Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:16 (seven years ago) link
Also I should rep for 300 as the stately walking-pace epic that works because its upward sweep is so great.
― Matt DC, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:17 (seven years ago) link
Yes "300" is another highlight for me.
― Tim F, Saturday, 19 January 2013 14:35 (seven years ago) link
This record sounds sooo good, girl's engineer is some kind of genius.
― friday goodness thank it's (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 19 January 2013 15:41 (seven years ago) link
First listen today. Gorgeous! Melodies out the ass imo.
― abcfsk, Sunday, 20 January 2013 05:39 (six years ago) link
this album is kind of inscrutable to me. i haven't really found a way in yet.
― The Reverend, Monday, 21 January 2013 06:08 (six years ago) link
The more I listen to this the more I think the best comparison pts aren't LTTP or any r+b records but auteurish singer-songwriters like Kate Bush and Tori Amos at their most sonically adventurous - not just in terms of songwriting loftiness but also the internal logic of how various sounds are used. Even the obvious references - the 80s stuff, the house stuff - feels more like Dawn bending external influences to the needs of the world she's created. And songs like Gleaux, the beats wow you not so much in terms of reminding you of anything else but in terms of how emotionally in sync they are with the song.
― lex pretend, Monday, 21 January 2013 11:04 (six years ago) link
And Rev is right that this is an inscrutable album to an extent; so were Kate and Tori, both of whom made songs I don't feel like I've got tothe heart of decades on.
― lex pretend, Monday, 21 January 2013 11:05 (six years ago) link
Agree with Tori and Kate Bush, also reminds me at times of 90s vocal dance music, possibly progressive house or breaks (sorry)...
― MikoMcha, Monday, 21 January 2013 11:10 (six years ago) link
Also a really pertinent cf point: RAY OF LIGHT
Same impermeable stateliness even on the bangers, same sense of amniotic winding down/expanding into space as the album progresses, same sense of trying to capture something ~beyond~ the artist themselves (indulgence, yes, but in such a way that the indulgence is key to what makes the album great)
Druski was raving about the production on Frozen on twitter recently too
― lex pretend, Monday, 21 January 2013 11:43 (six years ago) link
Oh it's late 90s to a tee. The first imogen heap album, happy rhodes' 'many worlds are born tonight'...
― Tim F, Monday, 21 January 2013 12:31 (six years ago) link
Late nineties yes, ROL no. Madonna wrote nearly a whole album's worth of hooks. Goldenheart is like a whole album of "Mer Girl"s.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 21 January 2013 12:45 (six years ago) link
you really can't hear the hooks in this? it's not the most immediate album, but i assure you they're there.
― lex pretend, Monday, 21 January 2013 12:51 (six years ago) link
Surely hooks are immediate by definition?
― Matt DC, Monday, 21 January 2013 12:54 (six years ago) link
have you never heard a song you didn't remember the first couple of times but after a while you couldn't get out of your head?
sometimes i think "hookiness" is THE most subjective musical quality
― lex pretend, Monday, 21 January 2013 12:56 (six years ago) link
(esp as it's treated as the most objective)
I always think of the hook as the bit that first gets your attention, rather than the bit that burrows its way into your head after a few listens, although they can often be the same bit of the song. The bits that stick out immediately on Goldenheart tend to be musical rather than vocal - the opening bars of Gleaux are way more immediate and memorable to me than the chorus.
― Matt DC, Monday, 21 January 2013 13:05 (six years ago) link
I'm not dismissing this yet! I'm living with it for a few more days.
― the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 21 January 2013 13:06 (six years ago) link
I agree with that general principle.
This album is not at all like "met girl",other tunes on ray of light though sure -maybe "nothing really matters", "sky fits heaven".
― Tim F, Monday, 21 January 2013 13:06 (six years ago) link
That was in response to lex
question: wikipedia's credits are wrong, yeah? b/c they list druski as sole writer, give dawn no credits and don't seem to list peter gabriel as a co-writer on 'in your eyes'
i saw an interview with dawn where she said 'in your eyes' isn't a cover b/c they'd get sued, and the lyrics are all different (and the verse melody too, I think) but isn't the chorus obviously enough lifted from the original that they'd need to give some credit? i'm confused.
― twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Monday, 21 January 2013 16:00 (six years ago) link
which - when we're talking catchy/singleworthy/etc. 'in your eyes' just keeps growing on me. the house productino works so damn well and it's got just as much propulsion as anything on armor on
― twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Monday, 21 January 2013 16:01 (six years ago) link
if we're talking catchy, I seem to be the only one who thinks "86" isn't hooky at all, could name at least 6 more immediate entry points
― katherine, Monday, 21 January 2013 17:51 (six years ago) link