15 October 2009

BLOGTOBER 2009: Music Reviews (11 of 22) Nellie McKay, Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day

If you like this album, you're probably a racist!

Nellie McKay doing the tribute album thing with songs popularized by Doris Day is an interesting choice. Vocally, and stylistically, there's a fit, but content-wise and narratively speaking it's a big shift in attitude compared to her past work.

There has to be something different enough about the 'tribute' versions to make them compelling enough not to dig up the original recordings. Rather than trying to out sing Doris Day, McKay sticks with a traditional vocal style while surrounding those vocals in stripped down settings when compared to the big band sound of the original recordings.

Here's a direct comparison of their differing approaches on The Very Thought of You

It's a smart approach, it works well, and it makes this an album both a worthy tribute to an artist she clearly admires, as well as a work that stands on its own as something new and fresh.

Bet you were wondering when I'd get around to explaining the first sentence of this post. Well, the above video is Ms. McKay explaining why then about to be inaugurated Pres. Obama needed to resist the inexorable lurch rightward experienced by left of center candidates once they take power.

Wonder if she's pleased or upset with Pres. Obama in the near nine months that have passed since then?

Wonder if we'll see a story soon about an 'inaugural baby boom' as lefty Obamatons got so caught up in Hope n' Change last January that they couldn't keep their hands and genitals off of each other?

(unlike folks on the left, I can enjoy an artists work, irrespective of their political viewpoint, and I respect their right to voice that opinion, and wouldn't attempt to limit their business opportunities just because I don't like their politics)

(that's as close as I'll come to commenting on the Rush Limbaugh/St.Louis Rams nonsense)

(if this makes it more likely that an L.A. based group will get control of that team and bring them here, all I have to say is, YOU BASTARDS!)

And if it isn't obvious, anyone who likes Doris Day music from the 40s and 50s must be a racist given that I bet a bunch of those evil segregationist loved Doris back in the day and bought her records over buying superior versions of the same songs by artists like Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald.

So, while this is a good album, Nellie McKay must be a racist, or is cynically trying to snap up the racist dollar (and since so many Americans are still racist, that's a good business move), or else she would have made a tribute to Ella or Billie, instead.

This is a fine album, but it's just the kind of thing that if some country singer who had made some odd comments about Pres. Obama, then Nellie McKay and her like would have called them racist.

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