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Keb' Mo' - Peace...Back By Popular Demand

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Peace...Back By Popular Demand

Keb' Mo'

  • Erschienen am 21.09.04 bei Epic
  • Künstler: Keb' Mo'
  • Genre: Pop
  • Auszeichnungen:
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Peace...Back by Popular Demand finds Keb' Mo' covering nine classic protest and peace songs from the 1960s and early '70s, and what is immediately apparent is how well these songs translate forward into the current political milieu. This is an album where the songs themselves are the stars, and Keb' Mo' wisely takes a low-key and measured vocal approach to each of them, letting the messages take hold over light soul-jazz backings, with just enough funk in the horn charts to give the arrangements some push. It's hard to argue with the song selection, but as an interpreter, Mo' seldom makes any of these tracks his own, and behind each stands the ghostly but clear memory of the original version. Perhaps that would be unavoidable under any circumstances, because songs like John Lennon's "Imagine" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" are so perfectly realized in the original recordings, but if the idea here is to give the messages of these songs a new cachet in a new era, then only a couple of them are given a redefinition by Mo' that would allow it. One that does work in a new guise is the opening track, a spunky, light soul rendition of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." The song seems to have gained wisdom and import as the years have passed, and in the hands of Keb' Mo' it becomes both universal and danceable. Less successful is Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding," which is also given a heavy makeover, emerging in a swampy string band version that makes the song feel somehow less urgent. The cover here of Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" works because Mo' stays close to the original template, and given that Gaye pretty much invented the jazzy soul approach on his classic What's Going On album (an album that hardly needs redefinition to be vital in a contemporary setting), this is a wise choice. Delivering a perfectly nuanced vocal on Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free," Mo' brings out the hard-earned wisdom and hope inherent in the song's lyrics, as well as preserving its natural elegance. The simple vocal-and-piano approach to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" strips the song of its defiant swagger, replacing it with a kind of cautious -- but hopeful -- resignation that is surprisingly effective in shining a different kind of light on the lyrics. There is one Keb' Mo' original on the album, "Talk," which takes as its premise a one-on-one talk with the President of the United States, a notion that will seem like science fiction for most listeners. Obviously Mo' isn't trying to top the Hit Parade with anything here, and his effort to bring these important songs into a new light is laudable. Peace...Back by Popular Demand is not a major album, but it does have some major things to say, or re-say, in this case, and it serves as a reminder that every era could use (and deserves) some peace.
© Steve Leggett /TiVo

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Peace...Back By Popular Demand

Keb' Mo'

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1
For What It's Worth (Album Version)
00:03:58

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Stephen Stills, Composer - Stephen Stills, Lyricist - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc.

2
Wake Up Everybody (Album Version)
00:04:07

Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer - John Whitehead, Composer - John Whitehead, Lyricist - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Victor Carstarphen, Composer - Victor Carstarphen, Lyricist - Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Gene McFadden, Composer - Gene McFadden, Lyricist

(P) 2004 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc.

3
People Got to Be Free (Album Version)
00:03:45

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Felix Cavaliere, Lyricist - Felix Cavaliere, Composer - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Eddie Brigati, Composer - Eddie Brigati, Lyricist - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony BMG Music Entertainment

4
Talk (Album Version)
00:03:38

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Jason Wormer, Engineer - KEVIN MOORE, Lyricist - KEVIN MOORE, Composer - Kevin So, Composer - Kevin So, Lyricist - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

5
What's Happening Brother - Featuring Bettye LaVette (Album Version)
00:03:25

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Marvin Gaye, Composer - Marvin Gaye, Lyricist - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - James Nyx, Composer - James Nyx, Lyricist - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc.

6
The Times They Are A-Changin' (Album Version)
00:04:11

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - B. Dylan, Composer - B. Dylan, Lyricist - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

7
Get Together (Album Version)
00:04:00

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Chet Powers, Composer - Chet Powers, Lyricist - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

8
Someday We'll All Be Free (Album Version)
00:04:02

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Donny Hathaway, Composer - Donny Hathaway, Lyricist - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Edward Howard, Composer - Edward Howard, Lyricist - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

9
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding (Album Version)
00:03:43

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Nick Lowe, Composer - Nick Lowe, Lyricist - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer

(P) 2004 Sony BMG Music Entertainment Inc.

10
Imagine (Album Version)
00:04:54

Stephen Marsh, Mastering Engineer - Mark Johnson, Recording Engineer - Jason Wormer, Engineer - Keb' Mo', Performer - Keb' Mo', Producer - Ghian Wright, Engineer - Yasuhiro Takeuchi, Engineer - John Lennon, Composer - John Lennon, Lyricist

(P) 2004 Epic Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Albumbeschreibung

Peace...Back by Popular Demand finds Keb' Mo' covering nine classic protest and peace songs from the 1960s and early '70s, and what is immediately apparent is how well these songs translate forward into the current political milieu. This is an album where the songs themselves are the stars, and Keb' Mo' wisely takes a low-key and measured vocal approach to each of them, letting the messages take hold over light soul-jazz backings, with just enough funk in the horn charts to give the arrangements some push. It's hard to argue with the song selection, but as an interpreter, Mo' seldom makes any of these tracks his own, and behind each stands the ghostly but clear memory of the original version. Perhaps that would be unavoidable under any circumstances, because songs like John Lennon's "Imagine" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" are so perfectly realized in the original recordings, but if the idea here is to give the messages of these songs a new cachet in a new era, then only a couple of them are given a redefinition by Mo' that would allow it. One that does work in a new guise is the opening track, a spunky, light soul rendition of Stephen Stills' "For What It's Worth." The song seems to have gained wisdom and import as the years have passed, and in the hands of Keb' Mo' it becomes both universal and danceable. Less successful is Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding," which is also given a heavy makeover, emerging in a swampy string band version that makes the song feel somehow less urgent. The cover here of Gaye's "What's Happening Brother" works because Mo' stays close to the original template, and given that Gaye pretty much invented the jazzy soul approach on his classic What's Going On album (an album that hardly needs redefinition to be vital in a contemporary setting), this is a wise choice. Delivering a perfectly nuanced vocal on Donny Hathaway's "Someday We'll All Be Free," Mo' brings out the hard-earned wisdom and hope inherent in the song's lyrics, as well as preserving its natural elegance. The simple vocal-and-piano approach to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" strips the song of its defiant swagger, replacing it with a kind of cautious -- but hopeful -- resignation that is surprisingly effective in shining a different kind of light on the lyrics. There is one Keb' Mo' original on the album, "Talk," which takes as its premise a one-on-one talk with the President of the United States, a notion that will seem like science fiction for most listeners. Obviously Mo' isn't trying to top the Hit Parade with anything here, and his effort to bring these important songs into a new light is laudable. Peace...Back by Popular Demand is not a major album, but it does have some major things to say, or re-say, in this case, and it serves as a reminder that every era could use (and deserves) some peace.
© Steve Leggett /TiVo

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