FAIL: Carlos Santana, Anniversary Songs, Skynyrd Covers
That's Enough, Carlos Santana: Carlos Santana has to be one of the most overrated rock artists of all time. Never once has his noodly, choogly brand of boring stoner-rock managed to ignite even the tiniest spark of interest for Fails.
Yeah, the guy's got some serious guitar chops. But as any non-guitar-player who has tried to listen to the self-indulgent guitar masturbatings of Santana, Joe Satriani or Steve Vai, chops ain't much without the skill to use them towards making an interesting song.
Santana has recorded a new album, and good God in Heaven, it is just awful. He's watered down his already-tepid sound even more to where even Dave Matthews would listen and say, "Holy shit, can we get a little bit of an edge here, please?"
It's an insult to elevator music or adult contemporary to label it as such. This album makes Jimmy Buffet look like King Diamond. The synth-guitars on Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber songs rock harder than Santana's inoffensive clean-channel whimpering. It may sound like we're being a little harsh on Carlos, but oh no. We're not being harsh enough. Look what he and legendarily mediocre grunge hack Gavin Rossdale did to T. Rex's "Get It On (Bang a Gong)."
That's right, soak it in. Feel the hate. T. Rex didn't do anything to Santana or Rossdale, yet here they are, viciously attacking that band's legacy. And - somehow - the rest of the album is just as bad. How bad? Santana's collaboration with Nas on a rap version of AC/DC's "Back In Black" is the highlight. So, Lovecraftian, insanity-inducing levels of badness. Go away, Carlos Santana.
Enormous Blob of Redneck Captures Essence of Skynyrd: It's easy to laugh at an awkward, overweight, androgynous, toothless hillbilly as he/she/it atonally hollers along to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," so go ahead. It's only natural.
But damn it, this bog monster is singing from its plaque-encrusted heart. There's more genuine feeling and sincerity in this performance than there is in most of today's pop music. Justin Bieber? Miley Cyrus? The aforementioned Carlos goddamn Santana?
No thank you. We'll take an album from u8a22 over any of those empty, plasticine clowns, the same way we'd choose a good Limburger cheese over dairy-esque processed American cheese-like product. Sure, it stinks. But it's real.
Keep on flying, you free-est of birds. They cannot change you.
Romantic Gesture, Nauseating Result: Love songs are hard to pull off without sounding cloyingly syrupy. Internet comedy group The Key of Awesome's Mark Douglas probably knew that when he decided to write a song celebrating the anniversary of his marriage to wife Anastasia, so he elected to inject a little humor into the project. And, for a kicker, he called in a favor from his friends Weezer to appear in the video he made for her.
Now, we'll admit right up front that getting Weezer to appear in the video of a song you wrote for your wife is a damn good gift idea, and a better one than Fails will probably ever have. Douglas seems like a sweet guy and is to be commended. It's just a shame the whole thing turned out as badly as it did.
Yeah. Songwriting? Bad. Singing? Not great. Comedy? Not that funny, unless you're still not tired of "Mexican food makes you shit" jokes. Production? Marred by cheap and cheesy synthesizers. At best, the video is "kinda cute," although that's being pretty charitable. We cringed pretty hard while we watched it. It's the thought that counts, and surely Anastasia was touched by her husband's thoughtfulness. The rest of us want our four minutes back.
Win of the Week: The Dismemberment Plan is getting back together! The Dismemberment Plan is getting back together!