Ben Kweller - In Other Words
The baby-faced Ben Kweller is one talented musician. His music is largely indie acoustic/rock based and Ben released his fifth solo studio album earlier this year.
I don’t have a large amount of Ben’s music, although I’ve always admired his work. The track In Other Words appeared on his debut album Sha Sha in 2002 although I was originally introduced to it through another artist. Brooklyn emcee Talib Kweli brought my attention to In Other Words in 2005 when he sampled it on his track Ms Hill. Ms Hill is an ode to the talented Lauryn Hill who had ceased recording and music and fell out of the spotlight due to personal issues.
Like Ms Hill, In Other Words’ strength lies in the melody. In particular the chorus carries the understated message of the song:
Another night slips away, in other words I should say,
there are no words, he should say there are no words.
These lyrics are delivered powerfully by Ben Kweller's simple singing. There is a kind of resigned understanding shown towards a mutually lost communication with a loved one. While Ben's lyrics are cryptic, Talib Kweli builds on this theme to discuss his fallout with Lauryn Hill and laments over how he wishes he could reestablish their relationship and metaphorically “pick up the load” for her. Both versions are definitely worth a listen.
Click here to hear Ms Hill otherwise, enjoy the original.
Download - In Other Words (control-click & save)
The Fugees - Fu-Gee-La (J. Period Remix Blend)
The Fugees made amazing music during the 90s. Fu-Gee-La was the first single from their highly successful sophomore album The Score which has gone on to be multi-platinum worldwide and is generally regarded as a classic in hip hop and a classic album in its on right.
The group disbanded after The Score and all three members launched successful solo careers, perhaps none so notable as Lauryn Hill. She remains to this day my favourite female emceee and vocalist. Her distinctive voice and vocal range give her an unmistakable presence that manages to draw in even casual listeners. You can’t help being blown away by the power behind her singing and the soulfulness found in her expression. It’s no wonder she married Rohan, one of Bob Marley’s sons. We can only hope their children release music when the time is right.
Back to the song now.
The group never sounded more at ease with one another than on Fu-Gee-La, of which there were several alternative versions and remixes made. My favourite mixtape DJ and producer J. Period handles the mashups and blends for this track. It was released a few years ago as The Best of Lauryn Hill Fire & Water, a double disc mixtape. The mixtape boasts 82 songs and covers the career of Lauryn Hill’s music including the singles, unreleased songs, exclusive remixes and interviews with the musician. I recommend you hunt down a copy if this is your kind of music. Enjoy!