Five Grammy™ Songs of the Year from the ’90s

February 2, 2010

Last Sunday, the 52nd Grammy™ Awards for the new decade was viewed by millions across the globe. Music can be considered as a universal language – it speaks in different tongues and touches diverse hearts.

I chose to focus on the Song of the Year winners because of its appeal and broad range of music genres. In some cases, the SOTY was not related to the Record or Album of the Year which makes the awards so appealing and eclectic. What’s interesting is that 5 out of the 10 songs were themes from a movie. So today’s simply five is both movie and song related. How awesome is that?

You may ask – why the 90’s? Honestly, I wasn’t paying much attention to the pageantry of the yearly music shindig til then. But I assure you, there will be other decades to come.

1. Change the World (Songwriters – Eric Clapton & Will Jennings, Artists – Eric Clapton, Wynonna) SOTY 1996

A song of unrequited love mixed with grand riffs and chords from Clapton himself. Chosen as the theme to the movie, Phenomenon (1996), the song promises grandiose offerings of love and passion, settling the daydreams of those of us who have loved and were never loved back.

2. A Whole New World (Songwriters – Alan Menken & Tim Rice, Artists – Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle) SOTY 1993

Another song linked to a movie, this enchanting composition was the theme to Disney’s Aladdin (1992). The lyrics are remarkably in sync with the movie’s visual cues (magic carpet ride, princess) but can stand on its own successfully.

3. Kiss from a Rose  (Songwriter/Artist – Seal) SOTY 1995

Seal’s artistry is very reflective of this song – it’s filled with prose and creative symbolism. It doesn’t refer to the components of love in a “mass-appeal” imagery, but uses ingenious metaphors. As the main movie theme from Batman Forever (1995), this song is captivating and evocative of the film’s emotion.

4. Streets of Philadelphia (Songwriter/Artist – Bruce Springsteen) SOTY 1994

The humanistic tone of this song is outstanding and no artist can pull it off better than The Boss. Written as the theme to Philadelphia (1993), this song is very simple in its melody, voice and harmony but rich in captive voice and poignant poetic style.

5. My Heart Will Go On (Songwriters – James Horner & Will Jennings, Artist – Celine Dione) SOTY 1998

If you don’t know this song – get out of the rock from where you were in 1998. There has been many articles, comments and reviews about this song, that I seriously cannot possibly add anything else. It’s powerful, most reflective of Celine Dion’s vocal variety and prowess. Scored as the “love theme” from the blockbuster movie, Titanic (1997), this song reverberates on a global scale and epic success.

Five Things overheard at the iPad introduction

January 27, 2010

Because Letterman will come up with it soon, I better get a head start. Techno-slaves are salivating over this new gadget. I, on the other hand, am on the Notify Me list only for pure research. Plus, my iPhone gets lonely sometimes and my iPod refuses to respond to my Touch.😀

1- “But wait…there’s more!”
2- “Great! Now all we need is to come up with the iPed, iPid and iPud!”
3- “Now available in your pharmacy’s sanitary aisle.”
4- “No more fat fingers!”
5- “It comes with a free Snuggie.”

Five Award-Winning Movies

January 26, 2010

Movies bring us to certain realities that only imagination can limit. It brings art to life and life to art, and somewhere between, we get caught in the middle. For my first simply five movies, I am listing those movies that I can watch over and over and over and over again. And just to be clear, my five is in no particular order of favoritism; it’s what’s coming to mind as of this moment.

1 – The Godfather I (1972) If I am nonchalantly flipping through channels at any given time of day and I happen to view a millisecond of this movie…it’s going to stay there. The Godfather I is everything: drama, suspense, action and even a little bit of comedy (“Leave the gun, take the cannoli”). In addition to being one of the most popular films of all time, it’s also the one most quoted. The depth of characters is amazing, with realism that takes the viewer to a higher level of mixed and raw emotions. Although this film stretches over 35 years strong, the plot remains as intricate as the chords of its theme song. Highly recommended!

2 – The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Despite this movie’s blood and gore, moviegoers realize that in the end, it’s the complications of the human psyche that answers the questions of why, what, who and how. There have been other serial killer movies around prior to this one (note to self – list simply five serial killer movies), Buffalo Bill remains sick and sinister – juxtaposed to Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Jodie Foster’s character, Clarice Starling (aptly pronounced as klah-reessssse) brings balance to this dark world of what humans do best (and worst) to one another…destroy life.

3 – The Departed (2006) Okay, you caught me. I am a big fan of mobster flicks. But this movie brings a different layer to mafia-related plots: a conscience. The director, Martin Scorsese (who also won an Academy Award the same year) involves the audience by revealing the identities of both sides of the story. The audience play witness to the inner struggles of Billy Costigan and Colin Sullivan (Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, respectively) and the roles they unknowingly play in each other’s lives. Many do not know that this film was an adaptation of a Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs. Perhaps, I can find that title on Netflix.

4 – Gladiator (2000) What an epic film of love, betrayal and power. There was no doubt that this film would win the Academy Award for Best Picture, even though the other four were phenomenal at their own right. The plot is incredible – one man’s struggle against an empire. And to prove this movie’s great prowess, watch the film and let’s chat about how you hate Joaquin Phoenix (okay, his character, Commodus, not the actor himself).

5 – Forrest Gump (1994) If you love American History, then this movie is for you! This film brings the audience to the highlights of our modern society through the eyes (and legs) of a simple man, Forrest (Run!) Many questions were answered by this film: who invented the smiley, where Elvis got his famous gyrating hips and the thousands of ways that we can cook shrimp. Although quite honestly, I still don’t know what stupid is (perhaps as stupid does).

Welcome to Simply Five!

January 26, 2010

I am random.

Why Simply Five? Because “Give Me 5” and “Take 5” was taken (nervous laugh ensues). In reality, I want to make things simple and five seems to be a fitting number to list random thingamajigs, whatsits and stuff. My purpose here, my dear reader, is to take the painstaking task of listing anything and everything that pops in this little head of mine. Honestly, there’s too much up in there and to make like Homer Simpson, “The new stuff is pushing the old stuff away.”

Sad, but true.

Anyway, I hope that my blog would find its way to the part of your brain where it stores random thoughts. Feel free to chime in!