Not Twice but Once
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


The Jewels - "Opportunity"

Nothing since Einstein invented electricity has been better for the world than Rick Danko's verse in "The Weight." It's not that Danko sings the song better than Levon Helm, but that he feels the music so deeply and so viscerally that he is compelled to cut Levon off in order to rudely interject his anecdote about "crazy Chester." Similarly, The Jewels trade lead vocals at intervals determined, it seems, by each, in turn, being overcome by an urge to siiiiiing. The soul is catching; more catching, even, than influenza or Thurman Munson.

In "Opportunity," The Jewels extol the virtues of Robin Williams's personal philosophy: carpe diem. They urge us to be prepared to act the moment that opportunity strikes, since it's not likely to strike twice. The Jewels - i.e. a diamond, an emerald, Jewel, and a big fat sapphire - lead by example: when given the opportunity to work with material as good as "Opportunity," they do not squander their good luck. Instead they apply the profound minimalism of a Smokey Robinson arrangement to a melody that needs no instrumental help.

Better and more hand-clappy than all of Jewel's subsequent solo work. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at January 23, 2007 6:38 PM

I'm no musician, but playing drums and singing seems harder than playing bass and singing, and so I have to give some extra points to Levon. Just a thought.

Posted by Neale at January 24, 2007 3:53 PM

Actually, Levon once said (I'm paraphrasing) that, in his view, drumming and singing easier, because you have such control over the rhythm and where the melody will fall, slide, skip, bump. One thing is certain: few make it look as easy as either Levon or Rick. (And Richard. And Garth. Robbie made you know it took a lot of work.)

Posted by Tyler at January 24, 2007 6:50 PM

*drumming and singer is easier

Posted by Tyler at January 24, 2007 6:51 PM

Robin Williams and i agree about two things; this is one.

Posted by Gene Hackman at January 25, 2007 12:52 AM

So I don't believe Einstein invented electricity...perhaps one Thomas Edison? And the trading of lead singing in this song reminds me of hymn singing where folks do the same when they feel an urge from spirit.

Posted by none at January 27, 2007 3:39 PM

Since electricity is a form of energy, Einstein invented electricity when he published E=MCsquared (this assumption is going by the USPTO logic that if you discover what makes something work, like a gene sequence, you've actually created what you've discovered and hence own it). I'm just glad Einstein didn't file a patent, because I like sending electrons sprinting off down wires to request (and return) mp3s from weblogs and eMusic and so forth.

Or, I don't know. I thought Jordan was using poetic license?

Posted by Tuwa at January 27, 2007 5:29 PM

Oh, and I like this track a lot.

Posted by Tuwa at January 27, 2007 5:34 PM

Not that I know much about the history of electricity, but if I had seriously wanted to discuss the provenance of the relationship between people and electricity, I would have begun with what I understand was Benjamin Franklin's discovery (not invention) of the phenom. Alas, I was too busy making a considerably less than hilarious joke about Einstein. Tuwa, I appreciate your creative defense of my claim; and, more to the point, your own appreciation of this fine track.

Posted by Jordan at January 27, 2007 7:21 PM

Can someone please just talk about the fabulous song the jewels(?) have crafted? Who are they? Do they have a web presence?

Posted by Matthew Lee at February 6, 2007 9:27 PM

Dude, I thought Muddy Waters invented electricity.

And Robin Williams? carpe de-LAME.

I'd guess there's more about the Jewels in that girl-group box set, which I'm about to order!

Also: check out The Rayons!!!


Posted by Dan at February 7, 2007 9:22 AM

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