Q:Today our office has been listening to sappy Nouvelle Vague-style covers. Slowing down music never seems like a good idea to me unless it's going to be sped up again later - what do you think?
There was a time not long ago when I’d have agreed with you, and I still get restless during poky ballads. But then I realized that my favorite album this year is Jessie Ware’s adult-contemporary Devotion, where the proceedings never get more than gently flustered. Then, too, I’ve heard too many Grebt Artists slow things down and make them even more powerful — I’m thinking of things like the eternally-delayed ends of lines on Aretha Frankline’s Amazing Grace — to be comfortable making a blanket dismissal.
Sap is a whole nother thing, of course, and easy-listening arrangements, even my beloved bossa nova, are mostly dumb. On the other hand, I’ll go to my grave saying that the José Feliciano version of “Light My Fire” is better than the Doors’.