I don’t normally post about shows like The Voice, but trilby-wearing, elf-faced Josh Kaufman blew me away last night. And, no, he’s not hot. He’s just good.
A few notes into George Michael’s “One More Try,” Adam Levine turned his big red chair around in approval. Indiana native Josh was already nailing it. The truth is it’s hard for me to think of any song off that 1988 Faith cassette without picturing the former Wham! frontman in his ripped jeans and scruffy five o’clock shadow, shaking his rump and pretending to be into Asian women. It’s often hard to separate the artist from the song.
It’s kind of like how every December, the radio stations and department stores put George Michael’s “Last Christmas” on high rotation, and I can’t enjoy it as a holiday song, because I keep picturing him in public toilets, soliciting sex from policemen and being foolish enough to get caught. Kind of ruins the whole Christmas spirit.
So for Josh Kaufman to be able to belt the song out in a new and soulful way, devoid of all that Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou baggage, was refreshing. Once you’re sick of a song, you’re usually sick of it forever. I’m talking to you, “Red Red Wine.” But Josh infused this ballad with new life.
As he continued to sing it, I feared he wouldn’t be able to hit the money note, “Hold you, touch YOU-OOOOO,” but he did. In spades.
Adam Levine’s comment to Josh once he finished: “Damn.”
Today we delve into the bowels of one of my former teen mag subscriptions, “Star Hits,” for the 4th Annual Readers’ Poll Results. The cover reveals the top stars of April 1988. Check out who’s included in the Most Promising New Acts.
Duran Squared’s own John Taylor topped the list of most desirables, with those pouty lips and bedroom eyes.
George Michael’s video was voted the 4th best video of 1987. As it turned out, the limelit half of Wham! (Bam, thank you, Sir, may I have another?) actually did NOT want pretty Asian model’s sex. Not remotely. Not even in a filthy public restroom with e-coli-covered stalls.
The lyrics should have given us a clue:
There’s things that you guess and things that you know There’s boys that you can trust and girls that you don’t
Girls are untrustworthy, huh? Perhaps that should have been included on the Bummer of the Year. Michael Jackson’s comeback was determined to be the biggest bummer. And Iran/Contra was number four??
But the most interesting reads are what the stars themselves chose. Siouxsie Sioux’s most desirable pick was Yul Brynner. The King and I? At least she didn’t have the nerve to list herself, as Andy Fletcher did.
And note the difference in tone maturity level between the choices of former GoGo’s singer Belinda Carlisle and the Beastie Boys (R.I.P. MCA).
Who knew Belinda was so mad about Fred Astaire, and so rocked by the PTL scandal?(R.I.P. Tammy Faye Bakker.) And The Beastie Boys chose Sssss-Samantha Fox as the BEST female singer? Is that because she sang from her diaphragm so well? I won’t hate on her; naughty girls need love, too.