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Author Topic: Janelle MonŠe feat. Brian Wilson - Dirty Computer  (Read 5291 times)
Fro
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« on: April 26, 2018, 09:22:26 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFK6k-pvXmI

 3D

Officially out now
https://twitter.com/JanelleMonae/status/989714403867017216

« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 10:20:08 PM by Fro » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 01:05:23 AM »

Sounds good! Way to go Brian! Is that Matt on falsetto/high voice? On first listen I'd think it might be a couple of Brian's and a couple of Matt's
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:08:59 AM by Rocker » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 04:09:15 AM »

I really can't hear any Brian in this at all. Nice song though.
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Fro
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 04:16:39 AM »

Sounds good! Way to go Brian! Is that Matt on falsetto/high voice? On first listen I'd think it might be a couple of Brian's and a couple of Matt's

Wikipedia says (I'm assuming from the physical album credits) that it's Brian Wilson & Matt Jardine on that track.

Also says Brian contributed backing vocals to Take a Byte and you can barely hear him in the background at 3:50ish here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuWyu7ipsJ8

I really can't hear any Brian in this at all. Nice song though.

The "ohhhhs" especially in the bottom of the stack are obviously Brian.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 05:16:19 AM by Fro » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 05:08:10 AM »

Lovely song, great textures. Maybe it's because we know, but I hear Brian in there too.
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 06:21:42 AM »

Yes, the backing vocals are quite processed-sounding (which I think is probably justified for a song called "Dirty Computer"), and it does sound like a second voice like Matt is layered in there. But unlike some other past "guest" spots, I can *definitely* hear Brian's voice on this. It's quite prevalent. I can't imagine being familiar with his latter-day "vocal stack" sound and not being able to *easily* ID him on this.

I think Matt Jardine also does a much better job of blending *into* Brian's vocal stacks than Foskett (or Bennett, etc.) ever did. If Foskett had been on this, it would have sounded like a "wall of Fosketts." But here on Monae's track, Matt's high part sounds much more Brian-esque.

Also worth noting, and another reason I'm guessing the processing/autotune sound to the backing vocal stacks is a very specific stylistic choice is that Monae's voice *doesn't* sound heavily processed. It sounds surprisingly natural; you can actually hear the voice crack/break (although that's partly due to that style of singing), which I think is hugely refreshing.

The song itself is a nice little tune. It's short and does almost sound more like an opening prologue than a full song. But I'll be honest, if you made this a bit more rock/pop sounding in the *very general* framework of what Brian might do on his own albums, I'd frankly prefer a song like *this* to an album of Brian covering Little Richard and Buddy Holly.

I've never been one to overhype stuff like this and attack a ton of significance to the shocking idea of some young now-famous artist "allowing" an old fogey artist a bit of new exposure. But geez, it's pretty cool that this younger artist whose previous work doesn't exactly scream "much be a huge Beach Boys fan!" is into brining Brian in and prominently featuring him as a guest.

I'd have to scour previous Brian vocal guest spots from the last 20-30 years, but this might be one of the better Brian guest spots since his stack-o-vocals on that Anton Fig album from like 20 years ago.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 06:22:47 AM by HeyJude » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 06:59:52 AM »

Brian really needs to work with more super talented, relevant artists. This may be a small spot, but it's a lovely song and he sounds good on there. Still holding out hope that we'll get that Frank Ocean/Lana Del Rey collaborations in some shape or other.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 07:12:54 AM »

Sounds great!    Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 07:39:34 AM »

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/janelle-monae-talks-enlisting-brian-wilson-for-new-album-w519575

Quote from: Rolling Stone
Janelle MonŠe recruited stars from the worlds of indie (Grimes) and hip-hop (Pharrell) to contribute to her new album Dirty Computer. But the very first collaborator that appears on the LP is none other than Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

"Do you know how much of an honor it is to have him on [the title track]?" she tells Rolling Stone. "I am such a Beach Boys fan."

The MonŠe/Wilson summit is a sunny slice of cooled-out funk. Wilson's backing vocals kick in almost immediately: His voice is the second sound you hear on "Dirty Computer," singing high, dreamy, instantly recognizable harmonies. A rim-shot backbeat and limber bassline push the song gently forward. "If you love me, won't you please reply?" Monae implores. "Can't you see that it's only me, your dirty computer?"

MonŠe knew she wanted Wilson on Dirty Computer early in the album's creation process. "I was researching the Beach Boys, [and] I found out that the reason why their sound was so quiet, and their harmonies were blended but they were soft, was because they didn't want to wake up their parents," MonŠe explains. "They were secretly recording softly so they didn't disturb their parents, and I just thought that was so cool.

"[After making that discovery], there was nobody that I thought that could sing those backgrounds [on the song] but Brian Wilson," she adds. "I tracked him down and ... let him know what I was doing."

Wilson tells Rolling Stone, "I was thrilled she asked me to sing on her song." He calls MonŠe "a real talent," adding, "I love the melody on this track and the harmonies very much."
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 07:40:13 AM by Fro » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 07:59:16 AM »

Love it. So great to see Brian working with great new talents.
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 08:07:22 AM »

Nice song--actually one of the better ones on the somewhat disappointing album (said the Monae fan). I like the song and Wilson's part.
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 11:16:15 AM »

It definitely sticks in your head. I think the harmonies are great. Brian has a much greater presence on this track than Al and Matt had in that disappointing John Mayer track.  I don't quite get the title or the reference here, and I don't find anything special about Janelle's vocals.
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 11:18:25 AM »

Quote from: Rolling Stone
MonŠe knew she wanted Wilson on Dirty Computer early in the album's creation process. "I was researching the Beach Boys, [and] I found out that the reason why their sound was so quiet, and their harmonies were blended but they were soft, was because they didn't want to wake up their parents," MonŠe explains. "They were secretly recording softly so they didn't disturb their parents, and I just thought that was so cool.

Why were their parents sleeping at Columbia studios?
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2018, 12:14:58 PM »

Yeah, it kinda sounds like she Googled the Beach Boys and found some random story that kinda doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm also not sure "soft" or "quiet" is the precise word I'd use to describe the group vocal stack sound they achieved over their career.

But guess what?

She called Brian Wilson up and got him to sing on her record. How many people here can call him up and have him sing on their song? And she probably even did it without putting some free cheese pizza in the break room for the session.

But yeah, how many people of that age doing that type of music profess to be a "big Beach Boys fan" and *ACTIVELY SEEK OUT* Brian Wilson (as opposed to someone's manager broaching the subject, etc.) to record with? I'll forgive the wonky "story" about not waking Murry up.
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2018, 02:07:06 PM »

Quote from: Rolling Stone
MonŠe knew she wanted Wilson on Dirty Computer early in the album's creation process. "I was researching the Beach Boys, [and] I found out that the reason why their sound was so quiet, and their harmonies were blended but they were soft, was because they didn't want to wake up their parents," MonŠe explains. "They were secretly recording softly so they didn't disturb their parents, and I just thought that was so cool.

Why were their parents sleeping at Columbia studios?

The only way there is any validity to the story is if you don't think of it as when they were recording, but they probably did practice late at night quietly.
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2018, 11:17:13 AM »

I watched a segment on CBS Sunday Morning today on Janelle and it was fascinating. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/this-week-on-sunday-morning-april-29/

 I'm thrilled that Brian and Matt sound so great on this song.  She knew what she was doing.  Never mind that she grew up a few miles away from me - She was in a tougher part of town (and much later!) and I was in the suburbs - but my Dad taught me to love Kansas City's music scene and she's blended that energy with the heavenly sound of Brian amazingly.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 11:23:27 AM by Debbie KL » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2018, 11:45:08 AM »

I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2018, 01:44:57 PM »

I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.
I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.

Amen!!!
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« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2018, 01:59:44 PM »

It's not about facts, it's just an incoherent sentence. Maybe it's a misquote.
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2018, 02:00:13 PM »

I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.
I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.

Amen!!!

It's amazing that a young musical artist from a different culture gets it about Brian's power (that great healing music).  I love the recording.  As the Dalai Lama said, "All religion is just about love and compassion."  Brian knows how to make that compelling sound that's irresistible.
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« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2018, 02:43:17 PM »

It's lovely. I mostly hear Matt, but I can definitely also hear Brian. I do wish Matt was listed on the YouTube, so listeners would know about him.

Any mention anywhere of who arranged the vocals? Was it a case where Brian was sent a recording and asked to arrange/sing the harmonies, or did Janelle arrange and tell Brian and Matt what to sing?
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2018, 05:37:10 AM »

It definitely sticks in your head. I think the harmonies are great. Brian has a much greater presence on this track than Al and Matt had in that disappointing John Mayer track.  I don't quite get the title or the reference here, and I don't find anything special about Janelle's vocals.

For context, Monae's last two albums and an EP were concept albums with her protraying an android robot name Cindi Mayweather

Or you could watch the first couple minutes of the film she made to go along with the album and it explains it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdH2Sy-BlNE

I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.
I remember reading something many years ago where Brian was talking about how special "In My Room" was. He said he taught Dennis and Carl the song "Ivory Tower," and they would sing it softly in three-part harmony in their room after Murry would get angry and violent. It would bring them comfort.

Maybe that's what she was referring to, and said "recording" by mistake.

A young, popular artist admires Brian's work and asked him to appear on her album. We don't have to go all Andrew G. Doe on her if her facts aren't 100 percent correct.

Amen!!!

It's amazing that a young musical artist from a different culture gets it about Brian's power (that great healing music).  I love the recording.  As the Dalai Lama said, "All religion is just about love and compassion."  Brian knows how to make that compelling sound that's irresistible.

Monae's a real student of music/film history, so that's not surprising.  You can find influences in her work from the 1920s all the way to modern (and things in-between like James Brown, Beach Boys, John Barry's film scores, Prince, MJ, Stevie Wonder, etc).
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 05:48:12 AM by Fro » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2018, 06:16:32 AM »


For context, Monae's last two albums and an EP were concept albums with her protraying an android robot name Cindi Mayweather

Or you could watch the first couple minutes of the film she made to go along with the album and it explains it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdH2Sy-BlNE


Here's the song credits, taken from that video:

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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2018, 07:05:33 AM »

Sounds like a BW arrangement to me, especially those bass vocal bits.
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« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2018, 08:17:26 AM »

Harmonies that have that texture are Brian's calling card. Janelle gets it, and I mean beyond the notes themselves. There is an overall texture that Brian owns when he does harmony vocals.

What I really liked about this was how Janelle sees those harmonies on another level beyond the simple practice of stacking vocals. She saw the texture, the mood, the whole vibe that exists on all those harmony parts Brian had done his whole career. That aspect of singing quietly, it adds that unique texture that musicians like Janelle picked up on which is something an artist with very good ears and sensibilities would hear and gravitate toward.

I got a vibe similar to "The Lonely Sea" or "In My Room" on this new track Dirty Computer. You hear both of those tracks, from 62-63, and there is that kind of sensitive, almost reverent vocal harmony sound that is unlike a lot of groups or artists who stacked vocals. I call it the X Factor, that element which sets them apart. And it sounds like Janelle may have had Lonely Sea or In My Room in mind with her title track because they share similar chord movements and overall moods...and who better to call in than the architect of those original sounds.
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