Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Defense of the Mash-up

Last night I discovered this article regarding genre hype in the past decade. It's a hilarious look back, I'd highly suggest giving it a read. Anyway, one of the genres it lambasted was mash-ups, which I have long been a fan of, so I decided to write a post in their defense. To be clear, there's a lot of really bad mash-ups out there, it takes true talent to make a good mash-up, but it's really cool when done right. Unfortunately, this isn't terribly common. I've sorted through literally thousands of mash-ups in search of good ones, and ended up with a playlist of 28 songs. But those 28 are awesome.

Some ingeniously thread two songs together, like "I Got More Than a Feeling", a mash-up of the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" and Boston's "More Than a Feeling". It is truly the best last dance of the night song out there. It's got all the nostalgia and emotion of the original Boston song, but with the beat and catchieness of the Black Eyed Peas. Another fantastic one in this category is "Somebody Told Me To Feel Good" (The Killers vs. Gorillaz). The two songs trade verses over a background formed by a melding of the two. I love it far more than either of the original songs, which to me is the sign of a truly great mash-up.

Some just lay the vocals from one song over the instrumentals of another, and sometimes thats all it takes. "Papa Was a Clock" lays the vocals of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" (The Temptations) over the piano riff and ambiance of "Clocks" (Coldplay). Again, better than either of the originals.

They're a bit hard to find, but good mash-ups exist out there, and man are they worth the look.

I Got More Than a Feeling - Boston vs. Black Eyed Peas
Somebody Told Me To Feel Good - Gorillaz vs. The Killers
Papa Was a Clock - Temptations vs. Coldplay

A post I made back before the blog was really a blog, has links to some more great mash-ups.

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