Monday, March 07, 2011

Strange Condition

Song: Strange Condition
Artist: Morgan Page
Album: Believe

Last week I took an extended weekend and escaped the snow and oppressive winter of the Northeast for some fun and sun in Ft. Lauderdale.  I tend to keep my ear to the speakers wherever I go to see if anything jumps out at me, and while this trip wasn't very fruitful in that regard... I did hear one song that stopped me in my tracks.

I stayed at a very nice guesthouse and one lazy day at the pool I was drying off so I could grab something from my room when a song being played through some satellite radio grabbed me.  I knew the lyrics... but was thrown by the house beat and female vocals for a while.  But then it hit me... is this a house cover of Pete Yorn's "Strange Condition?"  It was.

As I am who I am, I wasted no time and looked up the song to find out who it was immediately in my room.  To my surprise it was from a remixer that I'm a fan of, L.A.-based DJ Morgan Page.  A couple years back I'd gotten a remix compilation by him called 'Cease & Desist' which included very cool mild-house takes on Coldplay's "White Shadows," Tegan & Sara's "Walking with the Ghost," and Bowie's "New Killer Star."  I also really dug his mix of Stevie Nick's "Stand Back" which was released in 2007 and became a pretty big club hit.

Pete Yorn, the Springsteen-esque singer-songwriter captured my heart with the release of his excellent debut album, 2001's "Musicforthemorningafter," in which the original "Strange Condition" can be found.  After a so-so follow up, Yorn went off the deep end and has released album after album of increasingly boring material.  Pretty sad.

So it was with some surprise to hear such a great song done in a different way, it totally put a smile on my face.  It turns out that the song, and the Page album it's from, "Believe" is now a year old. (Keeping it fresh here!)  And "Strange Condition" was the second single form the album, released in January of last year.  How have I not heard this?  Giving "Believe" a listen, I was struck by how concise the album was.  As I've only heard remixes in the past, it was nice to hear how the man put together a full album, and this is his second, after 2008's "Elevate."

"Believe" is filled with a handful of female vocalist including Samantha James, Natalie Walker, Jan Burton, Angela McCluskey, and Elisabeth Maurus (aka Lissie) whom Page had his biggest hit with, "The Longest Road" (Who's Deadmau5 remix was nominated for a Grammy.)  Maurus' songs really seem to connect the best with his sound, but I did also really dig McCluskey's assisted "Tell Me Why."  The album itself is more middle-of-the-road house that's actually perfect for pool-side listening.  Haha.


Strange Condition

Tell Me Why

The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Remix)

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