This album from Oral Roberts takes on a whole new meaning these days.
Oral Roberts, for those of you who don't remember, is the televangelist who insisted in 1980 that he'd seen a vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus Christ and, then in 1987, said that God told him if he didn't raise $8 million dollars in a couple months, God would "call him home." (Oral Roberts apparently sees God as an intimidating double threat -- a 900-foot-tall shot-blocker on the court and a bossy motivating coach off it. No wonder Oral Roberts University made it to March Madness this year.)
Needless to say, wacky televangelist Oral Roberts's insistence that "We are Partners" and belief that we've "joined in a Blessing-Pact" sounds a little suspicious these days. I doubt you'd see a leader of the Religious Right making such double-entendres today, what with the heated debates over gay marriage. Well, maybe Ted Haggard.
Speaking of holy unions, it's time for the FRT. Man, I wish I had some MC 900 Ft Jesus on my iPod, because you know it would make a command appearance here.
1. Notorious B.I.G., "Party and Bullshit (Ratatat Remix)" -- There are very few artists who are capable of remixing a hiphop hit in a way that makes it sound like their new version was actually the original vision. Ratatat is one of them. They've added some fuzzed out guitars and a killer hook to Big Poppa's vocals. Highly recommended. 10/10
2. The Detroit Cobras, "Cry On" -- The Cobras are a nice throwback to the old Motown sound with just enough modern sauciness thrown in to make a difference. They're sort of the R&B analogue of Rev. Horton Heat. I normally like the cut of their jib, but this is a somewhat mediocre effort. 6/10
3. Gnarls Barkley, "Transformer" -- I really like half of this album, but the other half (which includes this tune) is just a little too precociously busy for my tastes. This song sounds like what you'd get if Pee Wee Herman produced an Outkast CD. 4/10
4. William Shatner, "Common People" -- I think I enjoyed the William Shatner Experience back when he wasn't in on the joke with us. To his credit, he's made peace with the world of campy, self-mocking -- see also West, Adam -- but the music just doesn't do it for me when it doesn't seem sincere. Eh. 5/10
5. Rufus and Chaka Khan, "You Got the Love" -- Damn straight. This may be my favorite Rufus tune, slightly edging out the funkier but slower "Tell Me Something Good." Whatever. It's musical gold, Jerry. Gold! 10/10
6. The Roots with Common, "Love of My Life (live)" -- The slow opening of this song is absolutely fantastic, especially the ways in which they slowly creep the organ and drum into the vocals. It's like a goddamn ninja, I tells ya! One of the two times I've liked the live release of a song better than the original album version. (The other, since you're dying to know, is Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong.") 9/10
7. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Someday Never Comes" -- Lordy, do I loves me some CCR. 8/10
8. The Beanuts, "Muchachacha" -- I suppose the greatest fame of the Beatnuts is that J.Lo shamelessly stole the beats from their excellent "Watch Out Now" for her crappy "Jenny from the Block." This is an equally funky tune from the same album (theirs, not J.Lo's) and it's got some saucy lyrics. "Taste dick when you're kissin' your girl? / You should, 'cause she swallows more nut than a squirrel." I believe they're up for the Gloria Steinhem Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's NOW Convention. 8/10
9. Dead Prez, "Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)" -- I have a soft spot for this song, merely because the third verse was lifted and used brilliantly in a Diplo remix of TV on the Radio's "Staring at the Sun." The original version is pretty sweet, except for the lame-ass chorus. (There's a reason Diplo only stole the verse.) Good, but not great. 6/10
10. Broken Social Scene, "Handjobs for the Holidays" -- How can you not love a song with a heart-warming title like that? Nice catchy indie pop from a band that's quickly ingratiating its way into my heart. 8/10
Alright, that gives me a 7.4 average. I had it all this week -- the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles -- and yet somehow balanced out with my Coolness Tank at nearly three-quarters full. I'll take it.
Let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRT in the comments below, or else free associate with my own selections and/or ratings. Surely, we've got at least one Shatner apologist in the house, right?