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Seu Jorge - The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions


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Seu Jorge

"The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions"

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November 22, 2005

all songs written by David Bowie, except for "Team Zissou"

1 Rebel Rebel

2 Life on Mars?

3 Starman

4 Ziggy Stardust

5 Lady Stardust

6 Changes Bowie

7 Oh! You Pretty Things

8 Rock N' Roll Suicide

9 Suffragette City

10 Five Years

11 Queen Bitch

12 When I Live My Dream

13 Quicksand

14 Team Zissou

"The Life Aquatic" is a movie starring Bill Murray as some sort of famous oceanographer, who is trying to track down and kill a shark that ate his friend. Owen Wilson is in it too. Most of it consists of Bill Murray trying to force some sort of minimalist awkwardness that seems to be really popular in the hipper part of Hollywood today. I don't remember if they ever caught the shark or not. All I could focus on was the amazing soundtrack. The soundtrack is by a Brazillian pop artist named Seu Jorge. Jorge plays a crew member of Bill Murray's ship, who plays David Bowie songs on his acoustic guitar, sung in Portugese, the native language of Brazil. I don't think I'm the only person who thought that Seu Jorge completely stole the show. That's got to be kind of embarrassing for Owen Wilson and Bill Murray. You've got one of today's hottest comedians, and a living legend in comedy and acting, and then some guy from Brazil that hardly anyone in America has even heard of comes into the movie with nothing but an acoustic guitar, and is more memorable than the movie itself.

That's got to say something about this album, which is all David Bowie songs (except the last one) which were featured in the movie, played by Jorge on the acoustic guitar. Now, there are 2 reasons you should listen to this album. The first reason is that David Bowie is an amazing songwriter. However, sometimes in his early music, Bowie's songwriting took a backseat to the glam of his songs. Everything in his early music was so over the top. Jorge strips Bowie's songs down to their roots. You can't focus on the lyrics, unless you speak Portugese. There is nothing hiding Bowie's amazing songwriting. Never before was it so easy to hear the beauty in "Rebel Rebel" or "Ziggy Stardust." Without anything electric, you can hear the classic Bowie songs for what they really are. Already beautiful songs such as "Life on Mars?" and "Changes" actually leave an emotional impact on the listener, which is incredibly rare in a "tribute" album.

However, it's hard to call this a "tribute" album, as Jorge really makes these Bowie songs his own. This brings me to the 2nd reason you should listen to this album. The music on this album is sweet and summertimey. Listening to this album really relaxes you. It makes you feel good. No matter where you are, you can listen to this album and you'll feel like you are lying on a towel at the beach, sipping a cool drink with a little umbrella in it. There is a certain freshness to Jorge's guitar playing, making it the perfect album to listen to on the grass on a sunny day. Jorge's voice is like a warm breeze, which accompanies a rainy day quite well. As you can see, every time is the right time for Seu Jorge. For this summer's playlist, replace some of your Jack Johnson songs with Seu Jorge songs.

What you may be thinking now is "this is just a stupid gimmick." And I won't lie to you; the first time I heard a Seu Jorge/David Bowie song, I thought it was kind of funny and interesting, and nothing else. Once you get past the inital funniness of hearing David Bowie in a different language, the thought of this album being a gimmick never again crosses your mind. In fact, it only crossed my mind because I was trying to think if there are any negatives about this album. Well, looks like that's the only negative, and since it wears off after the first song...it's hardly even a negative. Once you get past that miniscule, uptight negative, you'll float away to a sunny island, not to come back until the CD is over.

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