TIME TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS OF THE 2010 PENGUIN AWARDS. While this year has been the most difficult due to the extreme mediocrity of the music scene at the moment, I have managed to scrape together several winners.
SONG OF THE YEAR:
GONE TO SHILOH by Elton John & Leon Russell featuring Neil Young
ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
GENUINE NEGRO JIG by Carolina Chocolate Drops
DUET OF THE YEAR:
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER by Mary J. Blige & Andrea Boccelli
COVER SONG OF THE YEAR:
WHOLE LOTTA LOVE by Mary J. Blige
The song of the year GONE TO SHILOH was indeed a very haunting one and received a couple reader votes. However, the simple fact is that it won because there really wasn't anything good enough to top it. The album of the year was a different story as Carolina Chocolate Drops' GENUINE NEGRO JIG was far and away the most listened to album in my player owing to the rich variety of song choices and virtuoso performances. Runner-up was probably Broken Bells then V.V. Brown followed closely by Melody Gardot and Sade. Duet of the Year BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER won by virtue of a goosebump-raising vocal performance. However, the cover song of the year winner WHOLE LOTTA LOVE was truly the surprise. Mary's "Stairway To Heaven" was the one she performed all over the place and the one which got all the press. However the "b-side" of the single was this version of WHOLE LOTTA LOVE which fulfills one of my cardinal rules concerning covers: it should bring something new to the table. . .and this one did. Now, I love Led Zeppelin and always have -- but WHOLE LOTTA LOVE has never been one of my favourites. In fact, I usually skip past it if it's on the radio and I don't even have it in my ipod. Mary J. Blige's version whips it up into a whole new groove which brings the grossly overplayed song new life. It's quite a feat when you make a cover version which is better than the original -- and this one frankly is in my opinion. This is the only version I'll be listening to. So there youse has it: the somewhat underwhelming 2010 Penguin Awards. Click this link to hear a sampling of them. Let's hope next year we find some artists getting off their duffs and concocting some REALLY GOOD MUSIC! I can't take another year like this one!