Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Top 10 Richard X Songs

Top 10 Richard X Songs

by John Demetry

Get pumped for Pop! giants and gay icons Erasure’s The Violet Flame (due September 23). It’s their unexpected collaboration with notoriously picky genius producer Richard X.

Pet Shop Boys, you got served!

While the likes of Stuart Price chew straw, Richard X pours creamy smoothness over synths and guitars—carried along by the choo-choo chug of his beats. He bottles that sound on his remix of “I Feel Better” by Hot Chip.

It’s one of ten (ok, 11) tracks in the below selection. This list introduces listeners to the range—one song per artist—of Richard X’s distinctive noise, but also the unheralded revolution in his “black melodies.”

His work with male artists (Christophe Willem, Steve Mason, The Sound of Arrows, and Will Young) adds a new sound to the lexicon of masculine delicacy. Meanwhile, his partnerships with female artists (Sarah Cracknell-fronted Saint Etienne, Rachel Stevens, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and his muse Annie) balance diva self-consciousness with outsider yearning. Ellis-Bextor’s disco siren-call on the sublime “Starlight” sums it up: “We are one!”

Yet the full potential of this radical consciousness reveals itself in collaboration with pioneers. The gay political challenge—alternately an attestation to AIDS-era faith and a scary portent of repression—in Richard X and Pet Shop Boys’ “Fugitive” hits post-9/11 consciousness like the g-force of a plane in takeoff.

Dear Erasure and Richard X: Top that!

Top 10 Richard X Songs

3. “Starlight”—Sophie Ellis-Bextor

4. “Silent Valentine”—Will Young

5. “Longest Ever Dream”—The Sound of Arrows

6. “L’amour me gagne”—Christophe Willem

7. “Dj”—Saint Etienne

8. “Am I Just a Man” —Steve Mason

9. “Nothing in Common”—Rachel Stevens

10. “Mixed Emotions”—Annie

Bonus Track:
11. “Commotion”—Hundred in the Hands


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