SONG TITLE: I WANT YOUR HANDS ON ME
PERFORMER: SINEAD O'CONNOR
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1987
COMMENTS: Sinead fashioned the best dance track of her career with a unique funk sound. It has the syncopated rhythmic elements that would immediately be understood as "funk," but it sounds very little like James Brown, Parliament, Sly or Prince. She created a uniquely personal style.
She built the sound on a medium tempo groove, aggressive but slow enough to build up proper torque on the bottom end, give that bass room to swing. It makes for a good rutting rhythm. She whipped up a mix of live instruments, particularly those mean bursts of rhythm guitar, combined with more synthetic sounds. Everything is used sparingly, leaving some breathing room in the mix.
This leaves room for Ms. O'Connor's vocal, which is the main centerpiece. The prominence of the vocal is somewhat unusual for something so dance oriented. She has written an especially good actual tune to sing, and the raw power of her Irish soul style provides the most compelling rhythmic elements that bring it to fullness. "I want your...HA-ANDS on me...like a good ma-an." That weird leap to jump way up to hit that "good" blows my mind, and can just about make me blow a load.
The words are about sex, but the tune and the vocal performance are about a more spiritual union. This is no cheap 2 Live Crew rutting. Nor could Sinead be mistaken for some hack producers paint by number slutty dance diva. You won't find the Spice Girls or any of their ilk making even a lame attempt at this.
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