Song of the Day #2,321: ‘Riptide’ – Team Gwen

voice_team_gwenMy family took a few years off from watching The Voice but picked it back up this season. I like singing competitions for two reasons: the judges and the chance to hear new songs or interesting takes on songs I already like.

One reason I never watched American Idol (is it still on? I’m not sure) is my complete lack of interest in Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. The parade of weirdos they brought into to replace the departing judges never piqued my interest either.

In contrast, The Sing-Off has offered up the brilliant musical savant Ben Folds, along with the endearing Shawn Stockman and refreshing Sara Bareilles (later replaced by the equally appealing Jewel).

Oddly, The Sing-Off, a show dedicated to a capella groups, has produced the closest thing to a bona fide reality show star act since the early days of Idol in Pentatonix.

The Voice, through six seasons, has yet to develop a true star. But that’s not why people watch it. We watch for the Adam Levine-Blake Shelton bromance, the healthy competition between the teams, the novelty of the blind auditions. The show isn’t about producing a new musical sensation, it’s primarily an entertainment in itself.

And as Levine has pointed out, if this national exposure helps each contestant’s musical career along to the point that they can make a living performing at some level, they’ve more than fulfilled their mission.

This year Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani filled the middle seats alternately occupied by Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Usher (the “blond woman and black guy” roles, if you will). Both are encouraging and entertaining in the way a Voice judge needs to be — softie music critics crossed with self-empowerment speakers.

Stefani has fared the worst as an actual coach. As I write this, her team is down to two members but one of them (Ryan Sill) has survived only through an audience save two weeks in a row. Her best singer, Taylor John Williams, is an Emo Phillips lookalike who has his moments but seems destined for semi-finalist status.

This week I’ll feature five performances from this season of The Voice, starting with this rendition of Vance Joy’s ‘Riptide’ by Team Gwen. I’d never heard this song before seeing this performance, and it has since become a favorite in my house.

[Verse 1]
I was scared of dentists and the dark
I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations
Oh, all my friends are turning green
You’re the magician’s assistant in their dreams

Oh, and they come unstuck

[Chorus]
Lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you’re singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat cause
You’re gonna sing the words wrong

[Verse 2]
There’s this movie that I think you’ll like
This guy decides to quit his job and heads to New York City
This cowboy’s running from himself
And she’s been living on the highest shelf

Oh, and they come unstuck

[Chorus]

I just wanna, I just wanna know
If you’re gonna, if you’re gonna stay
I just gotta, I just gotta know
I can’t have it, I can’t have it any other way
I swear she’s destined for the screen
Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you’ve ever seen, oh

[Hook] x2

Oh lady, running down to the riptide
Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you’re singing that song and
I got a lump in my throat cause
You’re gonna sing the words wrong
I got a lump in my throat cause you’re gonna sing the words wrong

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,321: ‘Riptide’ – Team Gwen

  1. Dana says:

    Well, since we have been and remain Voice loyalists, I am looking forward to this week.

    I have no idea if this show will ever really produce a star, but I become increasingly amused whenever one of the judges tells a departing contestant that they’ve already made it no matter where they finish. More honestly, they should say you’ve already not made it no matter where you finish😄

    Anyway, my money is on tattoo neck Matt to win.😃

  2. Clay says:

    I guess it depends on the definition of “made it.”

  3. Amy says:

    Great theme week (weeks? I’d love to see some best of from previous seasons!) – I agree that the show is entertaining for all the reasons you mention and that these aspiring singers have achieved more exposure from this show than they ever would have in any conventional way.

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I have personally found that the choices they’ve done for the group songs have been really bad. This was actually one of the only choices I enjoyed. It’s a very good seasons, but they all have very different voices and getting them to sing a song together and have it sound good has been a challenge. Regardless, I love the theme and look forward to all the performances you will post here. 🙂

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