5×5, Part 2: Collaborations

5x5, Part 2 - Collaborations

We already have songs covered, and doing favorite albums on Day 2 of a 5-part feature would be like Skynyrd playing “Sweet Home Alabama” at the beginning of the concert… so how’s about collaborations? Yeah? Let’s do it! Here are the 5 momentary musical marriages I enjoyed most in 2012.

The Very Best and K’naan


“We OK” gets points for making serious subject matter danceable, for bringing together talents from two East-African nations, and for championing the general subject matter of togetherness, with lyrics like “As long as I’ve got you here with me/We OK” and “If by chance all the stars should fall/You the first person I would call.”

The Very Best (feat. K’naan) — “We OK” [Spotify/iTunes]

Read more about The Very Best here, here and here and K’naan here.

Fiona Apple and her sister

The Idler Wheel

Did you hear about this? “Hot Knife,” the last track on Apple’s fantastic new album, features vocals from her sister, who, the Internet tells me, is a cabaret singer. According to an interview with NPR, Apple and her sister sang the song into a single mic while looking into each other’s eyes, an experience Apple called “a soul picnic.” How cool is that? Oh, and there’s no looping involved, a fact that boggles the mind when you listen to the song.

Fiona Apple — “Hot Knife” [Spotify/iTunes]

Read more about Fiona Apple here and here.

The Philip Glass flash mob

Where “Hot Knife” gets points for the close relationship between the pair of collaborators, the Philip Glass flash mob is exceptional for exactly the opposite reason. A gaggle (that’s the scientific term) of classically trained singers volunteered to learn their parts online and show up in Times Square on June 21 to bring a Glass composition to life for the very first time, and good lord is it ever impressive.

Philip Glass — “The New Rule” [iTunes]

Read more about the the Philip Glass flash mob here.

Carly Rae Jepsen and Annie Lennox

Call Me On Broken Glass

OK, so these two didn’t actually collaborate (at least not willingly). But thanks to the magic of modern technology (and the genius of Rostam Batmanglij), we can pretend they did! Sorta kinda! “Call Me On Broken Glass” gets my vote for the Mashup of the Year, and its maker gets my vote for Person Whose Musical Talents I’d Most Like to Steal, Ursula-from-Little-Mermaid-style.

Carly Rae Jepsen vs. Annie Lennox — “Call Me On Broken Glass” [Soundcloud]

Read more about ROSTAM here and here.

Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z and Barack Obama


So what did Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z and Barack Obama collaborate on? Well, this picture, for starters. (There are exactly 364 shopping days until next Christmas, and I’m just gonna throw out there that a copy of this photo signed by all three of the people in it would look pre-tty snazzy on my wall.) Oh yeah, they also worked together to win the presidential election. Jigga Man and The Boss man both held rallies for the Obama campaign, and Bruce “coincidentally” recorded a song that sums up the President’s platform quite nicely, called “We Take Care Of Our Own.” Oh yeah, and this happened.

Bruce Springsteen — “We Take Care Of Our Own” [Spotify/iTunes]

Read more about Bruce Springsteen here.

Check back tomorrow for more 5×5.

5 thoughts on “5×5, Part 2: Collaborations

  1. Pingback: 5×5, Part 3: Late-Breakers | You hear that?!?

  2. Pingback: 5×5, Part 4: RVA Long Plays | You hear that?!?

  3. Pingback: 5×5, Part 5: Albums | You hear that?!?

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