Mojo's Obnoxiously Upbeat Mission Statement!

All of You

Unfortunately for the otherwise harmless "All of You" it happens to be juuuuuusssst not good enough for Mojo to entirely RAVE about it, and (if that wasn't misfortune enough) they put it on this particular album RIGHT BEFORE one of Mojo's FAVORITE ELLA SONGS of ALL TIME. So it has become one of those "Ho hum; I'll listen to it because I am too lazy to hit the 'skip' button" songs. Luckily for it, I suppose, in Real Life Mojo tends to be one of those people who is indeed too lazy to hit the "skip" button, so Mojo has Grown as a Person to the point where, instead of dismissing it and rushing to what I think is a BETTER song, she almost looks forward to it, as one might get used to (and perhaps even look forward to) saying "Hello"  to some crazy insane but generally harmless and reasonably pleasant old person you might pass on a daily basis. (Mojo does that so that in the future should Mojo go crazy insane she rather hopes others might say "hello" to her. That is the plan, anyway. You'll perhaps notice when Mojo comes up with these "plans" there's remarkably little actual "planning" going on and a whole bunch of vague hopes and dweams. But I digress.) --Wait! There's MORE!

'S Wonderful

Okay, so everybody wins this time around! I DEFY you to find a more pleasant arrangement of a more pleasant song, sung by such a pleasant singer. This is one case where the song title TOTALLY lives up to the experience itself. The whole package so totally works, it leaves Mojo speechless.

But folks don't tune in to see blank pages, so what is it about this song that's just so utterly delightful? I don't know. It starts off so nice, with the muted trumpets and clarinets, and Ella singing those wistfully funny lyrics. And then it builds. Not so quick, just a casual Fred Astaire stroll for the first go-round, and then it literally builds again. The mutes come off the trumpets, the band stands up, and Ella matches them with her own girlish enthusiasm, times ten. It all adds up to BIG FINISH in the best big band tradition. Wotta great song! --Wait! There's MORE!

Just One of Those Things

Whoah, deja vu, dood! It seems like only a few days ago I reviewed this song. And of course it was. That's the "problem" if you want to call it that, of reviewing Ella songs--if the song's any good you can be sure there's gonna be at least three different versions of it. Not to mention the video versions, which you can find if you scroll to the bottom of this other page. --Wait! There's MORE!

Mojo Could Use Your Help....

Ella fans don't need cheering up, but for the poor folks out there who don't have an Ella CD to put on ... well, I fail to see how life can be worth living with no Ella in it. Which is why, after a rare fifteen seconds or so of quiet contemplation and soul-searching reflection, Mojo has decided it’s time to sell out to the corporate world again. Meaning she has decided to apply for the Sam-e “Good Mood Blogger” position ( http://www.sam-e.com/job ), a six-month daily blogging contract that will pay the winner some $30K, providing they can maintain their happy online charade for the entire six months.

Naturally, Mojo has her ulterior motives, which are thus: she intends to bring down said corporate empire by composing a blog so obnoxiously cheerful and upbeat, she will put them out of the happy-pill business by the end of her contract. At least that’s my plan. (Okay, so it might take SEVEN months. Still, ya gotta admit, it’s foolproof!) If Ella could do it, well, there's really no chance in HELL I could do it too, but we Ella fans are an optimistic lot. --Wait! There's MORE!

Every Time We Say Goodbye...

So we've established that Mojo is not such a HUGE fan of draggy depressing ballads. Having said that, I will now state for the record that I like this song. No, really. Why, you ask, with that tired sigh and the eye roll you've tried so hard to hide from me? Because in this case, at least, the mood of the song, the lyrics, everything just matches so perfectly--the longing, the memories, "But how strange the change from major to minor..." Ahhh. It's sheer perfection, that's what it is. I know, you're sick of Mojo just lamely saying that instead of posting a REAL review, but it's true.

The arrangement is just wonderful, as well. The ultra-lush strings provide such a great backup for Ella's strong voice, and then in the instrumental part in the middle there's this positively GREAT duet between a flute and (what sounds like) an oboe. The notes glide effortlessly up and down like a calm sea--no staccato points to be made here! Just an observation of pleasant, sun-tinged memories, all wistful smiles, and then all of a sudden at the end there's a literal as well as a lyrical change from major to minor and the listener is suddenly, abruptly left with "goodbye". --Wait! There's MORE!

How Long Has This Been Going On?

Ya know, there are some songs Mojo might not be all that thrilled about--meaning slow, draggy ballads for the most part--that Ella makes perfectly listenable through sheer freakin' talent. If this was next up at a karaoke bar (to be honest I've never BEEN to a karaoke bar, so I don't know if they forewarn you as to the upcoming number or the talent of the singer ahead of time so you can make a quick exit if the place starts sounding like a catfight)...uh, where was I? Oh, the karaoke bar. If this song was next up at a karaoke bar Mojo would deem it time to politely take a bathroom break, since in the hands of a mediocre singer this is going to be an INTERMINABLE song, okay? There, I said it. Interminable. Yes, Mojo knows five-syllable words. And she knows what she likes. And some dreadful amateur trying to sing this while Mojo sits in a really uncomfortable chair and debating going to see just how filthy the bar's bathroom is going to be.... I think that's one of the rings in Dante's Inferno, isn't it? If not, it should be. --Wait! There's MORE!

Love For Sale

Okay, so Mojo has these elderly inlaws, both pushing 90. Both enjoy going on the occasional rant, especially if you encourage them by saying something provocative like, oh, say, "Hello". And one of their favorite rants is how Movies and Songs Nowadays Are Just Nasty Things All About Sex, and Why Can't We Have NICE Innocent Entertainment Like We Did When WE Ruled The World. Which is all very well and good.

However. --Wait! There's MORE!

It Was Just One of Those Things...

I gotta say, I really enjoy this song, even though Mojo has never been one of those "Just one of those things" kinda gals. It's just the perfect mix. Ella's having a blast, the band is getting their patented Big Band "stings" in between lines, and the song itself has a good "no hard feelings" vibe which Mojo finds a refreshing change from today's "I'm-off-to-write-my-tell-all-book-and-believe-me-you're-in-for-the-trashing-of-a-lifetime" culture. Very Charlie on "Two and a Half Men", minus the piggish part. --Wait! There's MORE!

Just Another Rhumba

If you Google the phrase "Just Another Rhumba" you know what you get? Mostly lyric sites for Ella's version, which seems to be the only version out there. That, and Google Ads for Roombas, those little robotic vacuum cleaners. Oh, but further down there's sheet music for a string quartet. Gosh, I'd like to hear that! Well, sorta. --Wait! There's MORE!

The Man I Love

While this is not my all-time favorite song, you just GOTTA love how Ella sings it. Here in this live performance she plays with it a little bit, but not so radically that you don't know where she is in the course of the song. It's a fairly straight rendition.

Okay, if you are not convinced that Ella is THE GREATEST SINGER EVER, just shut your eyes and listen to her control as she sustains each note at the end of each line. To say nothing of the half-sob yearning she puts in her voice. Her usual girlishness is totally absent here. What we have instead is a full-grown woman who's been beaten down by life, but she hasn't quite given up on the dream yet. Heartache and yearning and still a faint glimmer of hope. It breaks your heart. --Wait! There's MORE!

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