Mojo's Obnoxiously Upbeat Mission Statement!

Let's Do It

Another list song, which Mojo likes. Another Twoo Wuuv song, which Mojo can take or leave. And a hair draggy for my taste, but it's entertaining enough for Mojo to let it slide. Even though it's draggy, Ella still manages to swing it, if such a thing can be said. (I just said it, so I guess it CAN be said.) I like the simple arrangement--strummy guitar, tinkly piano, bass, and brushes on the drums. Very intimate, as the song requires. --Wait! There's MORE!

Things Are Looking Up

This is another guilty pleasure of a song. Very light and fluffy and happy. It's the sort of song you put on when you've just received some good news and you feel like celebrating, but in private so you don't look like such a doofus, so you put this song on and you sing along and dance around the house and hope the UPS lady doesn't show up. As she's been known to do. All unannounced, like. And Mojo just getting out of the shower. It's not a pretty scene. Let's go somewhere else, shall we?

Once again we have a happy song from a Fred Astaire movie, and you can just see all the leaping and tap dancing about. And it takes someone fun like Ella to sing it properly and do it justice. Ella always has that girlish smile in her voice, and it's front and center throughout this whole song. --Wait! There's MORE!

Fanfare and Announcement

Okay, this is getting tiresome. At least in THIS track we get an exciting variation of Ella's usual "Thank you" as she says "Thank you, Frank Sinatra fans!" That's because she has just FINISHED singing a REAL track, in this case "The Lady is a Tramp". Which is an awesome song, don't get me wrong. Mojo luuuuuvs "The Lady is a Tramp". (Mojo also likes "The Lady AND the Tramp", although that is not Ella, but Disney and Peggy Lee. But I digress.) --Wait! There's MORE!

Always True to You in My Fashion

This is yet another favorite song from Kiss Me Kate. When I was growing up it was always Ann Miller; now it's Ella.

Always True to You is one of those cunningly amusing "list" songs, with the added bonus of a trollopy little minx (earlier in the play, as Kate's sister Bianca, she sings I'm a maid who will marry/And will take with no qualm/Any Tom, Dick or Harry/Any Harry, Dick or Tom..." justifying her occasional lapses in fidelity. Which are lapses purely in a moral sort of sense, since financially she's coming out ahead every time, as she is quick to point out. --Wait! There's MORE!

Nice Work if You Can Get It

This is another pleasant stroll of a song, so it kind of figures it debuted in a Fred Astaire movie. I've never heard it before this album, but back in the day it was pretty popular, with lots of people recording it. Ella's of course is smooth as anything, with Riddle's strings gliding along with her, only pausing to repeat the "I've Got Rhythm" question: "Who could ask for anything more?"

This won't be the last time we encounter the Gershwins adding sly little self-references in their songs. Indeed, the whole Astaire movie that contained this song--"A Damsel in Distress"--was written by P.G. Wodehouse, based on his book about a successful American songwriter who happened to share the same first name as George Gershwin, who was really hot to make the picture. So the whole movie, according to Wodehouse, turned out to be a whole self-reference. Poor George died of a brain tumor while the movie was being produced; poor Joan Fontaine couldn't dance, and it was the first Astaire movie to lose money. Which somehow makes Mojo want to see it even more. --Wait! There's MORE!

The Lady Is a Tramp

Ya know, this is what I like best about this self-imposed task. Serendipitous juxtaposition, which we shall now call "SJ" for short. I get to go from "Lady Be Good" to "The Lady Is a Tramp". Which is it, you ask? Rest assured when I say, when it's Ella, it's gonna be BOTH. And both will be expressed with the sheer perfection that is Ella, and whether you take the "good" route or the "tramp" route or circle around and try both, it's all gonna be fun. --Wait! There's MORE!

Do I Love You?

Meh. This is not my most favorite of songs. Mojo has spent pretty much her entire adult life wildly and impetuously in love with one person, so she is a closet romantic at heart, but she enjoys hiding such vulnerabilities by getting crabby and snarky whenever she thinks a luuuv song is too "whiny" or "sappy". Mojo does not want someone who is going to moon all over with goo-goo eyes; Mojo wants someone who is going to clean up the cat vomit when he sees it, instead of pretending "Oh, was that cat vomit? I must have missed it." (And yes; Mojo's Favorite Husband DOES INDEED clean up after himself. Mojo is the slob in this pair. But we need not go into that.) --Wait! There's MORE!

Lady Be Good

This became one of Ella's standards--just not in the incarnation heard here.

THIS "Lady Be Good" is a slow, standard ballad, which Ella sings as magnificently as always. And it being a ballad, Nelson Riddle brings out the strings big time, resulting in this lush, romantic sort of lullaby. Which is okay, even though we all privately know Mojo is not inordinately fond of slow aching ballads and we all know she is biting her tongue so as not to needlessly upset those who DO like ballads. As Seinfeld once said, not that there's anything wrong with it.

What *I* sometimes wonder, in my artless Mojo fashion, is how on EARTH did this Ella Woman take this slow, gentle, romantic ballad and turn it into the "Lady Be Good" of her many, many live performances? You listen to the music clip from Amazon there on the right and you're ready to lay your head on the shoulder of your beloved and sigh. Then you check out all the YouTube clips of her, and your jaw just drops. --Wait! There's MORE!

Applause and Fanfare Interlude

WHY is this even a track? WHY? Is Amazon (or Mojo, for that reason) really that hard up for their 89 cents? Here, rather than waste your money on it, Mojo will spend valuable seconds of her life doing a dramatic written interpretation of what you hear:

"Yay!" *clap clap clap*

ELLA: Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you!

"Yay!" *clap clap clap*

ELLA: Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you!

"Yay!" *clap clap clap*

ELLA: Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you!

"Yay!" *clap clap clap*

ELLA: Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you!

 

So there ya go. You have my permission to skip this one. Lord knows *I* am. Have a good weekend, anyway!

I Get a Kick Out of You

Mojo is going to not focus so much on Ella this song--what can I say? She's at the top of her game, here! Superlative!--and instead use this song to point out how Cole Porter here is teaching all you wannabes an Important Lesson in Crafting Song Lyrics. --Wait! There's MORE!

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