Meant to write a few lines on this one yesterday… big shout out to GFM Fam member Darren for putting us on to this one. If there’s one thing that I have always been clear on and that is I am no one’s critic. I’ve always been quite adamant about that. I’m a guy who loves and plays music and has done so for most of my life. I like what I like and that is (just like everyone else) colored by my experiences. There’s no right and wrong in any of this, it all boils down to preference.

This is what I love about this re-imagining of Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love” by Jazz Pianist Scott Bradlee and his project Postmodern Jukebox which I would invite you to check out. As Scott mentions it is no easy task to release music that resonates with the culture at large, especially where we are now (fragmented, a niche for every niche) so he and I do grant kudos to those folks who are able to do that in this environment. Sure, marketing helps and visibility but at the end of the day there have been numerous flops that have been marketed just as vigorously as “Drunk In Love”.

What I like about the approach here is that it demonstrates that musically you have the freedom to imagine music sounding anyway you like. This is not a back my day music was this or that. That’s debatable because every era has good and bad music. So as I stated earlier my affection for this version of “Drunk In Love” is by no means a criticism of Beyoncé, I just happen to have a preference for a different presentation musically.

Here’s the interesting part… lyrically it’s the same story and I’m listening more intently than ever. So perhaps instead of more critics, perhaps we need more experiences. More guided listening experiences and discussions so that perhaps the palette can be opened up sonically so that more stories like this from Beyoncé and other artist might be heard by folks like myself who like a musical experience that’s a little different than what’s being mass produced these days.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.