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Questlove Trying to Pin Down Justin Timberlake for Al Green Record

September 5, 2007 6:13 PM ET

The Roots multitasker ?uestlove has spent three years working on Al Green's as-yet-untitled new album that's due next spring, and he tells MTV News that guests on the record will include D'Angelo, Corinne Bailey Rae, Anthony Hamilton and possibly Justin Timberlake. But more importantly, the producer says, he's trying to pin down an old-school, real-sounding aesthetic that he says is missing from today's recordings. "I'm trying to take him back to 1974 -- very dry, very dirty, very grassroots sound," ?uestlove said. "One of the biggest mistakes of modern technology, it doesn't sound gritty, doesn't sound raw. A lot of the favorite records we sample from today, those were recorded in studios that were very lackluster. Those weren't the best studios in the world. I want this album to sound very cheap, very dirty ... the vibe the Amy Winehouse album gave you. More than just the song, the creative aspect." So will Timberlake bite and get in on the record? Rock Daily guesses yes: In 2005, he gushed about Green in a Rolling Stone story, "Hearing Al as a kid made me want to become a singer and showed me that it was OK to have a softer, more falsetto voice. ... I always loved the way the mistakes were kept in on his albums, like the way the band is almost out of sync at the beginning of 'Love and Happiness.' Even his messes are beautiful."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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