Jones' sadness rings true as Paris fails

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 1:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 1, 2008 at 1:55 p.m.

Bill Dean, entertainment editor of The Gainesville Sun, grew up listening to rock 'n' roll, soul and country in the 1970s. Aurora Rodriguez, of Hollywood, Fla. grew up listening to pop music in the 1990s. They are from different generations, but they are both music lovers with an open mind. Each week, they swap CDs in hopes of broadening their musical horizons.

This week, Aurora listens to...


from George Jones (1999)

AURORA: You can almost sense the lament in the first single in this George Jones album, "Cold Hard Truth," as he mentions that he's living and dying with the choices he's made, behind an acoustic guitar swagger. I admit, the song rings true to me. But the guy seems really sad, Bill. Maybe a little too much for me to handle!

BILL: To go with Paris Hilton's album, and in light of her DUI past, I decided to come back with an album from a guy who knows a thing or two about DUIs. And on this album's first songs — "Choices," "The Cold Hard Truth" and "Sinners and Saints" — he waxes poetic on some things Miss Hilton can jot down on her hotel notepad.

AURORA: This American country singer definitely has talent and poignant lyrics about loving someone else's baby in songs such as "The Cold Hard Truth" and tough, true and committed love in "Our Bed of Roses." He has a knack for making the listener feel like we're sneaking a peek into his personal diary.

BILL: Exactly. That's always been a kind of hallmark for the ol' Possum. The remarkable thing is that while his lyrics are usually written by someone else. He's such a masterful interpreter that it sounds like it's coming straight from his brain, if not his heart.

AURORA: George Jones is definitely a true, talented, country singer, but it's not something I'd be spinning non-stop on my CD player.

This week, Bill listens to...


from Paris Hilton (2006)

BILL: OK, please wake me from this nightmare, Aurora, and tell me this is actually: A) A disc promoting studio equipment so high-tech it can turn even ferret yelps into hit vocals. B) A cleverly disguised entry in this year's "Worst Writing Contest" or C) the first album by an artist known only as "Millie Van Ill."

AURORA: Like, Bill, but don't you totally love it? Weren't you just a wee bit curious to eagerly pop this CD into your player and just let your inner airhead out for awhile? You gotta admit, it's not original, but quite a decent marketing scheme filled with dance pop.

BILL: Most of what passes for dance-pop these days is at least non-offensive pablum. Or it used to be. As one of seven credited writers on "Fightin' Over Me" (which contains the memorable lines "Every time I step outside the house they want to fi-ight over me ... maybe because I'm hot to death and I'm so, so, so sexy"), Miss Hilton presumably contributed the lyrics "ahh ahh."

AURORA: Hey, mixed drinks can do marvelous things to people, like help them record musical tracks you can groove to.

BILL: I have to admit the No Doubt-ripoff "Stars Are Blind" at least has an infectious beat. But is that only because the trained seal who programmed it paid attention in rhythm class?

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