I Didn’t Understand that You Never Had It So Good

Reporting from work today, we’ve got a couple tracks by Rjd2, who I know almost nothing about. Before getting this new track in the email box, the only exposure I had to Mr. d2 was driving around Baltimore with a friend, the song “Ghostwriter” coming up on his iPod, and him telling me, “Oh, this is the only Rjd2 song I actually like.” Oh, and then later, when telling that story to another friend, her saying, “Yeah, that’s the only one I like too.” I listened to “Ghostwriter” again and liked it myself, but was distracted by a part I found really familiar. I’m sure that you other folks out there who listen to a lot of music have had a similar experience: You’re listening to some tune and you recognize some snippet, a sample or a few notes, that reminds you of some other song. And then you rack your brain for the next three or four days trying to figure it out, not sleeping at night, poring through your cds, etc. Come to find out, the female voices towards the end of the song sound a lot like the Elliot Smith song “I Didn’t Understand” from the album XO. There, I just saved you hours of music-nerd angst.

So when I got the track “You Never Had It So Good” from Rjd2’s new album The Third Hand, I was naturally a little skeptical, having heard such non-sparkling reviews of his work from friends. But “You Never Had It,” and actually the album in general, is different from Rjd2’s previous work, in that it’s much more pop-focused and he sings. It’s true the man doesn’t have a great singing voice, and that the beat on “You Never Had It” doesn’t really match the tone of the song, but still there’s something endearing and winning about the tune. Take a listen:

Rjd2 – You Never Had It So Good (Buy It)

Rjd2 – Ghostwriter (Buy It)

Elliot Smith – I Didn’t Understand (Buy It)

posted by Adam

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