Mariah Carey and the Compton Moog

Cokemachineglow’s Mark Abraham visited me in Los Angeles last summer, and the first thing I was struck by – aside from his imposing, NBA point guard height – was his near-encyclopedic knowledge of music. He can chat about French prog-rock group Magma as easily as he can, say, Mariah Carey. If you’re not reading his Retconning column, I suggest you get started.

But we’re here today to talk about Mariah. As far as I’m concerned, her catalog is pretty golden up until she started getting into hip-hop on 1997’s Butterfly; the singer was more impressive offering songs to the siren rather than playing what Sir Mix-A-Lot once called “one of the those rap guy’s girlfriends.” Still, Abraham’s last column was quick to point out that urban influences had crept into her music long before she had Jay-Z dropping guest verses while Jerry O’Connell watched uncomfortably. On 1995’s “Fantasy,” “the drums and guitar are pure funk-fueled new jack swing, but check the Dre G-funk accents in the corners,” he notes, and indeed, there’s that instantly recognizable keyboard tone that Greg likes to call the “Compton moog.” After the jump, peep Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” and tell me I’m wrong. [Continue reading…]


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