Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
- Posted on Mar 16th 2007 1:38PM by Bill Crandall
The tiresome Young Elvis vs. Old Elvis argument rarely elicits serious debate -- it's just a cheap way to make fun of a fat guy.
Well you can wipe that smug smile off of your face, because I'll take the pudgy guy in rhinestones every time. In fact, dismissing the King's later works in the name of fashion is a good way to miss some of the finest singing ever filed under "rock 'n' roll."
Exhibit A: 'The Next Step Is Love,' a bouncy, elegant ballad that plays like Elvis' own 'Pet Sounds': soaring strings and a choir here, a trumpet and some chimes there. But unlike Brian Wilson's concoctions -- where the vocals are but one of the many flavors -- there is no doubt where to focus your senses. Elvis' crooning is equally uplifting and heartbreaking as it drifts from playful images of walking "barefoot through the misty meadows" to the ominous desire to escape the world "they've willed to you and me."
And befitting of Vegas-era Elvis, his performance is something of a trapeze act: He dreamily holds a note for an eternity, and then somersaults over a few syllables to catch up. His voice cracks, but, just when you think the King may fall, he bounces back and bangs the next line home with his resonant Elvisness. And all that's just the opening verse.