Blind Willie Johnson: “Soul of a Man”

The trailer for Son of God is making the rounds, and it includes a modern version of an old song by blues legend Blind Willie Johnson. You really should listen to more Blind Willie.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s the new version in its entirety:

It’s a not a bad cover: a little overwrought (why does everything have to sound like Media Ventures these days?), but it’s movie music and it works well in the trailer.

Compare it, though, with the original:

Put aside the primitive recording and focus on Blind Willie’s voice and guitar, which has a power that no amount of studio production gloss can surpass.

If you want an idea of how good he could be, just try this wordless meditation on the death of Christ: “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.”

And here’s “If I Had My Way I’d Tear This Building Down,” about Samson:

And one more: “God Moves on the Water,” about the sinking of the Titanic as punishment for man’s hubris:

Pudding Monsters [App o the Mornin’]

Cut the Rope is one of the best and most successful mobile games to date, with over 100 million downloads and a shelf of awards. So when the Russian team at ZeptoLabs did a follow-up to their hit franchise, gamers paid attention.

Pudding Monsters (iOS/Android: $1) are little blobs of jello that slide around on a chess-like board. (As with another good game–Pudding Panic–“pudding” is used in the more European sense of “dessert.”) Each blob occupies one square, and can move along the rank or file by simply swiping them in the direction you want them to travel.

One problem: if there isn’t something else on the board to stop them, they’ll shoot right off the edge and the puzzle is lost. If they hit an object, they stop. If they hit another monster, they fuse with it. The goal is to get all of the blobs 1) fused and 2) covering all three stars on the board.

It’s not usually too hard to slide the monsters until they blend, but sliding them so that the last one merges with the whole monster-blob on top of the third and final star is a bit more tricky. Along the way, new kinds of monster-blobs are introduced, including “frozen” blobs that need to activated, green blobs who leave a slime trail which allows other to stick rather than shooting off the end of the board, blobless eyes who need to be reunited with their blobs, and so on.

There are 75 levels spread over 3 worlds, with more levels coming. As sliding puzzles go, this is a lot of fun with a cute art style and a moderate challenge level. Is Pudding Monsters the next Cut the Rope? Probably not, but it’s very very good and a worthy follow-up that shows Zepto still has some tricks in their bag.

Content issues: None.