Well, I have no real excuse for the week’s delay in bringing you the first of 2007′s CD-R length quarterly podcasts, except to say that there was a ton of material to sift through this time around. Blockbuster follow ups and surprise career high points were practically falling from the trees. It’s not often that you could field a completely respectable top 5 for the year just from the first few months of recorded work.
So take a bow, Q1 ’07, we’ll not see your likes again… (more…)
When I was living in London in 2001, this song was second only to Kylie in the can’t get it the fuck out of my head department. Piped out of every corner of not-so-cool Britannia, and on constant rotation on the myriad Saturday morning teen pop shows that our squatter quality flat’s TV could receive, I would know every word by heart even if I didn’t thoroughly enjoy it. Musically, it’s pretty middle of the road, a thin disco-lite track punctuated with ball-less guitar squiggles that wouldn’t be out of place as incidental music from a 90210 episode. But, the thing is that the backing track mainly gets out of the way, making room for her posh, enunciated delivery that is actually quite distinctive. It’s not easy to roll those, “I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know”‘s off the tongue so effortlessly. Also, there’s something about those casual “goddamn”s that needlessly pepper the song. She slips them in pretty non-chalantly, but just the cadence of the word goddamn in any context sounds as if it automatically comes with an exclamation point. Goddamn would probably get an FCC fine in the States that no pop chart producer would risk, but it defiitely ups the sing-along quotient considerably.
This was what won my superficial heart, though. I think the impish charm on display in this clip is clearly evident. The title is literally interpreted to a lame degree, with Ms. Bextor using shady maneuvers and impeccable bone structure to win a dance contest. She mugs it up good, smirking through the motions in an adorable Rory Gilmore manner. My favorite thing about it though, is how the production values just seem slightly off, slightly cheaper than you’d think a smash hit song would deserve, and on a slightly different film stock that doesn’t quite look right. It’s as if it weren’t made for MTV, but specifically for MTV UK. The college video department skit quality is what makes it really shine.
So, why do I still listen to it on my iPod, sans visual?
I think we can all agree that this is technically a better backing track, although you could argue that the vocal delivery is a bit more generic and processed. Lyrically, it’s a “One Way or Another” retread, updated with an eye towards the modern (“cell phone”) and the non-sensical (“coffee spoon”). But as far as the song goes its pretty sleek and enjoyable, never slowing down for more than a few seconds of atmospherica before going back to the grungy electro pulse. The cheese factor is still there a bit, but this is the high quality imported stuff.
Sophie Ellis Bextor – “Catch You”
As to the video, it definitely reeks of cash. The film stock is perfume ad glossy, the location picturesque, the gowns on loan. But Sophie sort of looks like an alien. She’s gaunt not girlish, which ruins it for me a bit. That’s a totally irrelevent gripe, as the song is dead catchy and already a hit in Europe (though it’ll never be one here). Thankfully, it’s still kind of goofy. Who is she chasing, anyway?
Mainly, I’m just glad the Britain specific pop star who’s so specifically wrapped up in my memory of a time and place is doing alright for herself. I guess that’s not very analytical, but what are you going to do? Musical affinity can’t always be contained…
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