I like talent, intelligence, sexiness and heart. It's not too much to ask our pop stars to be transcendent.That’s what I twittered to Talia a few hours ago.
I was musing earlier tonight about Mariah Carey’s hideous new song Obsessed (hear it) and it’s oh-so-classy single cover. The tune lacks a tune, except for the copious use of AUTOtune, which instantly dates it. The lyrics are a trainwreck of awfulness (perhaps in a good way?) and it reminds me that Mariah has fallen into the same abyss as her non-sister Janet Jackson. That of a 40 year woman adrift in the music business, trying in vain to recapture the Hot that has been stolen by younger girl singer rather than reclaiming what made them superstars in the first case. A few years back Mariah had a massive hit with a perfect song, We Belong Together. What made it stick were the great melody, lyrics and actual singing. It was everything we wanted from Mariah.
Here’s a reminder of how good Mariah and Janet can be…
Janet Jackson Got Till It’s Gone:
Janet’s artistic zenith. This song is intelligent as they come, exposing a generation to Joni Mitchell, pop radio to Q-Tip (Janet: "What's the next song?" Q-Tip"The one about me.") and exposing MTV viewers to South Africa's underground culture during apartheid. It's based on photographs and artwork of the era - look out for the final shot, which many miss ("Europeans only"). Look for Q-Tip in the awesome geek glasses, with Janet herslef beautiful and makeup free. This is as far from the tragic Jackson curse as she could get.
Mariah Carey Honey:
Embedding disabled! Watch Honey here.
I could have chosen a more "pop" song, like my beloved Dreamlover, but this track is the chrysalis – there’s a pun in there- of the Mariah we suffer through today. Except good. The video is so absurd it was skewered by Sandra Bernhard in one of her off Broadway shows. At the time, Mariah denied it was Tommy Mottola she was transparently fleeing in the clip. Right.