I'd like to think that jumping on and off bandwagons ahead of the pack as a form of music nerd oneupsmanship is something I've grown up enough not to indulge in, and that when it comes to hugely successful pop artists that have been famous forever, those terms aren't really applicable anyway. That said, much in the same way that last year the general populace finally turned its back on Outkast when I'd half-expected that to happen with "Hey Ya!" and it instead went on to be huge and loved by many, Gwen Stefani's new album is facing the kind of repulsion from most people that I felt for almost every single off her last album ("Cool" excepted, which I thought was a really nice, kind of touching song). The difference is, though, that while you won't catch me sticking up for Idlewild (also, not to be sycophantically linking Noz twice in one week, but big LOLs at "it’s damn near impossible to find a normal era Andre 3000/Outkast pic. Every photo up there’s got him eating bananas or wearing scarfs and british school boy knickers. He’s like the rap Fat Elvis."), but "Wind It Up" has actually grown on me a lot. I was so scarred by the horror that was "Hollaback Girl" that I managed to successfully avoid "Wind It Up" for a while even after the video had been out for a while, too late for it to effect my year-end singles list. I'm not saying it would've been anywhere near the top, but it could've at least cracked the top 50 (for the record, the other songs I'm already regretting not putting at least somewhere low on the list are Fantasia's "Hood Boy," Lostprophets' "Rooftops," and "You Don't Know" from the Shady compilation). I think "Wind It Up" sounds garish in a way that's silly and impossible to take seriously, where most of the Love Angel Music Baby singles sounded garish in a way that was just overbearing and obnoxious, some kind of carefully planned and terribly executed idea of "fun." And it helps that the chorus reminds me a lot of Fugazi's "Repeater," although I'm not going to go to great lengths to try to explain or defend that abstract comparison (especially after I went out on a limb with that whole Joe Lally = Squiggy thing). But let me know if you hear it or not, because it really kind of blew my mind when I finally realized what it reminded me of. "Sweet Escape" I'm still kind of on the fence about, although I remember watching a snippet of the video at work with the sound off before hearing the song, and when I did finally hear it I was pleasantly surprised by how different it sounded from what I expected of an Akon production with a video that looks like that. God help me, I even kinda like the "oooohoooo! eeeeehooo!" part.
Labels: hip hop