Apathy Jack writes:
Alright, two things in repsonse to Josh's post here.
Firstly, to address the scandalous, nay; libellous suggestion that I am anything like the character of Sparky on Outrageous Fortune. Obviously, this is both untrue and hurtful, and I would like to challenge Josh to a bare-knuckle boxing match to reclaim my honour.
I'd like to, but I can't. Old knee injury acting up I'm afraid. But let me tell you, I'm giving Josh the most evil of glares the next time he isn't looking...
Anyhoo, the question was also raised (to paraphrase) - What the hell is up with Gwen Stefani? By way of an answer: an extended diatribe, with video accompaniment
This is the latest is a long line of things that are all The Neptunes' fault.
The Neptunes are Pharrell Williams and Some Asian Guy, two producers who, as far as I know, came to fame after producing Kelis' Caught Out There. Apparently they were famous before that, but I had never heard of them, so that can't be the case...
In addition to being producers, they are also a group in their own right, who, as NERD, achieved some chart success with the remarkably catchy She Wants To Move, the video for which is worth watching just for Pharrell's "I'm fucking your girlfriend" facial expression. Yes, it turns out there is a facial expression to convey that. Watch the video - you'll see...
So, when Gwen Stefani released her solo alubum, Love Angel Music Baby, she employed a number of producers. She was a cypher for each - the songs produced by No Doubt's Tony Kanal sounded like No Doubt songs, the songs produced by the Neptunes sounded like typical Neptunes tracks, and such forth.
The song that got her the biggest acclaim was the Neptunes produced Hollaback Girl. No one really knows what she was doing there - even her own explainations of the song are somewhat garbled.
But this started a new paradigm. Upon releasing her solo album, Stefani was acclaimed as the alternative diva - a Mariah or a Beyonce that the off-centre crowd could get behind. And after Hollaback Girl, they didn't bother releasing the more rocky tracks.
There are two outbreaks of what I believe is the new norm in female pop. One is Fergie, who is following the formula faithfully. This is leading to mixed results, such as London Bridge, which is without exception the worst song released this year. Sometimes, though it works, such as Fergalicious, which is hypnotic. I mean, so is being hypnotised to kill the President, but, like that, it's the good form of hypnotic.
The second outbreak is Gwen Stefani's second album, with the single on the receiving end of Josh's ire, Wind It Up. Certainly, the horror of yodelling in pop music is enough to send Colonel Kurtz screaming into the jungle, to say nothing of the very idea of sampling The Sound of Music. But...
I guess its the video as much as anything - I hated Hollaback Girl when I listened to it the first time on the CD, but the video was really quite attention-catching. Much the same with Fergalicious. The video for Wind It Up is a hell of a mess, but it really is mesmerising. I'm not sure what this says about either Gwen or Fergie - the fact that their songs are only catchy when accompanied by videos that turn them into cartoon characters. For Fergie, this is pretty much the norm - she was always the Bouncy Girl(tm) in the Black Eyed Peas. For Gwen - it seems a pity that the person who wrote Just a Girl would become this.
The hell with it. Long story short: You all suck, and Christina Aguilera still rules.