Repeat Steps One Through Three
Last night, as the gents of American Idol were trying to make us love them, Jared Cotter gave me an excuse to talk about an old pop song. Now this may not be enough to make me like him and his crazy eyebrows, but it at least makes me like him more than, oh, Sundance. (Seriously, dude. Your dad had a hit single. If you're going to pimp the fact that you were raised around music industry professionals, you should demonstrate some kind of savvy yourself, y'know? Otherwise, it makes you look like you don't have the sense to learn by example.)
The song that Jared sang last night was "Back at One" by Brian McKnight, a song a like because it has an impossible chorus. By that, I mean it creates a system that cannot be completed.
See, the chorus has B. Mick following five easy steps to loving his woman. They go like this:
One... you're like a dream come true
Two... just wanna be with you
Three... girl it's plain to see / that you're the only one for me
Four... repeat steps one through three
Five... make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done... then I start back at one
But wait! It's impossible for Brian to get to step five! She can never fall in love with him! Because every time he gets to step four, he has to repeat steps one through three. The pattern loops forever!
I know it's probably unintentional, but that lyrical twist makes the song a proclamation of hopelessness. It's like Sisyphus wrote a love song, and that's cool.
In other news, does any movie look worse than "Amazing Grace?" First, there's the overwrought, white-boy-soul at the beginning of the trailer. Then there's the suggestion--once again--that the only people who can save those mixed up black people are the noble whites who take pity on them. Other movies that recently made that point include "Blood Diamond," "Freedom Writers," and "The Last King of Scotland." And then there's "Amistad," which clearly inspired the folks at "Amazing Grace" with its waistcoats and slave talk.
And really, I can't stand that kind of patronizing bullshit. It belittles everyone.
Just to feel better about the world, I'm going to go watch the top 12 women on "Idol." Nothing patronizing or reductive there, by God!
Labels: R+B / Hip-Hop