Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Bitch, Bitch, Bitch
Solange is Beyonce's talent-challenged sister (The good news is? She knows it! And has flagrantly made it her trademark) and, as pictured above, obviously fashion-challenged, too. (Don't let the glasses fool you; she is not blind and should have known how she dressed herself.) She is to Beyonce what Jane was to Blanche, though she has had a string of club hits over the past two years. Up until now and despite her shortcomings, there has been something fresh, slightly retro and gleefully funky about her songs. Though it took five years, after looking like a one-hit wonder with the single "Feelin' You", Solange's more recent string of dance hits were "I Decided" (certainly the most catchy of the lot with a distinctly '60s-Motown flair), "Sandcastle Disco" and "T.O.N.Y.," all agreeable confections. Now comes "F**k the Industry." Thud, yawn!
We'll see how far this single goes as well as the Dj Escape/Tony Coluccio club version which sounds a little desperate as it strains clumsily to mix this mess into something. The title and apparent theme of "Industry" are unlikely to inspire her label to market this song -- unless they decide to "go edgy". And the lyrics... the lyrics, what might they suggest? Masochism? Lack of self-esteem? Inferiority complex? Sibling rivalry? Self-absorption? Yes, all the above and much, much more! Solange clearly intends to market herself as a Fabulous Mess and, to that end, she is half successful. However, "F**k the Industry" is certainly not the stuff to inspire you to get up and shake your groove thang, believe you me.
The lyrics begin, "I'll never be picture-perfect Beyonce...." It's more whining than singing, actually. Our poor, little recording star! Sigh! And, if your heart doesn't break for Solange right then and there, in both her passive-aggressive swipe at her sister and all her self-loathing glory, wait until she rattles out the names of the other divas far more famous than she. Why, from J-Lo to Mary J. Blige, Solange uses these women as mere ingredients to her murky name-drop soup. Then, after a litany of magnificently self-pitying words, she lashes out with the thoroughly charming and inspiring lines that absolutely everyone in the world can relate to because of their universal appeal: "So I'm writing the letter to the Industry/It says fuck you, signed sincerely." Such an all-embracing sentiment about the human condition that will truly be considered an anthem by all! How can you resist it!
Admittedly, much of the song is hard to make heads or tails of once Solange starts a descent into artfully illiterate psycho-babble that details her state of mind. "I'm not a goody-goody/But I don't watch my mouth/Like I'm a goody-goody/But I appreciate the ones who are rooting for me/'Cause everybody's got an opinion, baby/And I been feeling lately/Like I can't help it./Big up haters,/If you don't like it,/I didn't make it." Lyrics that Stephen Sondheim can only aspire to.
But the bitching goes on! "Here we go again/'Solo can you tone it down/Be more like them'/But everything I'm not/Makes me everything I am." Hard to believe that anyone ever instructed Ms Knowles to tone it down! Why, as a rule, if she turned it down any more, she'd be mute! But here, in her over-indulged crisis about being famous, it turns out she stoops only to conquer. Solange decides to belt it out and let everybody have it.
Bad idea. Also a bad idea, djs, is remixing a self-serving lament and trying to make a dancefloor hit out of it. There certainly is the chance this number could go somewhere but I don't think I'd be the only one running toward the exit or, at the very least, sitting it out, thank you very much. And just one last thing, a word of advice to Ms Solange Knowles herself: "Solo", honey, splurge on a wardrobe person and, for God's sake, please stop dressing yourself.