411 Music Fact or Fiction 06.29.12: The Jokes Write Themselves
Posted by Joseph Lee on 06.29.2012
Are we excited for Ice-T's new rap documentary? Would a Michael Jackson/Justin Bieber collaboration have been interesting? Did we enjoy Noel Gallagher's latest music video? 411's Jeremy Wilson and John Downey debate these topics and more in this week's 411 Fact or Fiction: Music!
Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I'm your host, Joseph Lee.
This week it's Jeremy Wilson going up against John Downey.
I liked the song. The video bored me. It started out okay, but after you realize where he's heading with it, it just goes on...and on...and on. Everybody's on the run and Mischa Barton is in her rather unattractive underwear for nearly 6 minutes. Nice song, boring, transparent video. At the very least, it's nice to see Mischa Barton alive and working again.
John Downey: FICTION.
The video felt as though it was testing my threshold for pain/bullshit, what with it featuring a crotch shot of a dude dressed in leopard-print undies, Mischa Barton attempting physical comedy, and Noel Gallagher's mug. I drew the line three minutes in, when the camera fixed on Barton's chest. This isn't amusing, titillating, or inspiring in the slightest, and I don't know what Gallagher was attempting to accomplish.
I like Pink. She's cheeky, but real. I like how she carries herself and I like most of her music. Funhouse was really solid and she obviously put a lot of herself into that album. And whether you think she's deserving of releasing a "Greatest Hits" album or not, her 2010 album was a huge hit and reminded a lot of folks how good she can be and how big she actually has gotten. I'll definitely be checking her next single "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" and album out when they're released.
John Downey: FICTION.
And why should I? I've never been a fan of her music, and I don't think she is doing anything that hasn't already been done more effectively by someone else. Hey, remember that time that she got political? Neither do I.
I don't think Justin Bieber has done anything interesting or worth my attention except date Selena Gomez (who doesn't have much musical talent herself). I have tremendous respect for the past legacy and music of Michael Jackson. However, Jacko didn't do anything interesting or up to his past quality for pretty much the last 20 years of his life. Plus, I firmly believe he molested children. Sorry, but I believe that. And that affects how I view the man and would have viewed him had he still been alive. So no, a Jackson/Bieber collaboration wouldn't have interested me in the least.
John Downey: FACT.
It likely wouldn't have been good, but I would have given it a listen. Look at it from an objective perspective: Jackson was one of the biggest pop stars, if not the biggest pop star, of the 80's and 90's, while Bieber is one of the biggest pop stars, if not the biggest pop star, of the past five years. If nothing else, a collaboration between the two would have been an interesting curiosity.
The song is emotionally vapid, the video pretends to be vaguely empowering, and the special effects act as the heart of the video rather than the song or the artist. In other words, it's on par with Perry's usual work.
Jeremy Wilson: FICTION.
Nobody is arguing that Katy Perry is the world's greatest singer or music's deepest artist. It might not be the popular opinion (especially at a site like this), but I liked the video. It manages to keep that cheeky, candy-coated style usually found in Perry songs/videos but adds in some real depth. No it's not subtle in any way, shape or form, but I bet it was heartfelt and cathartic for Perry – and that comes across in the video. Everyone always crushes the woman for being overly manufactured (which she is, no doubt) and relying on her figure and auto-tuning to sell records (which she does, no doubt), but at least here she is going for something more. I like how she essentially makes reference to that at the beginning ("California Gurls") and end ("Teenage Dream") but this is a video that essentially tells a story. It tells the story of Katy Perry and I think it worked. I will say, however, the lyrics aren't all that great on their own; basically the video is better than the song itself, particularly because of what we know about Perry herself (and "Prince Charming").
The idea of a documentary specifically about the creative process of writing a rap song seems interesting, if a bit unoriginal, and I'm sure that most of it will be solid. I'm more than a little intrigued by the prospect of Kanye West explaining his creative process, and I could listen to KRS-One talk about hip-hop all day. I don't think The Art of Rap will be the definitive word on rap lyrics, but it looks to offer a unique perspective, and I don't know that I could ask for much more. That said, the documentary gives professional hypocrite Immortal Technique the time of day, and I can't suffer a film that makes me listen to what that piece of shit has to say.
Jeremy Wilson: FACT.
That's what I was going to say, until I thought about it some more and researched it a bit. And I changed my mind. It sounds at least somewhat interesting, especially for someone who doesn't know a great deal about Rap or its history. If Ice-T can really dive into the "art" of Rap, and get some genuine and interesting insights from some of the industry's greats, then his movie will work. If it's just rappers coming up with some rhymes, then probably not. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say it will probably be closer to the former. While I wouldn't necessarily seek it out, if I came across it on TV and I had the time, I might just give it a shot.
Granted, I haven't listen to the soundtrack in full and I haven't seen the film, but they appear to be equally unpleasant. One looks to be a cheesy musical, the other looks to be a collection of the cheesiest songs ever written. Cheese is tasty, sure, but it is usually best served as a side dish rather than a main course.
Jeremy Wilson: FICTION.
I can't say too many nice things about the movie...and trust me, everybody let me know what they thought about that review. But that review was for the film, not an indictment of the music, although plenty of other critics got a bit personal when it came to the music. My chief complaints about the film never involved the music itself. I don't particularly love or hate that kind of 80's pop and hair metal music. In fact, I agree with a lot of folks – it's mostly infectious and fun. I just think most of the music is overdone and those singing are either not talented enough (Baldwin, Cruise, Boneta, Hough) or – in the case of a talented and legitimate singer like Mary J. Blige (or even Malin Akerman) – drowned in overly orchestrated production numbers. I don't hate most of it, but I certainly didn't love it and why, if you're a fan of it, would you listen to it over the original. It's Hollywood Karaoke...let's just call it what it is.
Score Card: 3 for 6
Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.