Thursday, 20 June 2013

NMEeeeeeh: Cher, Kelly Rowland and Kelly Clarkson.

If you thought yesterday's news that Britney Spears was back with a brand new single was exciting, then I have a treat for you. Not one, not two, not three....oh wait, actually, yes, three divas have new songs out and here they are in a brand new NMEeeeeeh. It's new music, eeeeeeh!

Cher - Woman's World

Giant wigs, leather jackets and botox injections at the ready- Cher is back, bitches.

She made her live comeback last night with a performance on America's version of The Voice which, surprisingly, actually holds some cultural relevance unlike the snooze-fest UK equivalent featuring some prick off The Script and Jessie "slap-head" J. The song she performed is her new single Woman's World, produced by RedOne (most famous, of course, for his collaborations with Sugababes, Alexandra Burke and, of course, Mika) DO YOUR RESEARCH DANIEL IT WAS PRODUCED BY PAUL OAKENFOLD.

The issue with Cher is that her music has got a reputation for being dancey and, above all, camp. The issue there is that, in order to be consistent, producers need to keep coming up with camp music on purpose. And camp is a very difficult thing to do on purpose. 

When Brian Higgins first produced Believe, undoubtedly one of the campest songs of all time, he wasn't trying to make something camp. He was trying to make some dance music. The same is true with Stuart Price- when he produced Hung Up for Madonna he wasn't trying to make a song to accompany the smell of poppers and shite that accompany gay clubs the world over, he was trying to get people onto the dance floor. Scissor Sisters themselves have gone on record as saying that the fact that some of the band is gay has had as little effect on their music as the fact that some of the members of Blondie are straight. 

Cher's problem is a tricky one, because when you end up making music to pander deliberately to gay people, you end up making something like this, ie. a big steaming pile of poo. My point is: you just can't make something intentionally camp, because by making something intentionally camp you are making something intentionally shit. True camp has to happen by accident, such as this little treat of a video...

(watch it all the way through if you want, but the fun really starts at the 1:00 mark)


So what can be said of the new Cher song, the lead single for her first studio album in 12 years? It starts off well, kicking off with a very sexy 90s R&B sound (a sound we're probably going to have to get used to as the Lady GaGa comeback is using the same producers who made R&B music back in the 1990s with, you guessed it, Madonna), but when the vocals kick in things take a turn for the worst.

The lyrics are half good and half abominable. Half of the song deals with a theme you can never really go wrong with: a woman trying to pick herself up after a breakup with a man by hitting the dance floor to make herself feel more empowered. Can't complain till that point. Unfortunately, the rest of the song sees Cher throwing in club-related clichés which sound silly coming from women half her age.  In the bridge these two ideas are really fighting each other; she rhymes "lose myself in the beat of the drum" (disgusting cliché) with "but honey this is a battle that you haven't won" (fabulous Cher shade-throwing).

At this stage, it's hard for me to call exactly how people are going to see this song. On one hand it would be very easy to pick this song apart, after all it features a woman in her 60s singing about being "in the dark on the club floor". On the other hand, nobody really wants Cher to fail, do they? I'm willing this to do well because if you can overlook the heavy-handed clichés, it's got a good message, a catchy sing-a-long chorus, and Cher's voice, of course, sounds amazing.

Give Woman's World a listen here:

It might be a woman's world, according to Cher, but her son Chaz may not agree with that. The question is, how many Chaz Bonos out of five am I giving the new Cher single?

It could well be that I'm being overly generous but come along now. It's fucking Cher. Who's next?

Kelly Rowland - You Changed, feat. Beyoncé and Michelle Williams

There are only a handful of stars who can claim they have Beyoncé as a featured artist on one of their tracks. All I can see is that Kelly Rowland must really have some dirt on her former Destiny's Child bandmate, because now she is one of them. That's right, earlier this week Kelly Rowland unveiled the track You Changed, which features Beyoncé as well as her other ex-bandmate Michelle Williams who, let's face it, was probably just happy to get out of the house for the day.

I'll be honest- this song is boring. Admittedly I've never been a fan of Destiny's Child's slow-jams, give me Survivor and Lose My Breath over Stand Up For Love and Emotion any day. I can't fault their vocals, which sound as great as ever, but this isn't a tune you're likely to have stuck in your head all day afterwards.

You can decide for yourself if I'm being too harsh, here is You Changed:

YAWN, right?

Kelly Clarkson - Tie It Up

The strange thing about the new Kelly Clarkson single isn't that she's ditched the pop/rock that made her a household names and decided to go country. It isn't that she's still promoting her latest single People Like Us, or that her new single doesn't appear on any of the albums she's released so far. The strange thing is that Tie It Up seems to be a promo single for her own upcoming wedding.

As if the single art, which sees Kelly in a bridal veil tied to another person (probably a male since Kelly lives in a country called the United States of America where two women can't legally get married), wasn't enough of a clue that this was somehow related to her impending nuptials, the lyrics provide a quick rundown of she and her future husband's relationship until that point.

"First date, first kiss, we were checking off the list", she sings over the country-style guitar riff, before saying "then you were getting down on your knee", which implies he was proposing no matter what your sick, twisted, strap-on obsessed mind is telling you. It also features a banjo solo, a musical technique largely overlooked in the world of popular song in 2013, which is disappointing I must say.

I mean...this song is a bit lame. There is no overlooking this. But really, who cares? Kelly Clarkson is clearly very excited for her wedding and as long as this is just her sharing her excitement with her fans rather than launching some sort of new musical project, then I'm not going to object.

Listen below:

How many Chazeseseseseseseses does Tie It Up get..?


Finally, if you enjoyed that here are links to my past few NMEeeeeeh blogs, in case you missed them:

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