And so I continue my attempts to write about something I absolutely love, yet have pretty much no idea how to write about!
Music is a huge passion of mine. It's something I admire a lot, but have absolutely no talent in that area. My singing voice has been likened to the sound of a dying cat, and my instrumental talents are equally nonexistent. I can't keep rhythm to save my life. So, naturally I admire the hell out of people that can do those things.
This brings me to Postmodern Jukebox. I wrote once before about them, as a sort of general overarching piece. This time, however I really want to focus on a specific video/song. Take a quick watch:
I'm sure the majority of you recognize the tune. Back in 2000, this song was one of those awful earworms, that even if you hated pop music was pretty much impossible to escape. It was back when all you had to do to sell an album was place a cute blond in some tight/overly revealing outfit and you had an instant hit, still years before putting the girl in a dress made out of raw meat was deemed necessary for the success of an album.
I love how Postmodern Jukebox tosses all of that on its head.
So lets pick this apart a bit, shall we?
I'd like to start with Haley Reinhart. It's only appropriate since I picked apart the singer that put this song on the map in the first place. Haley was introduced to the world, due in large part to one of those reality music competition shows that have over-saturated the market over the last decade. Perhaps you have heard of it? American Idol? Anyone?
Anyway, folk who know me, know I have a great deal of hatred toward these competitions as I feel that they popularize the need for a marketable look over raw talent. Not that I am saying that the performers lack talent. What I am saying, is that the shows put the power in the hands of the viewers, which means that the voting is going to very often come down to the sort of asinine popularity contests that characterized Student Council elections, and Prom Court votes. In the end, it comes down to whoever is best able to mobilize their hometowns, and old friends to vote for them, as well as those that are able to get votes because people want to see more of them on stage.
Haley managed to surprise me, perhaps in part due to the fact that I had no idea she was a contestant until just recently. Every time she works with PMJ, her voice just seems to harken back to a bygone era, imparting a wonderful, soulful quality to everyone of her performances.
It's interesting to compare the video to the Brittney Spears original. It makes me appreciate the minimalism of the Postmodern Jukebox videos. They bypass spectacle, and focus on the music. Granted, in the video Haley does vamp it up a bit, pulling a full on Marilyn Monroe. For comparison purposes, here's Marilyn singing "I want to be loved by you" from the movie "Some Like it Hot.":
Granted, the music itself is a little more prominent, and Haley belts things out with a little more force, but it isn't hard to see the influences. Chose that particular video specifically because it has a similar vibe. Just her, singing in front of the band.
In the end, what we have here, is yet another wonderful piece by PMJ that will be played on fairly constant rotation as I work, because Scott Bradlee's arrangements are amazing, and as always Haley Reinhart's vocals are just the right type of wonderful that makes those long nights at work seem a little more bearable.
And since I love the band so much, and want to share it with people... First person to email me at slamfistmedia at Gmail dot com will be sent this particular song as a gift on iTunes... Or Google Play. I'll figure something out.