Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man

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Christina Aguilera, "Ain't No Other Man"

I figured that we would take a little break from Peaches, while still continuing our grrl power week. Christina Aguilera has always been an odd person to me, clearly talented but never able to put out singles that catch my ear the way that Brittany has ("Toxic". It's even stranger when you consider how much closer she is to the hip hop world, evidenced by Busta and others.

Anyway, this song seems to be a part of her new strategy to be a more wholesome, classic look (note the Marilyn Monroe look in the picture). I assume that this is all an attempt to erase the memory of the woman in that "Dirty" video from a few years ago. You remember, ass chaps, booty panties, stripping down to her bra, piercings, girl fight. I'm disappointed by this development, as it seems like another example of a double standard that women can't be sexy and risque without being called a slut or worse. I'm mean, why is wrong for her to dress skimpily and act like a sexual being? I know the argument against this look: that is intended for the male eye, which is oppressive and exploitative. She doesn't have the ability to make it on her talent alone, a woman always has to use her sexuality. Great arguments, but for some reason I don't agree with them. Can anyone persuade me?

To further my point, look at the lyrics to this song. It's all about a man, about how she is in love with a new man and he has made her so happy. I mean, this seems like a far more damaging and antiquated mindset than showing cleavage or a little bit of heiny.

The song itself is a good one, love the horns. The drums are sparse and sound great. Who is behind the sound? None other than one of the greatest producers of all-time, DJ Premier!!! He's done a great job here, allowing her to sing to her fullest without sacrificing anything instrumentally. It sounds like everything else Primo touches, both classic and timeless at the same time.

-Speaking of new looks, Penguin Classics have introduced a new line called Graphic Classics. Basically, it involves taking some of their more famous works and allowing the best graphic artists in the world a chance to do a new cover. Each edition also has the rough pages, a flap on the inside cover redesigned the covers of some of their most famous books. This is a phenomenal idea that looks great, long overdue in my opinion. I'm especially feeling Paul Auster's City of Glass, cover by Art Spiegelman (!!!!!) and essay by Luc Sante (!!!!!). A dream team, to say the least, three of my all-time favorites, one of my all-time favorite books.

-Philly's bid for the 2006 Olympics is over before it got started. Houston and Philly were eliminated from the bidding, which is disappointing. I hope that people will continue to consider what improvements are necessary to put us on par with the world cities that host this event. Mass transit, anyone? Big thinking is only a good thing for the city and its future, I do hope that this setback doesn't do away with that.


Blackmail said...

Dude, Olympics are the worst thing that can happen to cities, or in the case of Greece, countries. Most New Yorkers I know hope and pray that 2012 doesn't land at their doorstep [or stoop, whichever the case may be] if only for the infrastructural headaches alone.

Ween said...

"I'm mean, why is wrong for her to dress skimpily and act like a sexual being?"

Rather than going into deeper things, surely its wrong if she feels that she has to do it, rather than wanting to do it. I heard her saying that this is where she feels she is in her life at the moment and being who she wants to be. Personal opinion is that it provides a far beter role model.

I don't think a woman would have made the comment that you made. It sounds suspiciously like you are sayng "I miss seeing her in skimpy outfits, so she shouldn't feel prssured to cover up.."

"It's all about a man, about how she is in love with a new man and he has made her so happy. I mean, this seems like a far more damaging and antiquated mindset than showing cleavage or a little bit of heiny"

How can celebrating a relationship with someone you love be damaging? She's not singing about "now I've got a man, I'm going back in the kitchen". I think that a monogamous relationship, being devoted and loving the other person in that relationship, isn't antiquated, its the best way to be

Anonymous said...

hey. excellent discussion points today...i think i agree with blackmail and ween on both.

i for one am glad the olympics aren't coming to philly. not because of traffic or headaches or the potential for embarrassing ourselves, but because it's a no-win economic move. has one modern games ever provided its host with a decent return on the investment?? "prestige" doesn't mean a damn thing if the city goes broke for 20-years after closing ceremonies.

and i love me some christina, primarily because i think she does what she wants: ass chaps or Chanel, sweaty and raunchy or clean and demure. i don't think she's ever pretending/conforming. then again, i'm gullible as all hell, so maybe she just has a killer publicist.


Michael said...

I think Xtina may be one of the most deeply conservative and unimaginative artists in the mainstream today, and it's only until she's used up every cliche in pop music that she'll amount to anything interesting.

But that's just me.

As for "why is wrong for her to dress skimpily and act like a sexual being?", I've always wanted to ask that Aguilera herself.

I'm not a fan of hers, as you can probably tell, and one of the many, many things I loathed, and continue to loathe, about Stripped is that for all her talk about sexuality, all of it is expressed in this vile, revolting, and self-disgusted manner. I mean, the single is called "Dirrty". And it starts off with her (or Redman, I can't remember) saying "Dirty. Nasty. Filthy. Too dirty to clean my act up."

A lot of people celebrate this as sexual liberation or empowerment, but to me it's just this weird, sexed-up puritanism.