In the past month there have been finally been some shake-ups on the Billboard chart. After her two month reign with “We Found Love” Princess Ri was unseated, first by Everyone’s Best Friend/the Most Golden-Throated Woman Scorned Adele, then the brassy semi country pop belter Ms. Kelly Clarkson.
And fun.’s nostalgia-conjuring-car-commercial-ready anthem “We Are Young” jumped from 41 to 3, meaning the RoboSoulFunkyBot Beauty Janelle Monae who is featured on the track might be publicly recognized, and not just as that woman who upstaged Bruno Mars on tour. Who brings the Lady James Brown Android on to their bill without expecting to be out performed? Aside now tossed aside, on to what I want to actually say to you dear readers.
In this shuffle it seems one person has had a small drop, one that I hope does not continue. Jessie J’s “Domino” has fallen – and I so badly didn’t want that pun to occur. Like a grubby-fingered toddler with clenched fists yelling at the line of falling tiles, I am so frustrated at the inevitable momentum that this fall will have. I will do all that I can to stop it, but I need your help.
I want to do this because out of all of the behind the scenes pop songwriters stepping into the light: Lady Gaga [Stephanie Germanotta], Ke$ha [Kesha Rose Sebert], Bruno Mars [Peter Gene Hernandez], Jessie J has this strange and genuine air about her. She’s like a British hip-hop Zooey Deschanel but with more range, vocally and stylistically – maybe with a dash of Judy Garland, her camptastic outfits make this statement sound. Though her image of ironed flat pitch black hair, milk white skin with berry red lips may be coming close to clichéd – even when it rests above Technicolor jumpers over a leather jacket top or a unitard and 4 inch spike stilettos – it’s her smart fusion of her soaring voice and earworm primed pop melodies that shines through. I do think she underplays her voice for her more successful hits, “Domino” and “Pricetag,” but that I know it is there makes me smile. Her determination is there as well. After breaking her foot, she performed on a large golden throne, then went on to wear a bedazzled boot cast and walk with glittering crutches at the MTV Video Music Awards. She is giving you all of this America, plus this, and you are letting her go.
This treatment just reminds me of another oft forgot diva, the Queen of Australia and American Pop’s Prodigal daughter: Kylie Minogue. Oh, you don’t remember her all of America who doesn’t go to gay bars nor have European roommates, but in 2001 you couldn’t get her out of your head. Yes, I am angry enough to make that pun. Because I am maybe one of the seven people in the United States that are excited to hear a new Kylie single. Yes, they still happen. Her last album, Aphrodite, was released in 2010 and toured globally all of 2011 to promote it. She has been doing this since 2001 people, hell her first hit was back in 92 and she was a child star before that.
I’m not as bitter as I seem to be about these facts though. We didn’t bite because we thought Madonna had it all, not knowing that Minogue offered something actually quite different- effervescence, subtle sex, and fun. This is why screaming queens shan’t, no can’t, say no to this Kangaroo Country maiden. The difference between Jessie and Kylie is that Kylie is well-established. Her career is not lacking due to her reduced popularity in America, something she has publicly acknowledged. The Prime Minister of Australia offered his damn condolences to the woman when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I think she’s doing all right.
I know J can be secure in her native British following. They have pop over there that we have never even heard of. Have you heard of the Eurovison Song Contest? No? The entire landmass and surrounding islands of Europe go honestly bonkers for the type of semi-self aware ez-cheese pop I pine for in the States. It’s geo-political bubblegum shimmer, and its ilk continues on without us across the Atlantic. I just want nice things for us America, especially when it comes to the ear swill we at times consume. We deserve nice things.