Gwen Stefani - Bubble Pop Electric


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“Tonight I’m going to give you all my love/ In the backseat.”

This is a beat.

An exhausting stutter of crazy pacing that both robs me of all coherent thought and fills me with exhilarating heart-race breathlessness. I’m entranced, but feel like I’m going to die from the speed of this bass thrum, and every time I think I might have a grasp of the rhythm, it’s gone again on that mad tripping dash for some other solar system. Everything else is merely an after-thought.

And there is a lot else; Matthew has already made the Archie analogy, but while he was focused on the glamour vs girl next door class issues, I see only the vision of American nostalgia bound up in this frighteningly futuristic song. The lyrics of back-seat drive-in parking and track meets juxtaposed with electro genius never imagined in that 50s small-town. And she pushes it. The dialogue of weekend dating and doorstop anticipation from music icons whose natural habitat is now the red carpet and Bungalow 8?

But because this image is of a world that never really existed outside of ubiquitous media nods and artistic longing, they pull it off. Painted in the retro choral layering and bubblegum coos is that same land of picket fences and milkshake diners we’ve seen in every other form than the era and place itself. We believe, because it exists in our mind, framed by every comic strip and Pleasantville-style vision born of a desire for simplicity and school dance, cheerleader perfection.

And now, imbibed with fierce synth insistence, that vision is pulled from the past and swirled through with faux-80s artificial colourings (because surely the 80s were never this mind-blowing?) finally landing, robbed of context, in the nebulous time-zone of now.

But above all else, this is a beat.


3 Responses to “Gwen Stefani - Bubble Pop Electric”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous 

    There was a very peculiar thing on MTV last night while I was in the gym, alternating between live performances by Avril Lavigne and videos by No Doubt/Gwen solo. It's odd that Avril, who is so blatantly a manufactured pop moppet just "edgy" enough to appeal to teenage girls without threatening their parents[*], is shown as the Real Music rocker, while Gwen, who really did come up through a spontaneously formed indie-rock band (and hence feels no guilt about getting out of that pigeon-hole as quickly as possible) [**] is shown as the styled pop starlet.

    [*] I still remember that wondeful early Guardian interview when Avril announced that the guys in her backing group had played her the Pixies and she'd found "Debaser" weird and scary. Come on, anyone who gets threatened by "Debaser" can't have any natural sympathy for the style of music she's playing.

    [**] I'm glad I'm out of my own indie snobbery and can appreciate the point of the "Just A Girl" video, which shows the boys playing their instruments in a grimy garage while Gwen is dancing with the girls in a drawing room. The happy ending of course, comes when the guys sneak out of the garage to join her (and seem to be enjoying themselves a lot more)

    Phil

    (KdS - official Quisling in the alleged LiveJournal/blogger culture war)

  2. Blogger Eppy 

    Good lord am I behind on this--but--the thing about this is how gay it is! I mean, "Johnny Vulture"? With Gwen doing these kind of camp antics. She was always a bit drag-queeny anyway.

  3. Anonymous Lucy 

    I love it d'ont listen to those mean people ok gwen your the best!!
    From: Lucy
    the one who will always listen to your music.
    :)

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