Monday, December 9, 2013

I Have Something to Say About the "Say Something" Video

Although I decided to sit out this season of The Voice (I'm discovering that skipping a season in between allows me to keep up with it better and care about it more) I do love me some Christina Aguilera, even though she's the Fatburger of pop divas - no better for you than any other fast food joint and you spend way more than you should, but you can't resist going in when you stumble across it. While not nearly as much as the other way around, The Voice has been good for Xtina, if just from the opportunity for that #1 single with Maroon 5. I think it was a mistake to leave The Voice to promote Lotus (if that is the real story), although I'm not sure it was as clear when the decision was made as it is now how powerful the show can be to the charts (don't forget, it's The Voice you have to thank for a summer full of "Blurred Lines"). But I've been particularly pleased with the story around "Say Something," the song by ultra-obscure indie duo A Great Big World that Aguilera has done more for than any of her contestants on the show, for a couple reasons.

First of all, "Say Something" is a really solid tune. It's no secret that thousands of solid tunes miss out on a chance for fame, but it's definitely reassuring when one does get a one-in-a-million lucky shot and is worth the acknowledgement. Secondly, I'm still jazzed about the power of The Voice in influencing the music industry, partly because the whole inter-entertainment medium relationship will make interesting fodder for a chapter in the History of Pop textbook I'm sure to write somewhere down the line. But mostly, I'm pleased with the agency Christina Aguilera has in the story (she heard it after it was used on Dancing With the Stars and asked to meet with A Great Big World to lay down a harmony track). She may have taken her lumps lately, but it's great to see she still has some sway - and that she could pull off something like this with the humility and subtlety that she has.

Given all this, it might seem like A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera have created a work of art above reproach, and we should all bow down and praise them as pop gods. Not quite. There's the matter of the single's music video (directed by Christopher Sims), which premiered a couple weeks ago. I couldn't get halfway through it without collapsing into fits of laughter. It is one hot mess.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Disney's "Frozen" Isn't Pop Music But Here's Why You Should See It Anyway

I went to see the new Disney movie Frozen yesterday (I believe that makes a grand total of two movies I've seen in theaters in 2013...thank you LA Live $7 Tuesdays!) and I was more than moderately pleased with it.

The character design alone is worth the admission price, in both the animation and the writing. Plus, it's got a healthy feminist twist that is long overdue for Disney.

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