One of my bad habits is grabbing my tablet first thing in the morning to check my e-mail, before I’ve quite gotten out of bed. It’s usually advertising of various stripes: books or records or electronics. Today Amazon was trying to tempt me with music.
They were selling Lourde’s Pure Heroine at the low, low price of $3.99 (cheaper than vinyl records back in the day!). I had heard reports that it was wonderful, and read about it in the newspaper, but never actually listened to Lourde herself.
Or maybe I did, but I just don’t remember it.
It’s that bad. No, it’s worse.
Music is supposed to work by evoking an emotion in the listener. But the songs of Pure Heroine evoke nothing, except a desire to change the channel. I do not feel the earth move under my feet: I feel my neurons dying.
And Lourde is not a heroine, whatever she imagines herself to be. She sings like a mouse. The songs have too many words, and no space for a melody to take flight, or even work up a good waddle.
I don’t mean to be hard on Lourde. She’s singing in the contemporary manner, and maybe it’s my fault that I don’t get it. But it’s a disappointment.
Further wandering on Amazon brought me to the new Weird Al Yankovic album, Mandatory Fun, also well-reviewed in the newspaper. I’ve always enjoyed Weird Al, but the input to the Weird Al process is the music of its time. Would this be a case of ‘garbage in, garbage out’?
Sadly, it seems to be that way. Some of the material seems worth another listen, but in general, it’s true to its title, ‘mandatory fun,’ which is to say that it’s no fun at all.
I got out of bed, went to the living room, and put on the Duran Duran song ‘Rio’ louder than I had a right to at 6:30 in the morning.
I had to clear the crap out of my head.