Behold! The worst CD cover of 2007.
I mean, what the hell is Bjork supposed to be? An alien duck with large, Fred Flintstone feet? Or, was she trapped on a conveyer belt in a Coca-Cola factory and squished into a bottle?
Is this Bjork’s artistic interpretation of a man on acid looking at his penis? Because frankly, that’s the main thing that I see when I look at this photo; a stubby, limp rainbow penis nestled atop a huge, swollen scrotum. With legs. Oh, and Bjork’s face, staring up at him. Imagine trying to take a pee with this thing in your hands.
Maybe it’s the pilot for a new Saturday morning cartoon, starring Bjork as a stubby multi-colored penis?
For some odd reason, this cover reminds me of the funniest album jacket I ever laid eyes on. This was back in those prehistoric days, when people actually listened to music by placing a large flat piece of round vinyl onto a revolving turnstile.
The album was called “Joy” by the group Apollo 100. It had a picture on the cover of a woman with wind-swept hair and an expression of utter bliss on her face. Just in case you had any question about what "joy" was supposed to look like. Either that, or her name was Joy. I was never really certain what the real story was.
Anyway, here’s what the original cover looked like:
My BFF Joyce’s sister had the album, and apparently used to play it non-stop, much to Joyce’s irritation. Remember: it's the early seventies, and you're ten years old. You've heard a flaccid "mod" version of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” pumped through your house for hours on end. How would you react?
One day, Joyce couldn't take it any more, and decided to take out her frustration by getting creative. She snuck into Karen’s room, whipped out her paint set and made Joy just a little bit happier:
I don't think Karen spoke to Joyce for a week after that. But it made me bray like a donkey, the first time Joyce showed me the cover.
Despite Bjork's ridiculous trappings, the music inside is actually pretty tasty. In fact, I’ve made “Earth Intruders” my ring tone, and every time a call comes in, I wait a bit before I answer it, because the groove is so infectious. We actually keep the CD in the bathroom, so that I can shower to “Earth Intruders” every morning. Many of the other songs are quite good, too, especially “Declare Independence,” and "wanderlust," which starts off with a series of boat sounds, in a variety of tones and of varying durations. The motif these sounds form is carried through throughout the song, proving, I suppose that, Everything is music! This buzzer is musical. When I go home, I throw knickers in the oven and it's music. Crash, boom, bang! Buzz...
Now, I may be in the minority on this, but I actually quite like Kelly Clarkson’s new album, “My December.” Yes, most of the lyrics are somewhat depressing. It’s clear that she was going through an unhappy romantic patch in her life. Just look at the titles of the songs in the CD, if you need more evidence: “Never Again.” “Don’t Waste Your Time.” “Sober.” “I’d Rather Have my Leg Cut off Because of Gangrene than Ever Fall in Love Again.” I mean, they’re not exactly “A Moment Like This.”
But that doesn’t mean they’re bad. And there is a nice variety, too. “Sober” is a lovely song, and deserves greater airplay than I think it’s getting.
I think that this might be a CD that’s similar to Pink’s “I’m not Dead”...one that finds a second life a year from now, once the hype and negative buzz have died down and people can actually hear the songs for what they are. “I’m not Dead” WAS (in my opinion) the best, most kick-ass CD of 2006, in my opinion, even beyond “Dear Mr. President.” This CD isn’t that, but it certainly isn’t the record industry’s version of “I Know Who Killed Me.” Not by a long shot.
There are some CDs that I’ve acquired this summer, however, that are somewhat less infectious. Take Mika’s “Life in Cartoon Motion.”
Have you ever been served a meal that tastes indescribably different and delicious when you first taste it, only to find that, after three or four bites, the novelty of the taste sensation has worn thin, and it becomes a chore to finish off the meal? This is how this CD feels. The first song, “Grace Kelly,” is a wonderful shot of love, a welcome reminder of the power of Freddie Mercury and a charming three-ring circus. By the time you move into “Lollipop,” you’re happy to find more of the same, but your smile has started to move down a notch, as the song becomes somewhat repetitious and the wave upon wave of vague silly images starts to lose their charm. By the time you’re into track four or five, you’re ready for the parade to end, particularly since the songs start to increasingly resemble the soft rock rubbage heard in such drek as “Had a Bad Day,” rather than the smart pop of “Grace Kelly.”
Mika seems to also have a knack for writing lyrics (or at least, singing song with lyrics) that have a tendency to disappear into thin air. I mean, these songs make David Bowie’s lyrics appear downright meaningful. Take, for example, “Billy Brown.” Billy has a wife and a few kids, but then starts taking up with another man. Troubled, Billy leaves his family and his lover and takes off to some faraway island (apparently money is no object for poor, confused Billy). While there, “he met a girlie who was brave enough to say/When he made love he shared the burden of his mind.”
I mean, what in god’s green niblets does that mean? While Billy’s screwing about with his brave girlie, is he lying there on the bed, shouting out, “Yes, yes, yes! That’s it, baby! Oh, I wish I was doing this with a guy! Use it like a tallywacker, baby! That’s it!”
And what about the family he left behind? Or his lover that he met ‘almost every single day”? Oh, that’s right, this is a pop song. La, la, la. NEXT.
One of our favorite CDs of the summer was purchased by Corb. Some of you may groan about this one, but...
Listen. The day after we watched “Music and Lyrics,” we just had to go out and pick up the soundtrack.
Frankly, I wasn’t expecting much from the movie, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the music was fun and catchy, and that there was actual chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant. Some of the songs are forgettable, and I find myself moving forward to the next track, but there are others that are more fun than most of the "real" songs put out by the record industry these days.
I love “Pop Goes My Heart,” with it's Wham! veneer and 80's Europop finish, and “Way Back Into Love,” although grating after 800 listens, is, the first 759 times, a sweet romantic ballad. Ashes thinks “Entering Bootytown” is the best song on the CD, and I have to admit, the lyrics are outrageous enough to fit right into this world of humps and maneaters. I mean, how can you not like a song that has the following chorus:
So she got booty now
'Cause your booty is the way into his heart
Girl, don't you realise
One detour at your thighs
Is a right turn that can break his world apart
But the best song on the CD has to be "Buddha's Delight." The lyrics are completely outrageous (and possibly a little insulting), but the whole thing is so catchy and clearly over-the-top, that it's hard to see anyone truly being upset by this little piece of froth.
This is exactly what summer listening should be about. Something that's fun and you can sing along to, but is probably going to disappear from your playlist once the autumn leaves start falling.