Monday, 15 September 2008

If the Beach Boys had sung about rape and abortion ... Amanda Palmer

Well, this is a curious one. As you may indeed already have gathered.

It starts off normal enough: brittle, percussive piano. But pay attention to the lyrics and you'll soon observe – shall we say? – a certain disjunction between musical style and subject-matter.

Listen for yourself, Heavy Soil readers. What think'st? Beautifully-poised wit or a controversy too far? Comment away, my pretties.

Whatever you may think of the lyrics, though, you must surely applaud the fine pop production of Mr Ben Folds. He has compressed the ass off this one – and all to the good. Full of nice details.

Anyhow, Amanda Palmer released her album – Who Killed Amanda Palmer? – today. I shall be reviewing it not too long hence. Here's the official site – though, be warned: international delivery P&P is exorbitant.

... Oh, and, yes: it's that Oasis.

As ever, may I disclaim: the mp3 hereabovelinked is for, as they say, evaluative purposes only. You like it, you buy it. Um. Please.


Anonymous said...

I have to say, I really do not have time for this. Although I can appreciate what they/she is doing, I just find myself getting pissed off with the flippancy of it

Tom Parnell said...

Fair doos - absolutely. I can see that this is on a knife-edge, and could go either way.

I have to admit I laughed at the Oasis bits. I think there *is* a satirical justification to the song's flippancy ... But that doesn't make it any less potentially irksome, of course.

Thanks for commenting ...

Anonymous said...

Hmm, do I find this funny? Maybe. I seem to be somewhat disappointed with Ben Folds' music of late though, I'm not liking his new single with Regina and I'm not liking the music of this Amanda Palmer song.

Tom Parnell said...

Oh Christ, I hadn't listened to the Regina/Ben collaboration until now.

That's not very good.

It ought to have been brilliant, for god's sake ... Two musical colossi. Damn.

I think I like the Amanda Palmer collaboration more than you do, though ...

halem said...

I dunno... the "fine pop production" of Mr Folds doesn't seem to do much for me. in fact I feel Mr Folds seems to have injected this one with the annoying aspects of his own music. I know this is a controversial statement. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of Ben Folds' stuff very much. but I don't think i like the way he does irony... all that Rock This Bitch/ Rockin' the Suburbs stuff irritates the hell out of me.... and I just smell it too keenly in this track.

Amanda Palmer + Ben Folds = too much irony for me

halem said...

Sorry to bang on about this... but I just saw the following in a Pitchfork review:

"...the blithe, bubblegum, mostly obnoxious "Oasis", a rape and abortion ditty-- ha!-- that gives irony a bad name. (In her defense, Palmer once considered the track "too silly," but Folds convinced her to include it-- he should have known better, since his own abortion hit "Brick" was a lot more effective and affecting.)"

Just about sums it up for me

Tom Parnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Parnell said...

Fieldvole, it is a pleasure to have you banging on.

I'm not sure I quite agree with Pitchfork, though. Surely the point is that the rape/abortion part is not ironical on the part of the singer. I feel like they've maybe missed the point a little.

Palmer isn't belittling rape and abortion, is she? Which seems to be what they're implying with 'obnoxious'. Isn't she in fact making a serious satirical point, potentially? About a culture in which such things are blithely discussed on the same level as pop groups? So there's a serious point behind the blithe delivery.

That's why *I* laughed, anyway. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, in seeing it as ultimately compassionate.

I'm less sure whether it's tasteful. But I'm pretty sure that it's not obnoxious in its intentions.

halem said...

Yeah, ok, I see your point. Maybe the Pitchfork reviewer didn't quite grasp that. actually, now I read those few lines again, I realise they really were missing it... hmmm. i will read more closely in future.

No, of course I don't think Palmer is belittling rape and abortion. (Give me credit, billy.)

I guess I just don't think it's that clever or funny. I can't explain why. It's as if, in their attempts to be ironic and provocative, they're missing a whole other level of irony. Ah, I give up!..humour is too difficult to try and dissect.

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