The VMAs, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna and T.I....at light speed!
The 2008 MTV Video Music Awards was, predictably, an ass-kissing festival for Britney Spears and a chorus of other pop stars who sang and danced their way onstage to thank God for their little moon-men statues and their managers, for crafting them into good girls gone bad or celibate virgins, in the case of the Jonas Brothers. There was no edge--even Russel Brand, hilarious in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was offensive and awkward, speaking so loudly his mic sounded like he was performing stand-up eight feet under the Thames.
There were three stand-out performances, however (of those I watched--I don't need to explain my lack of interest in the entire VMAs): Rihanna and T.I. with "Living My Life," officially the new "Good Life" and most certainly destined to become a number one hit. Like, there is no question. It will be number one within three weeks.
Christina Aguilera (dressed like Lady Gag--er, Marvel Comic's Black Cat, right) did a great job, as well, aside from her horrible lipsynching. Her new song is called "Keeps Gettin' Better," apparently, though that doesn't quite make sense considering the only bit of lyric I understood: "BITCH!" The performance was a burst of fresh air in a night of lackluster performances and ugly vocals. Even Rihanna seemed to struggle on her live performance of "Disturbia"--I've seen Rihanna live, and she never struggled to hit mid-range notes...
P!nk was amazing, but what did we expect? She's a phenomenal vocalist with a brilliant single. She's got attitude, a jagged sex appeal, and an air of authenticity when she hits the stage. Nothing unexpected or surprising--just P!nk.
(Speaking of P!nk, she's officially number one on the list of performers I want to see in the upcoming year.)
(And speaking of seeing performers, I'm seeing Yelle in October and I could almost explode I'm so excited)
Beyond the VMAs, I officially have my iTunes account back and went overboard by purchasing 10 songs that have caught my attention in my recent wanderings. One of these is Brandy's "Right Here (Departed)," a beautiful track with deep emotional appeal. Brandy is an iconic R&B artist--if you are not a fan, listen to "Talk About Our Love," an era-defining slice of piano-driven hip-hop--and her new single comes with quite a bit of baggage attached. For anyone with an actual life (i.e. anyone who doesn't read celebrity gossip), Brandy got into a car wreck a few years ago and killed a man. She wasn't sent to jail, but in the eyes of many is a murderer. That's quite a reputation going into her fifth album.
Regardless, "Right Here" is a powerful track, almost too powerful; I'm certainly not experiencing any heartbreak, but Brandy's emotive vocals almost convince me I am.
I want to keep writing about Michelle William's "Hello Heartbreak," a SICKKK club track, but I'm a bit buzzed on wine and losing my creativity...