Wednesday, December 20, 2006

London Bridge

Song: London Bridge
Artist: Fergie
Album: The Dutchess

"Best" of 2006

This song was everywhere. I felt like “London Bridge” was stalking me at one point.

Fergie-ferg’s “London Bridge” is the little sister (or copycat) of Gwen’s “Hollaback Girl.” It has the same clap-clap rhythm, and an “I AM SHOUTIING AT YOU”-style vocal delivery. But what is it about? I’ve already seen this debated on VH1’s Best Week Ever… nobody seems to know. Probably because it is in fact non-sense. It’s a non-sense song, a lot of hits are. But what an intriguing line:

“How come everytime you come ‘round,
My London, London Bridge wanna go down?”

Vaguely sexual, part historic architecture lesson… “London Bridge” is by far the weirdest song to hit it big on the radio since… well probably “Hollaback Girl.” (I mean… what was THAT about anyhow?) But “Tubthumping” also comes to mind.

The line “I’m such a lady but I’m dancing like hoeeee” pretty much says it all, though I look back to what I’ve known since Fergie came onto the scene… and I ask myself, when has she ever been “a lady?” There’s the crystal meth phase, and that picture where it looks like she peed herself onstage, and then well, “My Humps” sort of says a lot about her character... I suppose we couldn’t really expect Laura Nyro from her.

Along with Jessica Simpson’s “Public Affair,” “London Bridge” is on my super-guilty pleasure list. I have found myself dancing around in my apartment to this song multiple times, and a look at my iTunes reveals… I’ve played it over forty times. Oh snap!

But does “London Bridge” signify an alarming new low in artistic expression? I don’t know, at least it uses a metaphor, as obtuse as it may be. “Rump Shaker” was more direct… and didn’t even bother to use actual words for the chorus. Is “London Bridge” stupid? Well… yes, and no. Trying to intellectually dissect this song is like looking for deeper meaning on “Jackass.” It’s probably not there. But this song (and Fergie herself) have been raked over the coals a lot this year and I’m not sure it deserves it. Maybe it doesn’t make any sense… but can you tell me what “Whooly Bully” is all about? And for all the hipsters that put TV on the Radio’s “Return to Cookie Mountain” on your top ten… do you know what they’re singing about? And what does that title have to do with anything? Sometimes, things don’t have a deeper meaning, and sometimes you can hide behind art for arts sake.

The brilliant thing about this song is that from the first time you hear it, you know it. It’s not complicated, and yet doesn’t seem to get old. The horns are crisp and command attention from the get-go. This is a song that I can imagine taking back in time thirty years, playing for a group of people and see them go B-A-N-A-N-A-S. It’s really nutty no? And while the theme of getting drunk and having sex is not super original, it is a big part of what our culture is today, and HAS been for many many years. Do we blame Fergie for this? We can’t.

This is a song that every once and a while I stop and really listen and think… “I can’t believe this exists. It’s absolutely one of the most ridiculous pieces of music I’ve heard in ages.” And isn’t that something in itself?

Enjoy. (Or at least try to.)

1 comment:

Heff said...

Jackass is the impotent rage of white suburban men, raised in a society where individuality and counter culture itself have been turned into shallow marketing devices by the very same 60's children of the "original" counter revolution. In a world where Wu-Tang sells underarm and Flavor Flav no longer fights the power but searches for love on reality tv al "The Bachelor", why not see if a taser to the balls hurts? FYI it does. That pain, at least, is a pure and true emotion.

See not that hard, and I got most of that from the Village Voice.