Sunday, May 22, 2011

Song Chain: Beautiful

Clem Snide: Beautiful (Christina Aguilera cover)


For me, the song chain challenge is no challenge at all, but rather the way my mind works anyway. I am, after all, the product of the very last vinyl-to-tape generation - and so, letting the mind open to the possibility of the next natural song is merely an echo of an earlier era, spent on the floor at my father's vast and varied record collection, where - in order to ensure that no silence interrupted a good evening of listening, or perhaps merely to make sense of the mix tape creation process - the three minutes listening to one song could be used wisely to search for another, so as to have it waiting for the switch-out with little more fuss than the lift and slide, the slide and drop.

Such quick-changes can come from anywhere, of course - which is to say, most chains, and most mixtapes, do not use the same sort of connection between one pair of songs and the next. Today, for example, we've gone from a titular connection to one of narrative meaning, and an antithetical one at that - for after seeing this afternoon's post of "Oh, Pretty Woman", this song came to mind, mostly, because Christina Aguilera's hit "Beautiful" always seemed like a kind of reclamation of the feminine mind from the objecthood which Roy Orbison's chart-topper imposes on the gender...and Clem Snide's grungy, gender-bent folk rock offers just the right tone of righteous, defiant anger against the femme-flattening two-dimensionality which so plagues the patriarchal society, even today.

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