Friday, February 20, 2015

A Note on Ellie Goulding and Florence Welch

My wife and I were talking about singers and sexiness. Sexy is different than hot. For my money, the video for Janet Jackson's "If" is the sexiest music video in combination with the song ever done (hey it's the one Wikipedia source back to this little blog). Nowadays with so much music geared towards the teen and tween set, the sexy factor is gone. I stated the sexiest song the Hollywood producer brain trust could come up with would be an Ellie Goulding-Florence Welch duet with a sex beat (you know what I'm talking about), and they would be singing about being enthralled with or lusting over the same man.

Why? Goulding's voice is the voice of wood nymphs softly calling you deeper into the dark forest. You know it is frightening, and there are beasts there of unimaginable terror, but that voice lures you in with sword and shield.

She has another song about letting the world burn, and it sounds completely sexy. Can she do the next Bond theme? Florence Welch is a bit different. There is that power to her voice like she's going to yell at you to fuck her harder during sex. The passion might burn you out but God damn is it worth it.

There is that mix of force and pain to her delivery. She might love you, but she might stab you if things do not end well. I love her voice. That delivery is not taught. That is innate.

Why do guys like artistic women? Those dating surveys usually find that women who put artistic in their profile get a more positive reaction. It probably appeals to male vanity. We men want to think we are the inspiration for such an awesome, emotional performance, and what is art but an expression of the human condition. What makes Jimmy Stewart finally get it in It's a Wonderful Life? He has to see his hot wife be an Old Maid because he wasn't around to give her a nice family life. As if she wouldn't have been snapped up, but he needed to see that fantasy. Men want to think that great stage show whether a soulful vocal performance or dance solo is for them. As if these talented beings taking human form for five minutes would use their power solely for us men. "See, she has this seductive power, but she is choosing to use it on me, as if she has to try to seduce me and impress me, when I want her anyway." Stevie Nicks made a career out of this. We all want to think the nymph picks us. It's as old as Greek mythology.

Have a good weekend.


Jonathan said...


PA said...

I like your simile about the nymph luring you into the dark forest.

This gets my nomination for sexy vocals. More Apollonian than Dionysian, and entrancing. It's Slovene Mina Spiler with Leibach doing an entrancing live cover of Beatles' "Across the Universe."

Portlander said...

Agreed, that Alizee performance is perfection. If only it weren't all f*cked up with the ADHD BS editing.

Fortunately the internetz to the rescue:

Though the effect it not quite the same as she loses some of her innocence that's in the original.

Portlander said...

BTW, does this count?

nikcrit said...

Only the Mop-tops could have so relatively obscure a song sooo widely covered.

So take your pick:

Still, I think this guy, 'Bertolf,' offers up one of the best renditions; ditto for his take of McCartney's "Martha My Dear":

Ian said...

It's funny you mention "It's a Wonderful Life." If I'm not mistaken, in the original story that inspired the movie, Mary does have a different husband and family in the alternate reality where George was never born. The movie version is more romantic: To think the two were made for each other and that neither one could ever be complete without the other.

peterike said...

Ugh, I dunno man. Me and contempo pop just don't get along. I hated both of those songs (the two videos), and the singers sound like EVERY OTHER pop singer to me. Faceless, auto-tuned, over-produced, bland. Sexy? Not even a bit.

But then I'm an old man from an old school. For me, THIS is a woman who knows how to write and sing, and she's sexy as hell. And it's a song about a song. Hell's yeah.

Yeah we heard you, Keith
Real loud and clear on the last one
I must've listened to you
A thousand times a day
And for one short breath
It sounds like the world is ending
Exploding in space and beginning again
So far away, so far away

nikcrit said...


To me, the big difference about today's pop market compared to evenn as recently as that of fifteen years ago, is just the extreme, hyper-leveling of product and venue and platform that has occurred since then; as keith richard said even ten or so years ago: "How the f can a band even really get noticed nowadays?' to me, the digital production and platform-izing, i'd call it, have made it possible to have a small, loyal audiences; but it's also made the music sound alike in a sort-of futuristic-fascist kind-of way, in that the technological smoothness to the production somewhat erases the old-school analog instrumental mistakes that once-distinguished amateur from professional productions.....some of the bands you've cited in the past, like Belle & Sebastian, actually take that contemporary dilemma and address it directly in their songs' content and production. and that's interesting but i'm not sure if it's really 'pop music' as i've historically come to know the term.