Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, August 01, 2005

Keeping Cool about Gwen Stefani

I just saw the latest Gwen Stefani video"Cool",which my sister and I have had a debate about for a couple of days. We both like her music(my sis is much more of a music person than me-if I see a video and don't recognize the singer,9 times out of ten,she knows who they are)but Little Sis was insistant that the song/video was passive-aggressive.

First off,I must confess that I am not a whole album person(meaning:I only play certain songs that I like and skip the rest-I am the audience CD singles were made for)and am old enough to really remember a time before MTV,when you had to make your own mental music video. I do appreciate the High Fidelity mindset,however-how better to define a person than by their personal mini-obessions,I ask you? I just can't play a whole album(except for musicals which is obvious why)and dissect each song's meaning in relation to the one before/after it.

My Little Sis is not like that but she takes her music pretty serious(no,she's not a musician-she's a cartoonist)and can get annoyed at things with a passion just like I do when she starts teasing me about vampire babies(don't ask-really weird debate). She finds the "Cool" video,in which Gwen recieves a visit from an ex-lover and his current girlfriend while having flashbacks of their former relationship,to be total bullshit and her version of it would have Gwen poisoning the new girlfriend's tea(they serve tea in "Cool")and then gutting the ex with a paring knife while chasing him around with a meathook. Girl's been watching too many horror movies lately,I swear.

She's kidding,of course,in her own way but if she was directing this video it would like something out of American Psycho(more like the movie than the book-I tried reading that sucker but it was like watching one of those American Idol auditions where the person singing badly has no clue on God's earth just how talentless he/she is). As for me,I heard the song before I saw the video and really liked it. Actually did buy the album just to have the first three songs readibly available and was pleasantly surpised by "Cool". The smooth contrast of it right after "Hollaback Girl" gives it a nice flow and Stefani's voice is bittersweet with beauty. I really didn't pay attention to the lyrics the first time-I just grooved on her voice.

The video is pretty good-the sets are Euro-eque and the lighting has that combo of so-clear-and yet-so-sepia-glow(particularly in the flashbacks). I don't think that the sentiment is phony-maybe Gwen is really over her former relationship and wants to use this song to move on or maybe she just thought it sounded cool:).

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