Previous winner, Bruno Mars, received this honor for Gorilla last year. Gorilla’s explicit, leave nothing-to-the-imagination lyrics were set to soaring vocals in an addictive hook. That, my friends, is the sign of a true winner. You will catch yourself singing along in spite of your best efforts.
This year’s winner is Beyonce. But she had so many entries that it was hard to narrow the award down to one song.
Was it the way TMI musical meditation that was Drunk In Love? The lyrics were competitive. We learned that we probably do not want to go anywhere near the kitchen if we are invited to a Christmas party at the Carters’ house. Yep, pass on the canapés.
But drunk in Love is very wordy and dense. The only catchy part of the song is the “swerving on my surfboard” segment. It’s too stream of consciousness for this jingle to connect to any broader melody.
What about the moodier, darker Haunted? I’m unimpressed with the song. It’s mediocre melodically and serves more as a carrier for the bizarre images in the music video. If you haven’t seen it, think Madonna’s Justify My Love crossed with Donnie Darko, The Shining and that Japanese import horror move, The Ring. It’s definitely sexual and you can dance to it but, I dunno, Dick, you don’t really want to sing to it. The video evokes Hotel California without the desire to sing about how “we’re all just prisoners of our own device”.
That leaves me with the true winner, Blow. It’s got all the ingredients for a Lick My Love Pump Award winner. In fact, the song is all about licking, but we don’t have to go there. I mean, you can if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with that. This award is not about prudishness. It’s about singing wildly inappropriate songs at the wrong moment because you can’t help yourself. I blame my middle school music teacher who taught me how to harmonize. Now, I can harmonize to just about anything. I can sing the top notes, the bottom notes, the high lonesome harmony (really great with Ricky Skaggs bluegrass). It’s annoying, probably more so for the people who have to listen to me.
So, when I heard Blow, I immediately recognized it for what it was. A bright and poppy, catchy, melodic ditty with explicit lyrics that was sure to float around in my mind with my harmonic elves doing little riffs on:
Can you eat my skittles
It’s the sweetest in the middle
Pink is the flavor
Solve the riddle
I’m a lean back
Don’t worry it’s nothing major
Make sure you clean that
It’s the only way to get the
It’s deadly. Before long, you’re waiting for someone to “turn that cherry out”. What the hell does that even mean?? I had to look it up. But by the time you’ve heard the song a couple of times, you can’t help yourself.
So, this year, Mrs. Carter wins the prize. I just hope that she and JayZ come up for air and take a break. I’m feeling like a voyeur and it’s exhausting.