So, you know how you stumble across an article on the Internet every year or two that talks about which songs, exactly, prisoners are being tortured with these days (here's one from Slate! prefer NY Daily News?)? Usually, I guess, the head torturer blasts either something annoying and catchy or something annoying and loud - both of these articles mention Sesame Street a lot. For me personally, since I ALREADY listen to a lot of terrible children's music (you should hear my kid's rendition of the Wonder Pets song on kazoo!), I have learned to tune it out so effectively that I simply can't imagine that it could ever break me... but what could, you ask? Easy. Love songs. By Destiny's Child. At any volume.
Before I continue with this post, I feel the need to qualify my comments. Usually, I actually like Destiny's Child, or at least tolerate them. Their uptempo songs are categorically okay-to-good, with some highlights in the form of "Bootylicious", "Survivor", and the ORIGINAL version of "Say My Name" (I stress that only because there's a version of "Say My Name" on this album that made me want to curl into a ball and possibly defect to the Russians [I love Russian accents. therefore I've decided they're my captors in this scenario]). But I have a mental ballad block, as well as a sappy-female-as-a-doormat block, that renders this ballad-tastic album virtually unlistenable to my tender ears. On the flip side, the Rhapsody reviewer contends that "this is a unique on fresh take on an important R&B artist", and quite frankly, even I have gone to karaoke enough to know that most people seem to like this kind of music.
Charitable excuses aside, let's get down to it. I knew I was going to have a problem with first song "Cater 2 U" as soon as the static-y, twinkling intro turned into lyrics. I will also be the first to admit that verses like "Let me help you/Take off your shoes/Untie your shoe strings/Take off your cuff links/Don't you wanna eat boo/Let me feed you/Let me run your bath water/Whatever you desire/I'll supply ya/Sing you a song/Turn the game on/I'll brush your hair" may not have bothered me, oh, four years ago, before I had children, but now that I could replace "take off your cuff links" with "wipe the poo off your bottom" and the song would be SPOT ON for three-year-old care, it totally grosses me out. Then more sappy, slow business followed after this track, most of which wasn't terribly painful (although I also didn't "like" it).
The lack of pain all changed with "If", however, which is notable mostly as the first song that made me want to give up my state secrets in exchange for blissful silence, since it begins with a pile of piano notes and vocal harmonies, and then NEVER PROGRESSES beyond that general recipe. Seriously, I spent all four minutes of it wondering when the actual song was going to start ("If you search you will never find/Another love like ???/You're gonna miss me/I ain't got time while you sit around and play with my emotions"). I would tell you more about the record, except after that I put my hands over my ears and yelled "la la la" until last track "Nuclear" came on, which I felt an obligation to listen to since it's the only new one on the album. And it's fine, I suppose, with kind of a jingly, world-flavored beat beneath the slow, Beyoncé-heavy and science-light vocals ("When the two become one/On a quantum level/It's nuclear/With you here"). Oops, gotta go - Boris is here to record my confession.