I’m in a funky way

It’s November, and you know what that means…it’s time for me to try to blog for 30 days in a row.  Not write 30 blog posts in the next few days and schedule them to appear at the rate of one per day for the next 30 days.  Rather, each day of November will be at least partially about composing original material for the blog.  For people that enjoy reading this blog, it’ll be more Dan than you can handle.  But I like to think of that as a good thing.  It also means that I’ll be plumbing the depths of my subconscious for blog topics.  So without any further delay, let’s get started.

I don’t know what started it, but I am in a huge Paula Abdul place right now.  I imagine the ship will sail in about 25 minutes because that’s how it usually works for me, but for now, I’m owning it.  When I think about it, I’m honestly kind of amazed that Paula had any kind of success at all.  Her voice is this irritatingly paper-thin thing.  I think Madonna has more range than she does. Nevertheless, she had a great run of chart singles in the late 80s and early 90s starting with “Straight Up” (which I thought was a Samantha Fox song the first time I heard it) and ending with “Blowing Kisses In The Wind.”  There are quite a few solid pop songs in there which I think contributed greatly to her success – the songs were good enough that even though her voice kind of sucked, she still had success.  Her songs soundtracked the tail end of my junior year of high school, as well as my sophomore year of college before her hit making days came screeching to a halt.

Of all the Paula Abdul hits, for my money, they don’t get any better than “Vibeology.”

Certainly, there are bigger hits and, arguably, better written songs.  But “Vibeology” still stands tall.  And here’s why:

  1. The song spells.  As many of you know, any song that spells has already endeared itself to me.  In this song, Paula’s “got that vibeology, the V-I-B-E-ology.”  Honestly, after this, it’s just gravy – but what gravy it is.
  2. Horny horns.  On the way down to Kansas City on Saturday, my friend Matt mentioned how there just aren’t any good songs with horns in them any longer.  I should have mentioned “Vibeology” but it’s not exactly current, and I’m pretty sure these weren’t the horns he was looking for.  Still, the horny horns (not to mention the shout out to the horny horns) have more than just a little bit of merit.
  3. She’s in a funky way.  Really, the song kind of defies the standard pop song structure of verse-choruse-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-fade.  So yeah, it is kind of funky.  And her being in a funky way was ripe to be mocked by changing the lyrics to “I’m in a family way.”
  4. The spoken bit at 1:07.  “Vibeology.  Now you ask ‘what does it mean?”  Why, it’s the study of the chemistry between you and me.”  Need I say more?
  5. Oh the vibes, the vibes.  It might just be me, but I’ve always thought that part sounded like Cyndi Lauper promoting the movie Vibes. (at 1:57)
  6. Go Paula!  The cheerleading guys name checking Paula presaged Gaga name-checking herself by nearly 20 years. “Go Paula! Go Paula! Go, go, go Paula!”  Sadly, that part was edited out of the video version but was in album version of the song as well as the 7″ single edit.
  7. The video.  Paula looks great and shows that she really is a more of a dancer than a singer.

Paula’s not making music anymore and is more “famous for being famous” than anything else these days.  And despite the fact that I only periodically listen to her music, when I do, I always find myself enjoying it just a little bit more than I should.  And now that I think about it, I think it’s Matt’s fault for the Paula Abdul renaissance because he did mention MC Skat Cat on Saturday as well…

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6 Responses to I’m in a funky way

  1. Dwayne says:

    Paula’s great connections from her choreographing work got her some great producers and writers, despite her barely passable singing. She is proof of what great studio production can do with minimal talent. She had the charisma and the dancing skills to pull off the videos though.
    I think the rise of grunge is mostly to blame for her tumble from popularity as Spellbound and Head over Heels had some really great singles. I love Crazy Cool & Ain’t never Gonna Give You Up.

    • Dan says:

      Good point about grunge – I always forget about that. It had a HUGE impact on popular music at the time. I never really heard much from Head Over Heels but I do remember “My Love Is For Real” being compared to “Erotica” sound-wise.

  2. “Will You Marry Me, Boy,” however, makes my ears bleed. One of the worst pop songs I can think of. Ugh.

  3. Dan says:

    “Rush Rush” totally put me off the Spellbound album. That damn song played all summer on the radio and MTV. Although I ended up liking “The Promise of a New Day” as well as “Vibeology.”

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