Saturday, February 13, 2010

Great Love Songs (17)

It's been ages since we had a Great Love Songs entry, over 8 months. I am loth to post one on the eve of the dread day, lest anyone think that I am succumbing to the ersatz emotion of this dratted festival. On the other hand... well, Love Songs is starting to fall badly behind the rival Great Drinking Songs strand, and I wouldn't want anyone to think that drinking is more important to me than romance (it probably is; but I wouldn't want anyone to think that!). So, the time is ripe.

I developed a bit of a weakness for Country & Western music when I was living in North America for a year-and-a-bit towards the end of the '90s - not least because the female singers all tend to be rather gorgeous. (And I was based most of the time in Toronto; C&W is also very big in Canada, and their music video TV station for it - CMT, Country Music Television - I find rather better than its cross-border equivalent, GAC [Great American Country].) And Faith Hill is one of the most gorgeous of the gorgeous; she made a particularly big splash that year ('98, I suppose it must have been) with a rather poppy album, from which this infectiously catchy number, This Kiss, was the main hit single. (I'm sure many C&W purists denounced her for jumping on the Shania Twain 'crossover' bandwagon and deserting 'true' country music. And I gather she has subsequently returned to a more traditional style.) In addition to its hookiness, though, it's also got some very clever rhymes - always something I'm a big fan of (how can you not love a song that includes the word 'subliminal'??). It even includes aposiopesis - now how many songs can you say that about?

I was reminded of this song by the improbably mind-bending - if disappointingly brief - smooch I enjoyed with an old flame at New Year this year, so I've been meaning to root it out and post it for a while now. Unfortunately, Faith Hill's "people" at Warner Records have got YouTube well locked down, so you can only view her original video for it here. However, there are quite a lot of good "homemade" videos accompanying the song; this anthology of clips from Disney cartoon romances is probably the best. I just hope the Warner Records killjoys won't demand its deletion too soon.

[For some reason, anime video compilations for this song seem to be especially popular. Well worth checking some of these out, too.]


Harvster said...

I loved that song! Find YouTube very frustrating so have just put the CD on instead.

And not only "subliminal". How many songs include "centripetal"?

Froog said...

Glad it's not just me, Harve. I feared I was getting soppy in my old age!

I'm surprised The Cowboy hasn't pitched in on this one yet. I suspect this one isn't "hardcore" enough for his taste in country.

The British Cowboy said...

Meh - it's OK. It got brutally overplayed on country radio at the time I was listening to it a lot, which kinda spoiled it for me. It's too poppy for my taste, too "produced" but overall is acceptable.

Faith Hill, voice wise at least, doesn't really do it for me either.

The whole cross over type arguments are really amusing - country stars have been ripping each other for selling out for years, ever since (and probably before) the Nashville Sound came out. I'm by no means a purist - I love stuff across the spectrum of country. But there are lines I draw. If you are going to be singing about crying or heartbreak, and you are male, it had better be your dog dying or your truck throwing a rod. Not some woman you want back. I'm looking at you, Tim McGraw.

Froog said...

Ah, it took a while, but it was worth waiting for. Thank you, Cowboy.

Is it acceptable to sing of wanting you woman back if she took your dog or your truck with her?

The British Cowboy said...

You can sing of wanting the woman back, if it is to get your dog and truck, and set her up for a brutal dumping when you have properly secured your possessions.

A modern person who gets the balance right, IMHO, is Brad Paisley. Doesn't take himself seriously at all. Try "I'll Take You Back" for a true example of how country should deal with relationships.