Monday, December 03, 2012

Girl power! - A Top Five songs by female vocalists

To kick off the advertised 'Music Week' here on The Barstool, here's a varied roundup - possibly compromising my usual macho image??!! - of girly songs that I rather like.

Not a very considered or definitive pick, just an off-the-top-of-my-head (and what I could find on YouTube) selection.

Froog's Top Five Girly Songs

5)  Lisa Loeb - I Do
Ridiculously hooky little song, with the hint of inner toughness and self-assertion that I always look for in my women (I can't stand drippy "I can't live without him" love songs!). And Ms Loeb is quite a compelling character: she has that librarian-sexy thing going on.

4)  Meredith Brooks  -  Bitch
A song that perhaps goes a bit far to the opposite extreme from the soft-and-fluffy/pathetic/can't-get-by-without-a-man image of femininity, but I've always found this sort of sassiness very appealing - even if it can be scary, vexing, and impossible to live with. I wonder if this song got under my skin so much because it came out just after the great break-up of my life (from a gorgeous Aussie academic I later jokingly dubbed 'The Evil One'): there did seem to be rather too much appropriateness in it.

3)  Sheryl Crow - Strong Enough
A similar stance to Bitch, but not so in-your-face, and with a touching overlay of vulnerability: not so much 'I will make your life hell just for the fun of it' as 'I will make your life hell because I'm a bit of an emotional basketcase'. This one is probably even more appropriate to that break-up, but not so contemporary.

I can't resist adding this duet with Stevie Nicks that I just found.

2)  Throwing Muses - Honeychain
I've mentioned a few times before that I'm a big fan of Tanya Donnelly and her subsequent band, Belly; but I wasn't so familiar with her earlier work with Kristin Hersh in Throwing Muses. My mate Ned introduced me to their 1991 album The Real Ramona, and this song really got under my skin somehow. That line Stare holes into the wall I find particularly haunting.

And at the top of this particular heap...

1)  Transvision Vamp  -  I Want Your Love
I believe someone - it might have been Malcolm McLaren - slightly snarkily dubbed Wendy James "the face of the '80s". It was a backhanded compliment because she and her band didn't break big until the late summer of 1988; and sadly prescient, because the band would soon fizzle and die in the '90s. But oh damn, their infectious pop-punk was tremendous FUN for a while, a late high point in what had been a mostly rather musically uninspired decade. And Wendy James might just possibly be the sexiest female singer Britain has ever produced: not just supermodel gorgeous, but brash, ballsy, smart as a whip - and she had a decent voice too. (Elvis Costello wrote a solo album for her, which suggests that I'm not alone in thinking she had some talent.) I remember the first time I heard this, I had just finished at university, and I was walking through London on a gloriously sunny day, the streets almost deserted on a midweek afternoon; suddenly, there was an open window on an upper floor, and someone had cranked up their hi-fi to full volume to blast out this song. "Damn," I thought to myself, "this is, um... bouncy!" And then I saw the video...


Mike said...

4 out of 5 leave me completely cold, but killer ending with Transvision Vamp! Aaahh Wendy James...

Froog said...

You need to get more in touch with your 'feminine side', Mr C!