Known Johnson

December 5, 2006

Bad for good

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 5:11 am

I didn’t go looking for it, but I stumbled upon this stunningly in-depth examination of Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” that reaches hilarious levels of seriousness. Read it with the voice of VH1’s Behind The Music‘s voiceover talent and you’ll probably get the same enjoyment out of it that I did. Such an amazingly bad song doesn’t normally deserve this kind of attention, but when it’s delivered with such a deadly-serious tone that I just have to appreciate its existence for exactly this kind of thing.

One of my favorite quotes from the entry, a quote from a critic who pretty much nails how I feel about this song:

“Eric Greenwood of Drawer B Media commented: ‘[The song is] moronic and embarrassingly tuneless. I’d quote the lyrics, but they’re so bad, I almost feel sorry for her. A 35-year-old woman singing about pom-poms and “talking shit” in high school betrays such a delusional self-image that it’s hard not to be taken aback.'”



  1. and yet…i enjoy it.

    mark (no shame) saleski

    Comment by Mark Saleski — December 5, 2006 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  2. I agree with the assessment. I don’t dislike Gwen Stefani – she’s good at what she does, and No Doubt are/were a fun band with good hooks (their ska/punk influences, while watered down, are a virtual who’s-who of bands I discovered in high school). They managed to take one of my least-favorite Toots and the Maytals songs (“Monkey Man”) and made it one of my favorite remakes on Toots’ “True Love” comeback album. And “Just a Girl” is one of my favorite guilty pleasures of the nineties.

    But yeah, that song is pretty horrific.

    Comment by Chris — December 5, 2006 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  3. Mark, you scare me sometimes. 😉

    I never owned anything by No Doubt, but I always thought their songs were pretty decent (save for some of their later ones where it seemed like they were losing focus.) It was only when I saw them opening for U2 that I really became bothered by them – they, or rather, she, hopped around the stage with an air of importance that was truly astounding. I have “no doubt” that they’re a fun band – their music is definitely catchy and fun, but that is as far as it goes with them. The attitude we were later to see in her solo career was in full swing, and the way she talked to the audience was so pedantic that it was really insulting. I wasn’t too surprised to see how she acted once she got free of the band, but, of course, this shouldn’t really weigh too heavily on the artist’s musical merit. I still can’t get past what the quote I pulled above focused on – there’s just a point at which all artists have to stop singing and thinking about high school and things like that. She seems to have regressed since No Doubt disbanded, but her audience really does seem to be the fickle teen market, sadly. She’s fixated on being the next Madonna rather than simply being an artist, unfortunately.

    Comment by Tom — December 6, 2006 @ 1:16 am | Reply

  4. well, you’ve gotta take into consideration that the first solo record was supposed to be all about the dance music that she grew up with.

    hey, i’m not saying it’s earth-shattering material. it’s not. but it was never intended to be any more than a good time, which was what its inspiration was all about too.

    Comment by Mark Saleski — December 6, 2006 @ 2:48 pm | Reply

  5. >Mark, you scare me sometimes.

    it’s ok tom. when dj radiohead found out that i liked “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes, he almost had a brain hemorage.

    i have that effect on people sometimes.

    Comment by Mark Saleski — December 7, 2006 @ 4:23 am | Reply

  6. That’s okay, Mark. Sometimes it’s good to scare people.

    Comment by Tom — December 8, 2006 @ 5:17 am | Reply

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