10) Maneater – Nelly Furtado
Though, in terms of Misogyny, Furtado has Spankrock beat. I was a bit slow on this one, but it eventually clicked and took over my life for those handful of days which any great pop-record always does. All drums and a dirty synth riff which sounds like itâ€™s just squeezed itself into something skin-tight, Furtado manages to both take the role and mock the role with equalâ€¦ well, sense of distance. Thereâ€™s something dead deep inside the song â€“ when describing the riff, the initial metaphor which came to mind was a zombieâ€™s lurch. Nightclub of the Living Dead. No-one gets out here with what makes them human alive.
Kieron Gillen isn’t a name you probably know, although you bloody should. He’s a games journalist and writer of sequential art (his new series, Phonogram (at Image) is a tribute to 90s Britpop reimaged as some perverse superhero mythology; it’s glorious and beautiful and, well, stuff). Anyway, his top 40 for 2006 finally forced me to confront my love for Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater.’
I was never particularly interest in Furtado when she first appeared on the scene. ‘Insipid’ was the word I used, I believe. Frankly, I was waiting for the world to realise that her music wasn’t all that, and when her latest album was released I sighed a gentle sigh and returned to the textbooks.
My first encounter of ‘Maneater’ was the music video. I was entranced, mostly by just how bad the song was (and a bit by the imagery). Subsequent viewings did little to improve my mood and as I don’t listen to the radio my only other exposure to it was as musak in shops, which is hardly what I would call positive reinforcement.
A little under a week ago, in the ‘Number One Shoe Warehouse’ I found that not only did I like ‘Maneater’ as it played in the background but that I really liked it. And that it works as musak (which is kind of disturbing when you think about it).
Why? Because it’s actually a clever little bit of pop, and incredibly well-crafted in things sonic.
It reminds me a little of Rachel Steven’s ‘Sweet Dreams (My LA Ex)’ in that ‘Maneater’ is not just two songs merged but also two musical genres battling it out by verse and chorus. ‘Sweet Dreams…’ has a moment of Big Band Dance Hall to it (about two thirds of the way through) and it just works. ‘Maneater’ is two kinds of pop, neither of which I would usually nod my head to, but, well, as Gillen puts forward, its deep, its undead and it changes you.
Ya, verily, ‘Maneater’ snizzles my nizzle. Also, me mizzen mast.
Admitting to past mistakes is a virtue (although public confession of such things is often vice as the Pope keeps pointing out) and so I wish to apologise to all those who had to suffer under my sighing and gnashing of teeth in re ‘Maneater.’ I was wrong. I may well got to Hell for this, but I now place ‘Maneater’ into its rightful place in last year’s pop pantheon.
Although, and I dare you to disagree, the best thing about last year’s Music was my discovery of the ‘They Might Be Giants’ podcasts. There is something delightful about the Dust Brothers remixing TMBG tracks.
Better than sex. Well, at least that’s what the Vicar told me, and he’d know moreso than I.