Scott, To Be Certain


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Under The Covers

It is a ceaseless wonder to me how certain decisions of the musical industry are arrived at.

"Are you referring to the tragic partnership of me and a recording studio"

I was actually thinking more along the lines of truly fucked up album and/or single covers.

Certainly, album art and photography has a long and interesting history, checkered with some inexplicable horrors.

"Are you suggesting I am not realistically depicted in this photograph"

Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you're actually Deborah Harry. But life isn't all about you, Steph, no matter what Channel 10/Universal attempt to contract.

This is about the smaller, curious mysteries.

"Are you referring to my suddenly angular features"

I'd prefer not to imagine anything about you at an angle, to be honest. (Especially not 'to the left, to the left'.) And the people responsible for that photo are obviously, much like your face, not short of work.

No, I'm talking about the photographer/graphic designer who decided that the most attractive and plausible pose for a young woman to assume in promoting her first single in 3 years would be to imagine herself with BO.

And so it is that JoJo, the seasoned pop/R&B crossover veteran, appears to be promoting deodorant rather than her surprisingly good new song. Of course, she could just be leaning against a baguette.

But that's nothing when you consider, say, Jamelia's latest offering.

You all know Jamelia. She's been around for years, and was responsible for the ubiquitous and now unfortunately death-inspiring song "Superstar". She had a number of other hit singles on her last album, which were sexily and appealingly advertised. For example:

So we're talking about a good looking lass. The bling/pout combo has also previously worked well for her.

Which makes the recent decision in releasing the latest addition to her œuvre all the more inconceivable. Her singles "Something About You" and "Beware Of The Dog", released in the UK late last year, completely tanked. The former has just been released here - you will no doubt catch it during its saturation airplay run on Nova. In doing so, you'll realise it's a stunningly good song and a fucking waste to end up in the bargain bin.

But not surprising, because it features on an album that looks like this:

Which should have screamed "Look, I'm that sexy chick from a couple of years ago returning to release my kick-arse new material which shits all over my hugely successful but annoying previous output" but instead unequivocally states, despite her name in bold lettering, "Welcome to the M People tribute album".

It's amazing, isn't it, this continuing legacy of Trish Goddard Heather Small. Not only inspiring misguided photo shoots by fellow black Brits experiencing complete apathy vis-à-vis the record buying public, but also providing the soundtrack to American weight loss. Even Oprah's loving the whole Medusa hair thing.

Such a fairweather friend, Oprah. She wasn't interested back when Heather was movin' on up. But chuck in some fat people and suburban book club themes like "Pride" and she is on that bandwagon in a flash.

But back to Jamelia. Fortunately for her, it really is all about the music. She has fronted some excellent songs and can therefore sleep well at night (with no need for pillows).

However, it is also all about the look. While Jamelia can always return to pout/bling combo, JoJo will be left with freakish eyebrows until the end of time.

At least until she meets the Australian album artist du jour to computerise her features out of existence.

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  • At 6:34 PM, February 10, 2007, Blogger Adem IAR said…

    AH. This explains my Jamelia related incident last week. I walked into Fantastic Furniture on Thursday afternoon, and they were playing "Beware Of The Dog". I was that floored that I left the store without purchasing the $10 thing I went in for.

  • At 9:34 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Anna said…

    Stephanie looks scarily like Sophie Ellis Bextor!

  • At 10:48 AM, February 14, 2007, Blogger Adem IAR said…

    Good news Scott. The Australian edition of Jojo's single has a different, less offensive cover.

  • At 12:37 PM, February 14, 2007, Blogger Scott said…

    I'm so pleased to hear it. I have an inexplicable fondness for that girl, it seems a waste that she would allow her career to stall because of a baguette.


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