Musical Revolution?

Esthero

Esthero is finally back with a new EP on Reprise, and the opening song of six is stupendous. She lambasts MTV and public radio stations for playing repetitive drivel, and champions a banding together of progressive, talented artists to shake the foundations of what’s currently making the rounds on the airwaves. She calls out a few pop divas by name, which makes a powerful statement about the current iteration of candied crap that she’s railing against. I heartily concur with her sentiment here, but then she signs off on her liner notes with an explanation/caveat that essentially retracts the acrid bite of such an important piece:

“This song is a call to arms. It is a call to my pirate sisters, to my rebel brothers, to demand MORE. More from every moment of your life, but especially to demand more of radio stations, of video channels, of the so called ‘keepers of the keys to the kingdom.’ It is meant to inspire and motivate – not to offend. I want this to be very clear: This song is not meant to be a personal attack on Ashanti or Britney Spears…I was merely trying to make an example of the fact that we overplay and saturate only a few artists at a time…leaving little to no room for any others. We have no variety. We are stagnating.”

Dear Esthero: you just killed the impact of your song. Don’t try to play the good girl here; you’ve already stuffed a big fat one in Britney’s face, and I don’t think anyone here would even attempt to argue with you. You’re right: most of the terrible, rotting compost being passed off on MTV as popular music is actually corporate narcotic for the masses that mollifies our individuality and personal opinions in lieu of advert-placing and fashion posturing. MTV has some time ago ceased to be about music. Now it’s a shameful forum to exploit young, unemployed, inattentive youths and their value systems. Now it proudly waves the banner of ‘One World – One Ear’ whilst repeatedly showing detestable get-rich-quick schemes for tomorrow’s (un)aspiring hip-hop stars: If you make music, you don’t have to have any real talent or have any real message to offer – just posture and smile big, and you’ve got a million bucks. We’ll see to it. Take your medicine; all the kids are doing it.

But back to Esthero. I’m disappointed that she dared to tell it like it is, and then slinks back behind an ‘explanation’ in her liner notes. Her explanation IS the song. It should have been left there, and there we are. Say what you mean, live what you say.

I loved her first album, ‘Breath From Another’, which was a dark, gyrating spelunk into trip-hop and jazz that struck out in new directions to which Massive Attack had already pointed the way. We can only hope her second full-length will be as good as ‘We’re in Need of a Musical Revolution’, but the other five songs on this long-awaited EP only point to the candied, feel-good sort of pop that she lashes out against in the first place.

Check out her new song here. And tell me what you think. This is a good forum for it.

X-posted to record_snob.

2 Responses to “Musical Revolution?”

  1. ex_delve955 Says:
    April 24th, 2005 at 2:07 am

    Fuck I love the first album. I'm so glad there's another. (breath from) that is. Thanks for the tipoff.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    April 26th, 2005 at 12:26 am

    Oh, sure. A new EP and a soon-to-be-forthcoming album. From what I've heard, it's going to be nothing like Breath, so we might have to find her, lynch her, and break some fucking kneecaps.
    Just sayin', is all.
    Listen to the first song yet?

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