Friday, October 8, 2010

A Bad Earworm

When a German has a song in his head that keeps playing and playing, and will not stop, he calls it an Ohrwurm, an earworm. That expresses the problem well.

At the moment I have Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" running around up top, and it's taking up valuable mental real estate. But there is good reason for its being there.

I am not equipped to analyze Bad Romance articulately. But emotionally it is a remarkably arresting song. Her soaring vocals and pathetic tones complementing the pathetic theme, the alteration back and forth between Berlin cabaret and Broadway tragedy, and even some classy French at one point to cleanse the listener's ear before returning us to the singer's unhealthy involvement with her lover's "ugly" and "disease" confront us with an immediate awareness that nothing like this has happened in pop music since Michael Jackson released Thriller in 1982 and U2 came out with War in 1983, or possibly since Nirvana's Nevermind showed up in 1991.

But I have not been following popular music closely the way I did when I was 18, and what do I know anyway? That's why I'm going public with these thoughts.

I won't post her video because it is vile, but consider this stunning performance of the song.

It brings to mind this earlier classic of dance and song.

It is true, we are living in a golden age of creativity. I can hardly keep up with it.

No comments: