Monday, October 07, 2013

The best music monday song ever in the history of everything.

I'm slightly obsessed with this song. Though technically, you can't be slightly obsessed with anything. But I've been listening to it much of the weekend on repeat, and I think you need to experience it. Make sure you actually watch the video and not just listen to the song while you do other stuff on the computer. And you should either watch it full screen, or click through to watch it on youtube to get the complete experience.

Damn. If that doesn't want to make you go have sexytime with your partner, I think you need to check your pulse. But this isn't, it's This means I have to write some stuff about race and inequality. Luckily for all of us, I did notice some things. In a particular order:

--This song continues the tradition of white guys who sound black that I wrote about here. What's interesting is that Sam Smith is from England and Sam Sparro is from Australia. I wonder if there is something about those two accents that makes it easier for white people to get that kind of sound? Or maybe they're just more in touch with their soulful sides. Can you think of any white male singers from the U.S. that sound black? Jon B. is the only one that comes to mind for me.

--We've got the two chicks kissing, which is kind of a big deal. What I think is interesting is that I didn't have the same reaction to that that I probably would have 20 years ago. It's definitely the first time I've seen two people of the same sex kiss in a music video, but it wasn't shocking. I think in large part because of seeing Britney and Madonna kiss at the VMA's in 2003 and then having the news media show it repeatedly for weeks afterward. It's like when you say a word over and over and it starts to lose its meaning. You show two women kiss, and the first time it's like "Whoa!" and then the 75th time it's like "meh."

--You'll notice that they didn't show the two guys that lock eyes kissing. It's like Slow your roll, folks. The only time I've seen two guys kiss in a sexual way was Brokeback Mountain. And maybe an indie film I saw a long time ago that I can't remember the name of. Men kissing does happen in pop culture, but it's always played for laughs, like Will Ferrell and some other dude. Perhaps that will change in the future.

--I think that if they hadn't had the same sex couple featured, they would have had a couple of color. Remember the rule of threes? It's just that nowadays gay people are the we're open minded indicator. This brings up some of the issues around intersectionality that I posted about Friday on's facebook page.

--We've got the interracial (maybe?) couple also featured. I say maybe because the woman is racially ambiguous. She looks to me like she could be half white and half black, or half white and half latina or a light-skinned black person or or any number of other combinations. What's interesting about her is that she is the most scantily clad and obviously sexual of all of the characters in the story. Reinforcing the exotic non-white temptress narrative.

--Another thing about the interracial couple: when's the last time you saw a black guy hooking up with a white woman on screen? But nowadays it is becoming increasingly common to see black and Asian women getting it on with white men. Oooooh weeee, what's up with that? what's up with that?

--Finally, if you check the youtube comments, you'll see they fall into three general categories: 1) This song is awesome 2) some positive comment about the light-eyed, blonde-ish couple in the elevator 3) some statement of disgust about the inclusion of the gay couples. So even though the second couple is supposed to be the most relateable and common, they are largely ignored and the blondies get the favor. Is that because they are in an elevator, and many people have fantasies about getting it on in an elevator? Quite possibly. But maybe it's because that couple most closely represents the white ideal.

That's all. Truly, I originally wanted to post this because I just like the song so much. But then they added the visuals, which clearly gave me a lot more to say. If you have something to say, you should leave me a comment.


  1. The video adds multiple dimensions of problematic visual representation, but the song itself is already wading in quite a few of its own issues.

    There are a number of dominance/restraint metaphors including, but not limited to: "I wanna lock in your love", "Now I got you in my space / I won’t let go of you (never)", and "Got you shackled in my embrace / I’m latching on to you (never)."

    And that's just the chorus.

    Very funky, slightly creepy.

    But for same sex music video kisses, I submit for your review All American Boy by Steve Grand [].

  2. Good song. Good post.

    I had a similar reaction to the video, thinking, this is sort of a step back, or at least not as progressive as I would expect from the younger millennials. (I am an older millennial)

    There is so much formula in the "creative" industries like photography/music/videos. I think truly creative people would find the formula's to be stifling at best, soul crushing and destructive to society at worst (I did). Those that do end up in these fields must just do it because they dont know how to do anything else, and/or they are not observant enough to notice or understand the very formula's they are applying everyday. Hopefully blogs like this will get them thinking.

  3. People. Stop over-thinking everything. Just enjoy the music and the video. I think both are hot!