I did not mention Amy Winehouse's death when it happened several weeks ago. I've taken issue with her before, but I felt no need to shit on her memory by cracking jokes. No matter what you think of the music she bestowed upon the world, it's never okay when someone dies so young and so unnecessarily. And besides, in the days after her death, I found myself revising my opinion of her musical oeuvre upward by a few levels. That's because I am not, nor do I care to become, sufficiently familiar with her catalogue; I didn't really get past "Rehab." I was much more put off by her physical appearance and the habits that probably led to her demise.
I also feel like I have a disposition against the contralto voice range, or at least its "soulful" subset. Case in point: Adele. I resisted "Rolling in the Deep" for a while, in no small part because ESPN used it during the NBA Draft, and overused the final bars. I'm also not a fan of the mononym; I wonder whether she's too good for her last name. But once I listened to the song all the way through, I had a much higher opinion of it.
But...truth be told, Amy and Adele are just preludes.
Now, I can deal with the pink hair, and the records are a neat concept (even if not necessarily appropriate for the VMas). Say what you will about whether the frontal display is an appropriate message to send to young girls. But what's that at the waist? Did she name-check herself...on her dress? How full of herself is this girl? It's bad enough that such a procedure is creeping into pop music. Call me a purist, but I think the lyrical statement of one's name should be limited to rappers. Regardless, what's the intended statement there? Is she really concerned that people might not know who she is? Unlikely. I mean, come on...she's just the second artist (after the late Michael Jackson) to send five songs from a single album to the top of the Hot 100. Her charity work is of the first order - she's providing needed aid and comfort of one of Britain's shittiest* comics. She made a decent attempt to destroy the Internet when she sang Rebecca Black's "Friday." And last but not least, through "California Gurls," she stole every last shred of Snoop Dogg's street cred. Mission accomplished, Katy. Everybody on, below, or above the surface of the planet knows just who the hell you are. Dial it back a few notches.
* All right, if I cut Winehouse some slack, I guess I might have to do the same for Russell Brand. I was and still am convinced that his opening monologue from SNL last year told me all I needed to know about him.