Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let you play with my emotions

"Beautiful Lie," taken from an upcoming rerelease of Jennifer Paige's latest album, may just be my favorite duet in several years, and that's considering how much I loved James Morrison and Nelly Furtado's "Broken Strings."

Jennifer and her duet partner, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, have some of the voices that most instantly take me back to my formative music years in the midst of the late '90s teen pop boom. Jennifer's "Crush" slotted in right along the other radio hits from the early part of that period, but there was always something just a little more grown-up about it than the (equally great) "...Baby One More Time"s and "Candy"s that followed it; the hint of exotic seductiveness to "Crush" was like a peek into an underground world I was only barely aware of, and even then only in the most chaste way possible.

Backstreet's debut American album, Backstreet Boys, meanwhile, was the first album I can remember experiencing communally with a group of peers. To this day, if I close my eyes, the opening notes of "As Long As You Love Me" and "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)" instantly take me back to a barely-in-the-wilderness cabin, where my Girl Scout troop, temporarily without a chaperon, sits in a circle, one of us holding a boombox. It's maybe a few weeks before school will start up again and I am, typically for the time, clueless about any and all recent developments in the musical world. Admittedly, the audience couldn't have been much more stacked in favor of the Backstreet Boys--a bunch of late elementary school-age girls at what essentially amounted a sleepover? As if we stood a chance.

Still, this was still several years before I'd admit to myself that I had a celebrity crush (Mark Wahlberg in the remake of Planet of the Apes--book addict that I was, my parents didn't blink an eye when I ran out after the movie to buy the novelization, little expecting that for the first time ever I had more interest in those glossy photos in the middle of the book than the words that surrounded them), but even if puppy love had been on the table as an option, the CD case was too busy being held by too many other girls to make its way to my hands. I had no visual image to go with the music I was hearing. All I could think was, "wow, you can love music like this? You can love it this much, in this way? It can matter this much to you?"

I guess what I'm getting at is that, for me, "Beautiful Lie," brand new as it may be, is one of those instant nostalgia songs. It's a simple little heart-tugging mid-tempo pop song, but it's sung beautifully (those harmonies!), composed beautifully (the lyrically quick, string-featuring section right after the middle eight!), and takes me right back to the late '90s partially by virtue of who its singers are and partially because, despite heavier synths than you'd hear back then, there's something about its style and structure that seems like it would fit right in with that era of pop. Nowadays, I can't really see a song like this getting played on American radio, but I hope, really hope, that it can find some success in continental Europe.

Whether or not it does, though, I can promise you this: that girl sitting on that dirty cabin floor would love it. Who am I to begrudge her the enjoyment of it now?

"Beautiful Lie" by Jennifer Paige and Nick Carter will be released as a single November 20, probably in countries like France and Germany, in which case you should be able to buy it from digital music stores like this one and this one.


Paul said...

Love this song. I hope it gets a full release in the UK, though god knows what is happening with the promotion of BSB over here, so not sure what Nick Carter would get :/ Lovely lovely tune though!!

Nick Carter always reminds me to ask you if you checked out David Charvet? if not, let me know, I'm sure some songs will find their way to you!

D'luv said...

Nice! Have I ever told you my Jennifer Paige "Crush" story? I think I did once. T-rash.

Poster Girl said...

Paul, I would love to hear more David--only a few songs, but you always say he made some good music. Any help and I'd be very thankful ;)

Robbie, I think you did!

Poster Girl said...

I should add as a P.S. my primary association with Jennifer's "Crush" is it being used in some made-for-TV movie for Sabrina the Teenage Witch that featured her in Rome. I think. I didn't even watch that show, so heaven knows why I watched that, but I can tell you exactly where I was when I watched it.

Barnsey said...

Actualy surprised how much I am loving this song at the moment, and like Paul said fingers crossed it gets a UK release of some description, even just a digital one would be nice.

Also had completely forgotten about David Charvet, despite being obsessed with Leap of Faith when it appeared on The Box back in 2002-ish! :) Definitely worth a listen.


Poster Girl said...

Hey! Great to see you again. That's the big news!

"Leap Of Faith" is the song of his I know, once again via Paul :) I do like it, too.