Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rebecca Lynn Howard - That's Why I Hate Pontiacs

In these days where pop singles are usually shopped around, recorded, leaked and occasionally, released by a variety of singers, it can be forgotten that years ago - up until perhaps the 1960s, it was common for multiple versions of songs to be released. And country certainly wasn't an exception.

What interests me in particular about this song is that despite Rebecca Lynn Howard doing a very nice job with it, I'm fascinated to hear the other version, recorded by Amanda Wilkinson apparently. (I love Amanda Wilkinson, because she somehow manages to keep a straight face in her videos while her father and brother sing back-up on lines that men really have no business singing, viz. "I Wanna Be That Girl"). Could it be better? Very possibly, but wishing it to be better seems churlish, because what we've already got is splendid.

She infuses each statement; what she hates, what she did, with just the right amount of kink and kick in her voice to convey a sense of giddy hurt. Lyrically, the senses are nicely catered for: she sings of a "blue-eyed boy with a red Trans-am", and having a "finger on the trigger". The chorus reveals the curse of the sensory activation of memory - Pontiacs, black vinyl seats, crackerjacks, crap songs on the radio - can remind us of pleasant times past, or they can make you revisit the scene and the time of your emotional wounding over and over again.

It's not overdone; someone with less skill would probably have seen a line like "And Tupelo! Oh, I hate that town!" as an excuse to over-emote, when the key is of course that Rebecca doesn't hate Tupelo, river roads, blue-eyed boys or midnight dancing (surely my new favourite euphemism for sex), she hates what they remind her of.

Musically, this is just right too - painting Rebecca's coloured lament in sepia like an old photograph with its fiddle and piano before a chorus that unleashes guitar twang and drum beats like little pains in the chest.

I don't know that that cute young Amanda Wilkinson could have pulled this off. The right version has blown up for once.

Bad real audio stream here. It occasionally sounds a bit like "Breathe" by Faith Hill, except it's not shit.


Blogger Jessica said...

Hello Mr 0! We have missed you! If anyone can persuade me to like country it is you.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Dom Passantino said...

Trailing in my wake boy, huh? This blog better be a success, or I'm cracking some skulls. Country style.

12:40 AM  

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