Kelis vs Madonna
Like This and Like That is the new column from Snobcast extraordinaire, Father Guido Sarducci IV. The procedure: Every morning (OK, maybe not every morning) Guido will snatch the first crisp, clean & new mp3 he stumbles upon, listen to it at least once, and then find an old song (ten years or more) for some good old-fashioned compare and contrast. The purpose: To draw a line between the modern and the out-of-date. The premise: To expose the kids to their past while also showing the unfashionable adults that there’s great new music being made every day. Thus, if you like This than you might like That.
“4th of July (Fireworks)” by Kelis vs “Borderline” by Madonna
Kelis will probably never top her hit “Milkshake” from her third album but at least on Flesh Tone, album number five, she proves that the she’s willing to try, even if that means switching from her colorfully, scifi-soul sound to a more electro-dance-pop style. On “4th of July” we find Kelis singing with a deep, smokey voice over a decidedly house beat; sounding more Gloria Jones than, say, Rihanna. This song isn’t great (and I’m not convinced of her attempt to move towards a more disco oriented sound) but Kelis is the type of R&B singer that I find interesting and so it makes me happy to hear her continued creativity. On a side note: I was surprised and sad to find out (a year late) that she has divorced Nas. They were like the underrated version of Jay-Z & Beyonce.
Praised by critics for both it’s dance-pop style and it’s harmonic complexity, the fifth and final single from Madonna‘s debut album was her first top ten after it was released in early 1984. While this song is closer to Kelis’ 90s hit, “Caught Out There”, when it comes to lyrics about rebellion against male chauvinism, these two songs start off with very similar sentiments. “Borderline” begins, “Something in the way you love me won’t let me be…” while “4th of July” leads with, “Didn’t think I need you/Never seemed to…” Throughout both songs, these women sing of the way their man makes them feel, pushing them to the edge or shooting them into the sky, just to have them blow-up and fall back to earth. On a side note: Madonna, also recently divorced.