Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mo' Horrible Music

Mo’ Better Blues
1990, USA
Spike Lee

Apparently, “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas is not the worst song ever made. That particular honor goes to anything and everything Denzel Washington sings in Mo’ Better Blues, in particular the length title song about love, which is mix between spoken word, jazz, rap, and a beat poet with Tourette’s. Washington plays a talented trumpeter with ego and commitment problems, juggling two women and a band that’s beginning to resent him. There’s a lot to complain about in this movie, like the fact that neither Joie nor Spike Lee can act, or that while Lee’s over-arching filmic thesis is that white people hate black people, he seems to be proving everyone else’s point that black people hate Jews, with his consistent portrayal of them as slimy agents and managers. But all of this is secondary to the hideous, hideous music, which so distracts from everything else that you can’t distinguish the good from the bad, as if the film were an otherwise beautiful stripper with ingrown hairs and razor burn. Despite some interesting directorial flourishes, despite a strong performance by Wesley Snipes, you’ll leave the film with nothing but ringing ears and a bad taste in your mouth, like you’d just given head at a Chemical Brothers’ concert.

Sounds like fun. Tastes like semen.

Since I brought it up, and since the movie has left me with nothing else to say, here’s my top five worst songs of all time.

  1. “My Humps” – The Black Eyed Peas. This seems like the sort of thing a rapping granny would free-style on the spot in an Adam Sandler film. And “lovely lady lumps” just sounds distasteful.

  1. Anything by Queen. Queen is the worst band that has ever been. One of the worst memories of my teenage years involves working in a kitchen and being forced to listen to a ‘classic rock’ station, and the crawling sensation that would creep up my spine whenever the rest of the kitchen staff would join in with “Bohemian Rhapsody”. It was like a hellish, GED opera.

  1. “Grillz” – Nelly featuring Paul Wall, Ali, Gipp. Several large, frightening gorillas mumble while a hooker with a tin ear makes up a hook on the spot, then forgets it by the next verse.

The Beastie Boys’ entire discography almost made the cut, but I wouldn’t want to give them any more press. Plus if I put them in the same paragraph as Nelly, he’d probably start a fight.


Anonymous broadzilla said...

I'm making an effort not to hate everything/everyone today, but there's one band in particular that has never failed to make me want to hang myself in the garage: The Beatles. My father played their albums (when he wasn't playing Queen) every soul-sapping Sunday afternoon for the first 15+ years of my life and I just have to hear the opening chords to The Long and Winding Road to feel my life-force ebbing way. Worse still, I think I may have been conceived to - and subsequently named after - their most annoying track ever.

Bring it on, Nelly.

8:34 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

No, the most annoying Beatles song ever is Yellow Submarine. Because I don't care if you live in a Yellow Submarine.

8:40 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Yes, that's what they christened me. Yellow Submarine.

8:59 a.m.  
Anonymous JazzLover said...

You obviously know very little about music. I can understand not enjoying the spoken word song "Pop Top 40," (even though you must put it into the context of the movie, as the other members of Bleek Gilliam's band thought this song was crazy when they first saw it, too. It is an indictment of Bleek's view of love) the rest of the music in this flawed film is brilliant. Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard wrote and performed original music that has the fire and feeling of contemporary jazz from 1990. Spike Lee also used the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Charles Mingus to help score the mood of this film. By saying you hated the music of "Mo' Better Blues" without an intelligent breakdown or even a reference to anything other than one song shows us all exactly where you're coming from. You obviously know nothing of jazz, which is sad. It's a truly American art form that our own country doesn't appreciate. And these morons dissing the Beatles? The Beatles! Go crank up your American Idol CD and stop discussing things so far over your head.

12:21 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

I deeply, truly apologize that I don't like the same type of music that you do. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I now see that the biggest one is not being a humorless jazz fan. Thank you, anonymous and hostile Internet guy, for showing me the error of my ways. I'll make sure to run any opinion I voice in my readerless comedy blog by you first.

12:49 p.m.  
Anonymous IPSO-FACTO-HALF-NOT-BEE said...


6:02 a.m.  

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