[35] Destiny’s Child, ‘Bootylicious’

Bootylicious

No pop record has featured this much hiccuping since the imperial phase of Michael Jackson. From the ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ intro to the closing melismatic wail, Beyoncé tics and jerks through a female empowerment anthem that’s more obviously confrontational than ‘Independent Women’ and is – to me, at least, whose view COUNTS HERE – all the better for it. We could never be ready for this much jelly. How can you handle it when it slips through your fingers?

Junior says: “It’s good,” which admittedly lacks real consideration, but perhaps makes up for it with honesty. No more on the ball is her question “Are we having pudding?” when I say B’s singing about jelly.

Best bit: The “wooooo”, obviously, as we slide from intro to dirty funk.

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[2] Take That, ‘Back For Good’

Well I never. There are two types of people: those who understand that this is a pop classic and those who reckon that Robbie Williams’ wrongheaded, legacy-pissing, smug “punk” cover is somehow better. That kind of thing narks me right off. They’re the same earnest Mojo readers who dislike ‘.. Baby One More Time’ and ‘Independent Women’ but fawn over Travis’ and Elbow’s respective versions. Bands who do this believe that they’re legitimising the song by stripping the pop nous and adding dreary rock chords. They’re not. It’s an in-joke that reveals their fear of what the boys might think.

You can possibly tell which side of the fence I occupy. I never had a problem with Take That, a blessed relief after New Kids On The Block. The songs were ordinary, inoffensive, with the odd one or two rising above the parapet. Then I saw them perform this on the Brits and was bowled over by the hooks and its near perfect form. The middle eight is weak, but nothing else is, and it doesn’t outstay its welcome. Hindsight shows it was a one-off for Gary Barlow, the awkward, rotund George Michael that never was.

Junior and I didn’t have time to discuss the record. She sat in the ring and chewed her foam pig while I puzzled over why the mixer was making everything sound fuzzy. I should dust more often. A flawed performance then, an ill-fitting tribute to this soppy dazzler.