Ho ho ho! ‘Tis the season for lowered expectations. The last couple days for all of us have been marked by disappointments of all sorts at the hands of some dude we ushered into the Oval Office. Once the king of the high school prom, he now looks as pleasing as someone you vaguely knew in high school but now go out of your way to avoid while rifling through the clearance bins at Bath and Body Works. Yes, he’s doing something about Wall Street reform, but one wonders if the man isn’t spreading himself too thin, thereby leading to unfulfilled promises and disappointing consolations — and more worryingly, a green legacy which, upon fruition, will be marked by inertia and inaction. In other words, the president’s constant compromises make him akin to the new Mariah Carey single. Seriously.
With “Obsessed”, Carey’s concocted a song that compromises itself so much that it collapses and ceases to be a song. Or at any rate, listenable. She’s taken the blueprint of one of her worst singles ever, then tacked on some words that — half-spoken and half-sung — start to resemble something of a tune. She’s worked in a timely personal attack on Eminem and a reference to a beloved movie about bitchiness.
Then, in order to make it sound more “with the times,” she enlisted one of the industry’s trendiest producers to give it a proper gloss. Comparable, not to a T, to when Obama found an unlikely champion in Shepard Fairey. And also that one time he hosted a big ol’ poetry jam.
For those with ears who still like to judge music on more technical terms (general excellence, melody, rhythm, etc.), what we have with “Obsessed” is a grave descent. Carey’s kick-off of Emancipation of Mimi was marked by this snappy song, while the following E=MC2 was sparked with this decent, but noticeably duller song. Now with her next record’s “Obsessed,” Carey seems to be stumbling back towards irrelevance. Like the current administration with its giddy sign-off of the DOMA.
Sure in any other time, a pop song would be a pop song. But these times are trying times and when logic ceases to compute, the only thing left to do is to scry the fate of mankind in Mariah Carey’s newest single. That and it’s really peculiar how, in five short months, Obama’s slide from blue state he-man to weary Sunday School sycophant is a fall that draws parallels to the sudden decline of the iconic huckster’s musical output. But there’s always the upside: That “Obsessed” may well be an anthem for the recession, from its sloppy lyrics to its half-hearted wailing, that the president can at least cut a rug with.