Arts & Entertainment
Straight up - and down
'Idol' judge's hits collection brings back hits, misses
By Chris Azzopardi
Originally printed 04/12/2007 (Issue 1514 - Between The Lines News)
There was a time when Paula Abdul rushed, rushed sonic shock waves through me. Her catchy and quasi-corny grooves became twirling anthems as I imitated double axles (and an occasional triple) on my roller blades in my best girlfriend's driveway, pretending to be, of all figure skaters, Nancy Kerrigan. Those were the days - when music's quality didn't matter much, when blades were so revolutionary and when Abdul's screws weren't loose. But the twisted "American Idol" judge's second go at a collection, "Greatest Hits - Straight Up!," revives her pre-loony career tips and dips, and here's our take on a handful of them.
This. Was. It. The multi-faceted Abdul - a choreographer, dancer and a sort-of singer - blasted onto the music scene as a pop bunny with a limited pipe pair and a synthesized '80s-dance sound. The infectious rock sounding melody va-vooms with Abdul's fiesty vocals, making for a straight-up catchy classic.
'Forever Your Girl'
This mellower track boasted a sweet sensibility over a so-'80s male background singer who shouts out phrases like, "Hey baby!" and "Hey baby!" and "Hey baby!" This pop confection forever cemented Paula as a household name - for better or worse.
Who knew I'd relate so well to this man-burned cut? Abdul nailed this single, which features a drum-heavy beat, a fitting sizzling-synth sound and an impressive Abdul rap. Remember, this was way, way before she started sllllluring.
Hearing this mind-resurrects that goofy MC Skat Kat that Abdul shared the colorful music video with. The bubblegum-pop tune is, in fact, no less hokey than that video, with homegirl Abdul comparing herself to a much-different man (like, a pussy with a tail).
Perhaps I missed something. But this song is about an orgasm! Granted, I wasn't having them when this somewhat-nonsensical, sappy song was released in the early '90s, but there's something slightly scary considering I'd sing this with my elementary school friends: "Rush, rush. I can feel it. I can feel you all through me." Eww.
Abdul thrusted her softer-sounding pop smashes into an all-out edgy, dizzying array of parading beats and an ultra-catchy refrain. The result? An ass-grindin' dance delight that put us - as Paula chirps in the tune - in a funky way.
'Will You Marry Me?'
This nostalgic tune almost feels like an overdone toasted marshmallow - soft, mushy and sweet. But it was fitting when I imagined myself tying the knot with my sixth-grade girlfriend. Yep, a girlfriend.
'Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up'
Oh, Paula. Here's where your career fell faster than a straight guy in heels. The horn-infused tune managed to muster enough confection to drive the jazzy-funk single. Still, it stalled - and so did your future as a pop-star vixen.
'Greatest Hits - Straight Up!'
Available May 8