Music Schmusic: Worst Decade Ever Pt. 7  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If I had started this list two years ago, there’s no question that this post would be solely devoted to Paris Hilton’s “Stars are Blind.” Let that run through your mind for a minute: Paris Hilton’s reggae song got bumped. What the fuck happened? I mean, at one point Paris actually sings, “Now tell me who have you been dreaming of?/I and I alone.”

So why can’t a rich white girls’ saccharine tribute to her oneness with Jah make the list? Because in 2008, a great, whiter hope emerged.

Heidi Montag – Higher (2008)

Let’s get this out of the way right up front, because there’s a reason why you have to sift through countless parodies just to find the music video on YouTube. The actual video even looks like a parody video. Heidi moves like a Huntington’s choreia patient, she looks like she learned to dance from a strip aerobics video and when she sings…Ho. Lee. Shit. What started out looking like a coma-induced flashback sequence from someone’s student film takes on a distinct “I filmed my music video at the mall” feel as soon as soon as she starts lip synching.

Maybe it’s the inevitable consequence of having a 90-pound blonde in a bikini miming Luciano Pavarotti, or maybe it’s the continual feel that at any minute this could turn into a celebrity sex tape; but for whatever reason this video is hysterical, and totally deserving of every critical word ever spoken, written, thought or made up out of a random jumble of sounds.

But much of the criticism stops at the video. That’s a shame because the song itself is a real shitshow too. The song begins, inexplicably, with some heavy duty electric noise like Heidi is trying to resurrect the Frankenstein monster. Then we head a synthesizer solo, performed either by Heidi herself, by her husband Spencer, or a blind chicken.

Then we get the first lyrics of the song:

“Here I go now/I’m keeping my eyes open/don't you let me down. /Nothing can stop me now/I know you hear this sound./ Go ahead and let it out/don’t be afraid to fly, fly high/reaches past the sky.”
What the fuck is she trying to say here? This isn’t a coherent thought; it’s a clusterfuck of platitudes. It’s like someone wrote a song based on Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric. The word salad continues:
“Feel the wind on your face/we can frolic or race/we can go at your pace (pace)/the power lifted me/so it set me free.”
Yes, she used the word frolic in a pop song. You can also see the reoccurring theme of liberation, which according to Heidi is about not listening to what other people think, and freeing yourself to do what you want to do. That’s a fine message – and a shitty pop song is a fairly ironic medium for it – but I can’t help but wonder if she takes it a little too far.
“It's like I've been released/there's no chains holdin' me/cause now I finally found the key/let me open the door for you.”
What? You didn't know "Higher" was a black spiritual? Just wait until her next single, "Swing Low, Sweet Escalade." Suddenly Paris Hilton as a Rastafarian seems less of a stretch.

But none of that can top the chorus. Amid reminders that she's only going higher, Heidi drops the deep thought "I dream and that's a fact." No, let me correct that. She drops that deep thought four times. This begs the question: Was her ability to dream ever in doubt? Is she calling out someone who claimed that she lacked the ability to dream? Or perhaps this is a diss track against people without the capacity for long-term planning. Actually, the far more likely scenario is that she stole all her lyrics off inspirational posters of hot air balloons and children of different races holding hands.

Come to think of it, Heidi, if this is where your dreams have got us, maybe you'd best quit that, too.

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