Sunday, November 9, 2008

What Beyoncé Should Sing...

...Is "Angel". Natasha Bedingfield's "Angel."

Now this is a song about respecting your man. It's the complete opposite of practically everything Beyoncé sings, even as a member of Destiny's Child. Natasha wants her man to be disrespected so she can rush to his defense and show the world how proud of his she is. She wants women to stand up to prove there are good guys out there. She's tired of the Beyoncés of the world, constantly bashing their men.

"Angel" even fits into the retrograde values that Beyoncé & co. espouses. Although there are elements of the "Cater 2 U" philosophy, Natasha Bedingfield doesn't intend to pamper her guy or bow down to his every whim. She does, however, put herself aside so her man can have the spotlight. That's a bit worrisome. But she'll do whatever he wishes. There are no strings--she just loves the dude.

What struck me the first time about "Angel", though, was that the sentiment of the song--wanting to protect one's lover "from the pain"--is something most commonly heard from males. Men sing about protecting women all the time. Women, not so much. It's the verb that changes the sentiment slightly, since it's men who are the stereotypical protectors and saviors. Men will sing promises of keep their lady "safe from danger", not the other way around.

But she's still a woman. She'll guide him home and provide shelter, as images of hearth and home are traditional to females. Even the title of the song, "Angel", tends to be associated with women, though guardian angels can be either gender.

"Angel" continues the trend of spelling out the title (see Stefani, Gwen; "Hollaback Girl", and Fergie; "Glamorous"). The video has multiple Natashas singing in multiple outfits (like Beyoncé's current video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"), but it's done in front of black-and-white drawings in panes, like comics, a style I really like. Also, her green dress reminds me of the one Carrie wore in the Sex and the City finale.

Overall, Natasha Bedingfield is a woman who's had lots of positive messages in her music. She even released a song, "Single", about how great being single is. It wasn't sarcastic; unfortunately, it was dreadful. So dreadful that I won't link to it and I'm embarrassed to mention it. Her songs are positive, and from what I've seen, she's a pretty upbeat and down-to-earth person who seems to have some semblence of what she's singing about. Now that's the kind of women pop music needs more of.

1 comment:

John said...

I thought that song was called "Hollaback Girl," not "Bananas," Though it probably could've gotten away with that. Hooray for teaching the youth of America how to spell correctly!