One of the most valuable aspects to the medium of music is the element of nostalgia. No matter how bad or good a song may be, we can take comfort in music that holds sentimental value or brings to mind cherished memories.
For me, James Taylor’s Sun on the Moon off 1988’s Never Die Young (with an album cover that features a wolf, howling, which in my book screams “instant classic”) fills my psyche with images of royal blue overalls, grilled cheese sandwiches and playdates. In 1988, I was five years old, and being that I was well on the road to being the lamest kid ever, I regarded Sun on the Moon as an anthem.
Taylor’s foray into that aural black hole where otherwise-talented musicians allowed the aesthetic of the era to creep into their musical craftsmanship (please don’t call him “Al” – Paul works just fine) resulted in this ditty in which Sweet Baby James approaches jamband territory.
Backed by a quintuplet of “sassy soulstresses” (read: Black ladies) whom I endearingly referred to as “The Vagina Ladies,” JT & Co. glide alongside a continuous loop of synthesized drum machine beats and wonky lyrics.
“Me and my flea, we were down by the water / Fell in a hole with Superman’s daughter / Living alone, chewing on a bone / Pretty as homemade sin” to me, at least, reads like the work of the Grand Poet Laureate of Hobo Country. Even if I tried to take it easy and look at the lyrics from a more metaphoric standpoint, I would be clueless as to where Taylor is going with the offspring of a superhero. Isn’t that 3 Doors Down Territory?
It’s really hard to rag on a song that inspires a child, any child, to speak with such misogyny at age five. Seriously, Five-Year-Old Me? “Vagina Ladies?”
(This file will elapse in a fortnight, and it’s for streaming purposes only)