Thursday, March 20, 2008

"How you gonna fix it, fix it, fix it?"

MTV has worked its magic on me yet again. This song, "Damaged," is by Danity Kane, one of Diddy's groups on "Making the Band." After watching the show on Monday I downloaded this track on Tuesday morning, and right now I can't get enough of it. It's the kind of song that I repeat as soon as it ends, stabbing the back button on my ipod to not waste a precious second.

Why is my appetite for this song momentarily insatiable? Let's break it down. The first thing that got me was the electronic stutter in the verses. Then the background vocals are harmonious yet dissonant, driving you to unexpected places. Yet with all the sophistication of the arrangement and the future-is-now production, the call and response of the chorus (repeating "Damaged" a million times) reminds you that this is nothing more or less than classic girl-group pop. Then, moving into the last minute of the song, the beat drops back, adding perhaps a note of poignancy (maybe I'm reaching here), along with Diddy's sort of philosophical, sort of unnecessary mutterings. I love it. The last segment really reminds me of "Last Night," Diddy's smash last year with Keysha Cole, and I like to sing the chorus of that song over the last thirty seconds of "Damaged" -- believe me, it can work.

Visually, of course, what more could you want? They look extremely good. I love the fact that they go from metallic pink sex goddesses in their funky spaceship, dancing up a storm and arching their backs in their pods, to pretending to be the staff of an operating room. Way to keep it literal! And plausible! Although I think some of the dancing is not as sharp as it could be, there are some transcendent moments, especially from my girl Dawn (the black girl with the long hair). And I like how the girl singing the second verse sings out of the side of her mouth. Work with that.

Also: the woman's voice at the end of the video says "Stereotypes" because that's the genius who produced this song, and the note at the end of the video reads "Tired of the damage - DK." And really, who isn't? What a great song.

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