April 3rd, 2014 12:04pm

I Was Alone In The City

EMA “So Blonde”

This song is meant to be about the commercialized image of the “sexy blonde,” but if I hear it, I only have one blonde in mind. There’s just no way I’m not going to like a song that sounds like flawlessly executed fanfic about Celebrity Skin-era Hole. Courtney was on more or less the same topic at that time too – the idea of Los Angeles and the way Hollywood creates people in its image that it can chew and spit out – but I think she did it with a greater sense of stakes. EMA’s music is certainly passionate and emotional, but the songs often feel aloof and judgmental, whereas Courtney was a lot more interested in diving headfirst into things that a lot of artists today would just dismiss as “problematic.” But there’s a pretty big difference between talking about a complicated idea from within it and observing it from a distance. And that’s not to say EMA’s perspective isn’t valuable – a lot of the song (and the video) is about the way we passively absorb signifiers from culture – but it’s a lot less urgent and emotionally powerful.

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