Friday, June 6, 2008

Words simply cannot describe...

Review of Paris by Paris Hilton

Sometimes when we least expect it, fate intervenes in the lives of mortals. Such was the case today, when I thought I was just going to get fitted for a tux so that I could act as a secret service agent at a local high school graduation ceremony. I must recount the tale, so that the full gravity of my opening statement may be felt. As most even moderately technically savvy individuals do at the beginning of any road trip of any length, I mapquested the address of the tuxedo rental shop, and set out to burn gasoline as expediently as possible. When nearing the establishment, I called to see what the cross streets were. "Cheyenne and Cimarron" said the voice on the other end of the phone. "Really?", thought I, as I passed Charleston and Cimarron. Never one to question disembodied voices, I dutifully headed to Cheyenne and Cimarron, only to find...trees. I was puzzled. I headed back to Charleston and Cimarron (remember, how much is gas up to?) to find that, in fact, I had passed the shop the first time around. "Oh well.", thought I, as visions of four dollar a gallon gasoline made me as woozy as errant fumes. I got out of my van to find, a sign taped to the inside of the establishment.

"Will re-open at 4pm. Sorry for the inconvenience."


It was 3pm.

The closest gas station informed me that regular unleaded could be had for the unusually reasonable price of 4.05 for a whole gallon!

Unable to bare the thought of another trip to be fitted, I instead headed to a nearby library. My thoughts turned to my blog, believe it or not. Recently, I've found that my niche, something I truly enjoy doing, is dissecting the fruits of others creativity by way of reviews. I would pick up some music. After travelling for forty five minutes in my van, having wasted untold dollars on lining the coffers of the Saudi royal family, I was in the perfect mood to review something. But what? As I perused the bounty that the public library offered, I was flummoxed, as nothing stood out. It was at that point that I found myself at the cross streets of fate and destiny when she looked up at me in her disinterested "I have more money than God." sort of way, beconing me to pluck her out of the rows and rows of jewel case filled bins. I gently lifted her out, asking myself the question, was I really doing this? Would I really check her out?

I was, and I did. And let me tell you, my life hasn't been the same since.

You see, you might assume, that because of my own ineptitude and some bad directions, I would be in a completely lousy mood, and in no shape to review anything, much less the self-titled debut of a debutant who is famous for being famous. But as I gently loaded the CD into the van's disc player, something strange burned within me. I wasn't ready, nor could any mere man be ready, for her subtly crafted opening lyrics.

"Ah, yeah, that's hot..."
So began my sonic journey into Paris...her self titled CD. This singular work of studio production and non-chalant vocals was like a summer reality show breaking up the monotony of sunny days and workless weeks. Paris is an album long tour de force, showcasing not only the poor little rich girl we have all grown to, something, but an introspective and even brooding side. Until this album, I never knew that being a billion dollar heiress could be such a thankless and harrowing journey.
It is on the album's second track that this became readily apparent to me. Fightin' Over Me is a subtle and cleverly written flirtatious number, and her nuanced lyrics completely floored me with her grasp of the human condition.
"Everytime I turn around the boys are fightin' over me,
Every time I step out the house they wanna fi-ight over me,
Maybe 'cuz I'm hot to death and so so so sexy.
All the boys, all the silly boys, wanna fi-ight over me."
Until I heard this song, I would have never, ever figured Paris Hilton to be a postmodern feminist, and yet, I think hearing, or reading in the case of this review, is believing, wouldn't you? She walks a fine line, but guest rappers Jadakiss and Fat Joe seem to be up to the task of walking the tightrope. As they deftly maneuver the lyrical landscape, they seem to embody the tenets of postmodernity as espoused by Mary Joe Frug, Jadakiss representing postmodernisms assertion that human experience is inextricably connected to the power of language to shape our perception of reality, and Fat Joe, representing Frug's second tenet, that sex is not entirely natural, and that society has created a system of meaning for it and encoded the female body with said meanings. Indeed, as he assertively delivers the lyric "Yeah ma, you wit' the realist, how simple is that?" I found myself asking the exact same question.
After that post-modern feminist anthem, the album only picks up inertia. And while nothing short of a 2,000 page dissertation could do this piece of audio excellence justice, the short space I have here will have to suffice. Another standout track is Screwed, which is nothing more than a thinly veiled critique on the war in Iraq. "Please don't let it begin, you're under my skin." she starts in a casual tone, proclaiming her bold assertion that involvement in the middle east should never have been an option. She no doubt stood boldly with Obama when others were sounding the war drums. "Same old story, boy meets girl and she falls much harder for him. Baby, wheres the glory." It is obvious that the U.S. is the girl in ths story, and that we fell in love with the idea of liberating a subjected people, when in fact the boy, in this case Iraq, was really not in tune with the idea in the first place. Now we, deeply ensconsed in the middle east, are asking ourselves the very same question. Where's the glory indeed?
"Since I'm already screwed here's a message to you, my heart's wide open, I'm just knockin' through, to the lover in you, tonight, tonight, you're gonna turn out the lights. And give me a little more room to prove it to you."
Indeed, we're already involved, Paris seems to say. We've already lost billions in dollars and thousands of lives, but we're still trying to fulfill Bush's proud "Mission accomplished" moment so many years ago. Whether it's 2013 or a hundred years, we are commited to our lover, Iraq. Indeed, proud Iraqis, give us a little more room to prove it to you.
I could go on and on for pages about how Stars are Blind is a plea to help sightless children charities, how Turn You On is her tender homage to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy is a cry for awareness for both bulemia and anorexia, but to do so here would only defile the singular glory that it is to listen to these seminal works. I cannot simply assign a score to her album. I can only recommend that you not only buy this album, but buy multiple copies, as you will listen to it so frequently, you will likely not only wear out your CD player, but the discs themselves. I would also recommend downloading several copies digitally through iTunes, as well as purchasing the several academic treatises that have been written to unlock Paris's cleverly hidden meanings and symbolism. I cannot recommend this album highly enough, and I can only assure you, that if you pay money for this album, you will definitely get what you so richly deserve.