Friday, 13 July 2007

Vitamin C - More

Most of us shall have favourite pop minxes we cannot quite believe are not more successful, and while this singer certainly enjoyed her brief splash, Vitamin C (a.k.a Colleen Fitzpatrick) is one of my top underrated pop bitches. She may also have an enduring American radio classic (Graduation Song), but for me her hard-earned reputation rests on her flop sophomore album More, which was designed in many ways to carve a 'more' emphatic pop princess.

In her determined mission, these songs gleam in much the same confident, solid manner as her first album - it is just infinitely 'more' stylishly suffused with complicated, involving themes and advanced, varied and glamourous production values. Taking advantage of pop's very finest producers, the first single scrathed was The Itch, unveiling a distinct sexuality with a smouldering pur that stretched its itching vagina innuendo with welcome knowingness lacking from the so-called teen-pop boom of the time. Basically, she is responding to the inner-whore we all have in us.

The Itch

Exploiting her benefit, and an effortless merge between experience and beauty (it's called glamour), Sex Has Come Between Us explores a glorious uncertainty and impossible allure in which entering a new phase of any sort can bring (in this case, the slag-bag has gone and slept with her best friend). It is too bad she croons implicitly "a boy and a girl" as one can easily associate the theme of confusion (and erotic conclusion) to androgynous questions of sexual awakening of a different sort - as it happens, the adrenalised atmospheric backing vocals and pulsating production accumulatively document mysteriously attractive feelings of trepidation, to irresistible and impulsive experimentation in a very sophisticated, magnetic manner.

Sex Has Come Between Us

It is possible to imagine She Talks About Love with its sunken instrumentation, hazy sunshine and glossy say-dreaming vibe, as her very own Holiday - it certainly recalls an adolistic abandon for all ages just like Madonna's summertime anthem. The strutting Dangerous Girl breaks free from being "daddy's little girl" with chimming celebration (fantastic use of bells - ironically soundtracking an orgasm perhaps?) - one can easily imagine this song being a much more assured older sibling to that of Rachel Steve's European hit single Sweet Dreams My LA Ex.

The Britney-fied I Know What Boys Like was set for third release before Elektra pulled the plug on it. This is a snappy, trash-fest of the highest order (a woman in her late 20's singing this whilst pointing at then grabbing her rack in front of an audience of 3 year olds does not scream "innocence"). Feast your eyes on her brilliance with a live performance available to watch here.

However, listeners really feel the heat of Vitamin C's dosage on the vitriolic Busted which is possibly the closest to sounding like much of the vague hip-hop-but-always-pop aspirations from the first album, yet much more effective, colliding with powerfully squenced pronunciations and production as sharp as spears being thrown at you. She basically shoots her lady-load with this one.

The calamity wisely calms down for the smooth, floaty ballad Special which funnily enough feels like being transported in an air bubble. Recalling tenderly the trials and tribulations "to get to where I stand" she forgivingly looks back through soft lenses - it is sentimental and romantic, yet not sickly as lyrically she is just too aware to programme herself in a contrived way which would be easy to resort to seeing songs through cliched, stencilised eyes. That is what separates this album head and shoulders, towering and successful - her attention to detail.

Something of an ode to the frizzing, easy pop nuggets of the debut, Where's The Party slams the danceloor with adolescant defiance and is the most unassuming, crashing pop ditty on the whole record. Enjoyment does not fade on this CD.

The serene ballad As Long As You're Loving Me is her content exit and stands out as a the most conventional track of the collection. Picked up as the 2nd single, radio wasn't quite so cultivating - after the relative failure of its performance, label Elektra turned off the power of their commitment and the rest is history. Therefore, this provides something of a bittersweet parting. Vitamin C still records, but as the world has yet to formall here a bona fide 'comeback' album - though there are rumours and promises from the siren herself - then this is a timely reminder of what a magnificent, relevant, innovative and supremely magical pop star she truly is.

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