You see these shackles baby, I'm your slave
I'll let you whip me if I misbehave
It's just that no one makes me feel this way.
that people don't laugh so hard they lose their breath while tears of absurdity roll own their face.. Is it cool because there is a dance beat to it?
In Clay Aiken's recently concluded Soft Rock in a Hard Place tour, he did a great intro into a medley of some of Top 40 radio's greatest "hits". He said he was tired of not being cool and not being on the radio and that it must be all related to the material. (In part it is, which is why it still baffles that his label made him put out an album of love song covers last year.). But when he performed (effortlessly) a medley of hits ranging from pop to rap to hip hop to country to rock, it showed just how silly some of the songs were. ( And to be fair,it also showed how great others were. Say what you want about Michael Jackson today, the man could write hits.) Here, Clay realizes (sarcastically of course) that being cool is all about the fact that he sang those cool songs.
I'm tired of people telling me what is cool in the way the fashion industry decides what color is in this year. (Fifty bucks it won't go with my skin color.) Clay has won the Sexiest Crooner for InStyle Magazine three years in a row. So tell me why he wasn't even nominated this year and (gasp) Justin Timberlake won with the comment that he'd come so close in the past. Now I think JT has talent but I laugh every time someone tries to tell me he's cool, much less sexy. But then again, I like guys who don't need platform shoes in order to be taller than I am. And I'm not tall.
There are different levels of cool and different types of cool. Someone who fits the exact mold the industry peeps force upon the public (especially when marketed to impressionable teens) is exactly what isn't cool to me. It's just more of "me toos and wannabees". Original is cool. Smart is cool. Quick wit is cool. Confidence is cool. Style that fits a person's personality is cool. Gee, Clay is cool x 5. Or as Quiana Parler (his backup singer and insanely talented herself) would say, Clay is C to the O.O.L.
Radio singles processed in the studio is not cool. Gossip made up wholesale with a snicker, a wink and a nod is not cool.
Totally being silly and not giving a crap (Hey, everyone take a drink!) is cool.
Perhaps Leslie Gray Streeter of the West Palm Beach Post said it best in her/his review of the concert.
He is so uncool that he sort of is. And that's a talent.
Cool isn't someone who is one fabricated persona (half the female singers on the radio), or one troubled teen queen who hasn't grown up yet (Britney, Lindsay…and on and on) but one who is a blend of many things, all that represent their true self. Or as John Petric, music critic of The Other (A Columbus, Ohio newspaper) put it after being won over by Clay in concert.
So yes, Clay Aiken. He’s a piece of work isn’t he? A cross between John Edwards and Paul McCartney
Unlike other music critics Mr. Petric didn't write this review before he set foot in the venue. He admits he had different expectations and seemed as surprised as anyone that he liked the show and Clay. That's because Mr. Petric had succumbed to the media created image of Clay Aiken. The same media that had us convinced Angelina Jolie was one step from incest and now has us convinced she's one step from sainthood. Mr. Petric saw the cool
He had a fine sense of humor, often self-deprecating and a little bit wicked.
Oh, I'd say more than a little bit wicked. Wicked Cool.
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