The student weekly of St. Olaf | Thursday, September 18, 2014 | Subscribe
ISSUE 120 VOL 20 PUBLISHED 5/4/2007

Alanis interprets humps

By Julie Howard
Staff Writer

Friday, May 4, 2007

What happens when you cross an award-winning song with an award-winning songstress? Only the finest cinematography that can provide. The recent craze over Alanis Morissette's soul-wrenching rendition of The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" has brought the true meaning of art into the sphere of popular culture. This single clip has inspired roughly seven million viewings in recent weeks and that number continues to grow by the second. The clip's popularity is not unfounded.

Alanis Morissette began her career in the mid-80s and has carried her fame with a single hit that contemplates the incidence of irony in the realm of human existence. Who would have thought that Morissette's next great move of genius would carry the same existential weight? Her interpretation of "My Humps," performed originally by the Black Eyed Peas, reflects on the cultural implications of the dynamic female form in a wider context.

Isn't it ironic that what was originally so fabulous is now infinitely improved. Fergie and her back-up artists, "The Peas," do an excellent job with the original, which includes innovative choreography and, of course, the poetic utterance of each profound, lyrical musing. However, it is not until Alanis adds her own warbling voice and quirk that the song transcends all boundaries of genre and individual taste.

In Morissette's version, the camera enters a scene that directly parallels the Black Eyed Peas' video. Morrisette, committed to her role, has donned Fergie's outfit so that the two are nearly indistinguishable. The music begins. Yet, rather than employing the energizing beat of the original pseudo-rap, Morissette makes use of her conventional piano skills and retards the pacing of the song so as to draw on the poignancy of the piece's more subtle points. She draws out the minor key in the remake and thus the sad beauty of the questioning lyrics comes to light in the most intense of ways.

"What you gonna do with all that breast? All that breast inside that shirt?

"I'm gonna make make make you hurt." This song is about society's focus on the female body whilst ignoring the mind, subsequent female bitterness and revenge and the repercussions of materialism and vanity within American society. The level of tragedy compares to a Shakespearean masterpiece. It is through Morissette's rendition that this thematic undertone becomes vividly apparent.

Alanis Morissette brings out the innate beauty of "My Humps" in a way that no other could do. Her genius in this project is the proverbial straw on the camel's back that weighs in on the evidence that Canada is undeniably the best country in the world. In my opinion, the only improvement would be for Alanis to draw further inspiration from the original Fergie and release her bladder mid-performance.

This act shows a kind of unprecedented dedication to the art form and also symbolizes the leaky nature of our societal values in present-day America. Nonetheless, this video is a stunning creation. I have taken it upon myself to email Dean Kneser and request that the clip's link be mass-forwarded to the entire student body as well as all faculty and staff. Approval of my request is pending. In the meantime, here is the web-address:

Printer Friendly version of this page Printer friendly version | E-mail a Copy of the Article to a Friend Email this | Write the editors | More articles by Julie Howard

Related Links

More Stories

Page Load: 32 milliseconds