Not Myself Tonight
I’m reluctant to slag this off, because a) I think Xtina has done some really good stuff (albeit mostly in the Stripped period) and b) it’s too easy in the era of Lady GaGa to assume that those who’ve come before her are now stealing her moves. That might be partly true, but the reality is more reciprocal, and I’m sure Xtina has also in a sense paved the way for GaGa (just as Kylie has — there I said it).
But enough moderation. Not Myself Tonight is pretty shit. It’s in no way a memorable song — certainly not a lead single — and I find its premise a little lame. In that it fits too well with Xtina’s new role as a wholesome mother who’s still a little diiirtttty underneath. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (and it’s probably quite balanced and so forth), but for some reason I get the sense that she presses the ‘conservative’ button between albums, and then presses the ‘skank’ button to crank up the pre-release hype, which is perhaps a little cynical.
And the clip is limp. It reminds me of various Janet Jackson vids which, if you take them at face value, are hyper-sexual, but if you look at them from another angle, they’re extremely cold, controlled and non-sexual. From this I get a similar sense of her going through the motions. Who knows, maybe before The Fame Monster I would have thought differently. I think GaGa has certainly pushed the boundaries in the sense that, even within her context of high artifice, there’s a really raw sexuality that comes through. Anyway, tangent. And, as a final snide comment, the Express Yourself references simply reinforce that, at this point in her career [bring on grand concluding statement] Xtina’s not leading, but following.