Posts from October 2015
There is a new James Bond film out, and so I emailed a select cadre* of FT writers to tell me their favourite a) BOND FILMS and b) BOND THEMES. The idea then being that I would write about these things. But a problem arose! It turns out that the only James Bond film I have definitely seen all the way through is Goldfinger, and that scenes from ‘other Bond films’ I remembered with fondness were, in fact, also from Goldfinger.
So I haven’t written about them. Well, not much. But here is the Top Ten List as voted for in an exclusive film critic*’s poll. Later in the week I will put up the themes, which I will give (even) more critical consideration to.
The unspoken advantage of kit-built pop groups, especially ones made for kids: they’re liberated from attempts to be cool. Often they don’t make full use of this potential. Some decide they want to be cool anyway. Some don’t, but never try for anything more than slush or formula. So why is it an advantage? Because it gives groups access to a toybox of sounds and poses they can use, combine and discard, severed from fashion. Vocoders, for instance, were actually in minor vogue at this point – Daft Punk had found a way to use them sentimentally – but S Club 7’s deployment of synthesised voices is a guileless joy. “Don’t stop movin’ to the S Club beat!”
For a song that seems simple and repetitive, “Survivor” is rammed with hooks. Perhaps the least-remembered but most telling one comes a couple of minutes in, moments before Michelle Williams attempts to wrap a positive homily around the song’s unfettered will to power. “Whoa-oh” sings Beyoncé, and the other girls replicate it, and then pass little melismatic drills back and forth, repeating one another precisely. It’s a segment of abstract but perfect vocal choreography that works as a ritual of unity, a demonstration of the unbreakable closeness of Destiny’s Child. Which needs demonstrating, of course, since the song is generally taken to be a massive fuck-you to the band’s former members.