LOUISE – 2 Faced
Louise is a fixture in the FHM Sexiest Woman In The World polls. I am a twentysomething man. Case closed, thinks the grumpy woman at the Our Price till, and I feel like I’m buying a stroke mag instead of the breeziest girlpop single of the so-called so-far Summer. I was embarrassed anyway, since Louise’s previous singles were to a disc rubbish, Mariah imitations without the charisma (what charisma? Precisely). But with a decent vocal hook the blandest of singers can do alright for themselves, and “2 Faced” boasts two, the nasal “Oh oh” lead-in to the verses and the way Lou sings “bitchin'” better than anyone since 1982. She can’t do nasty or tough terribly well, but the song doesn’t call for them so much as for a kind of dim, wounded niceness, which is of course precisely Louise’s strong point. And the you-talkin’-about-me conversation at the end is the first time that trick’s been tried in pop since Dexy’s Don’t Stand Me Down, and if Lou’s take on it isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as Kevin Rowlands’ it’s a hell of a lot more succinct. She looks better in a dress, too.