Friday, March 19th, 2010

Orianthi – According to You

Downer to end the week? Ah, why not…


Ian Mathers: I’m really stoked that Steve Vai finally joined Paramore.

Martin Skidmore: She’s an Australian singer and guitarist who has played with Carrie Underwood, Carlos Santana, Prince and Michael Jackson. She has a really sharp, punchy voice, and she is an extraordinarily gifted guitarist, though her leanings are rather too much towards metal on the breaks for my tastes, though she does it with real energy. She’ll surely be a very big star.

Michaelangelo Matos: That twiddly little hair-metal guitar lick on the chorus totally steals the show from the histrionic lyric/vocal/backing/you name it.

Jonathan Bradley: There’s no excuse for the metal solos, unless Orianthi’s already inked a deal with Guitar Hero. (And if that is the case, respect the hustle.) Absent those poor arrangement choices though, the most uncomfortable aspect of “According to You” is the way Orianthi dresses up as an empowerment anthem a song that is fundamentally concerned with a women who has no self-worth whatsoever. Her ex may have nothing nice to say about the singer, but she can only defend herself against the emotional abuse by parroting the opinions of another man (“According to him I’m beautiful, incredible…”). So, yes, the song is emotionally complex and unsettling, but is it any good? That pretty much depends on how much you thought “Since U Been Gone” could have benefited from extra flannel.

Iain Mew: “According to you/I suck at telling jokes/Because I always give it away” notes Orianthi. He might well have a point, at least based on how clunkily this song telegraphs just about everything. There is a certain appeal in just how overdone it is, mind, with guitar solos squealing away while Orianthi scowls powerfully.

Al Shipley: I like to fantasize that I’m the one she’s singing this song to. As in, I’m the guy berating and insulting her, but I’m specifically telling her how this sounds like a Kelly Clarkson b-side, Pink would’ve sung it better, and she’s not even fit to be Demi Lovato’s guitar tech.

John Seroff: “According to You” presents the dark side of the Taylor Swift persona, in which everyone gets to define you except yourself and the best you can aim for is to align with someone who thinks you’re funny rather than constantly late. It’s an odd bit of ventriloquism for someone as strident and self-motivated as Orianthi, an Aussie autodidact shredder whose album features a call-and-response duet where she holds her own with Steve Vai. “According” quotes from “Sweet Child O’ Mine” but otherwise downplays its virtuosic hair metal impulses in favor of peddling a too-familiar, unempowered tween narrative. Storyline aside, this is a well-crafted bit of NOW! That’s Music!; you’d have to be a bit thick not to hear a hit here.

3 Responses to “Orianthi – According to You”

  1. “Her ex may have nothing nice to say about the singer, but she can only defend herself against the emotional abuse by parroting the opinions of another.”

    This is true, but more and more I think that self-empowerment and self-worth are a big pile of bullshit, and that real worth comes from the approval of other people. What bothers me more is that she is so obviously not over Mr. Abusive over here — it’s called “According to YOU,” let’s point out — and that two months after she’s finished with her Awesome Guitar Solo of Triumphant Revenge, she’s going to be playing the sad violin of slinking right back to him. “Why can’t you see me through his eyes?” She shouldn’t care.

  2. All Orianthi’s songwriters had to do would have been change one teensy little word and this song would be as awesome as it should be. How hard would it have been to write “According to ME”?

  3. I didn’t grade this at the time, but I’d probably give it an 8 now, just based on all the times I haven’t changed the car radio station when it’s come on. I can’t objectively justify that reaction, because on paper it ought to stink. But it’s got something in it that lots of similarly whiney post-Alanis shemo-type radio hits (including but not limited to several by Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Avril, etc.) don’t. I’m just not sure what.