Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

K Michelle – Sweetest Love

Yes, she did.


Alex Ostroff: First things first: no, this doesn’t rival Tweet’s all-time classic ode to mysterious-orgasms-brought-forth-by-unknown-hands-that-turn-out-to-be-your-own. But surely there’s enough room in the nascent Surprise!Masturbation genre for another worthy entry. In some ways, “Sweetest Love” is even stranger — Tweet merely can’t find the source of her pleasure, while K narrates incredible sex with an unknown man only to discover afterwards that she had been alone the entire time. The intense focus on “take control, you the man” is a bit disconcerting, but if the song doesn’t embrace the self-regard of Tweet, at least it refuses to ultimately play coy about what’s going on. Plus, her ludicrous cries of “Look ma! No hands!” are exclaimed with an enthusiasm and earnestness that I previously suspected only R. Kelly could muster.

Jonathan Bradley: Oops, oh my! K Michelle extends Tweet’s “This body felt just likes mine” confusion to absurd lengths; apparently for R&B singers, wanking is always accidental and often hallucinatory. The pillowy softness of the production is less silly. 

Brad Shoup: If I think of this as a sub’s private reverie, I can tolerate it. If I thought it was the work of a pitch-shifted R. Kelly, I would lose my shit. As it is, the phasey, diluted slow-jam production proves as empty as my fantasies.

Michaelangelo Matos: This is like something that got left off the Kelly Rowland album for being too good. But, you know, not that good.

Alfred Soto: I know why K Michelle can sing about waking up with her own hand between her thighs and Keyshia Cole or Mary J can’t: she’s not a star. Which explains why this is neither as lubricious nor exciting as it could be.

Jonathan Bogart: I have no idea how much of this score is influenced by the video, and by God I don’t care. I’ll always think of it whenever I hear the song now anyway.

Katherine St Asaph: The song’s just adequate, but the scenario’s so implausible as to be ludicrous — a grown woman gets herself off while asleep and unconscious and evidently for the first time, but with proper-enough technique, and then tells you, doe-eyed, how fetchingly confused she feels? This only happens in porn, guys. Same goes for the male-gazey re-enactment in the video.

Iain Mew: There’s something inherently comic about the “…but it was all a dream, and it turned out that it was me making sweet love to me!” premise here. And giving it a super serious and strong musical treatment, voice quavering with emotion, just seems to exaggerate that comic potential further. By the time we get to the “look ma, no hands!” climax it seems past doubt that it’s intentional and I enjoy it for that.

Anthony Easton: The best thing Larry Clarke ever filmed was a video for “Solitary Man,” a cover by Chris Isaak. It’s typical of Clarke, but the obsession with bodies matched Isaak’s narcissim and the song’s self-obsession into a kind of triple mirror of self-absorption. In one of those scenes, Isaak runs his hand down his chest, and into the sheets — the gesture was smooth without any rupture, just a kind of dreamy emotional reverie. One of the best things about a solid, long term jack off session is this reverie, and it is a reverie rarely depicted on film — one where ideas, fantasies, and desires melt into each other, like a dream full of awareness; and though she claims that this is to please him, and she says “take control, you the man,” the gender shift reminds me of Isaak’s reveries, and by extension the glory of pleasure-oriented self-awareness so rarely depicted. Like an R. Kelly slow jam without the slime or camp. 

10 Responses to “K Michelle – Sweetest Love”

  1. Surprise! Masturbation: the unhottest toy this holiday season.

  2. For the record, I really didn’t want to blurb this, but if I hadn’t it’d be all-male.

  3. It would have been an early Christmas present for Ich Lüge Bullets.

  4. this is the worst writing i have ever committed.

  5. Yeah, the lack of women writing about this and the correspondingly relatively high score is a bit :| isn’t it?

    I hadn’t seen the video when I wrote my review and if I had, this would have been closer to a 5. I guess, like Iain, I just assumed this was supposed to be a totally ridiculous comic conceit (esp. given that her musical mentor/executive producer is R. Kelly) but the video plays it straight, and if the song is supposed to be dead serious as opposed to sort of campy, then it’s definitely less enjoyable.

  6. I honestly couldn’t even get through listening to it once because it all seemed so absurd and embarrassing to me. Maybe it didn’t help that I was watching the video, which is basically just softcore porn. If a man made a video likie that… well, no one would ever let a man make a video like that because it’s softcore porn.

  7. To be fair, the song isn’t terrible. (The song isn’t great, but there’s no way I could justify giving it less than a 4.)

  8. I liked Anthony’s blurb.

  9. I didn’t watch the video either (or know about any R. Kelly connection, actually). Also on the implausibility, I originally had ‘tall story’ in place of ‘premise’ but changed it because I thought, well, what do I know.

  10. I haven’t got round to the video yet but just songwise I have been REALLY DISAPPOINTED by K. Michelle this year after her incredible 2010 mixtape seemed to herald such great things.