Music is a very powerful form of popular media. It can influence a whole generation, if the artist in question is so prolifically profound in musical direction, sound and image. All three of these qualities, the cultural impact of which heavily relies on their originality, are just the ground-works for constructing a stronghold over the world of music.
Before Lady GaGa, the imperative image needed to reach that exclusive, stratospheric height of superstardom had been lost for decades. The music industry churned out plenty of one-hit wonders, singers, bands, artists, etc., maybe even some popstars, but no superstars.
Cue Natalia Kills, and she fancies herself as one of those elite few that reserve the right to pop in and out of the superstar hotel room whenever she pleases. She’s mastered the talk, a little too much perhaps: her pretentiousness hasn’t saved her from attempting the worst faux-British accent I think I’ve ever heard; she certainly claims to have the image; she certainly has the drive and the intentions; but what does the music side of her say?
Well, upon hearing ‘Mirrors’ just short of a year ago via Pop Justice, I was swayed into believing that she was one to look out for in 2010 – a star ion the rise ready to explode and rain her pop domination over the world music charts, rock the world of celebrity culture and reshape our views on popular music in context.
I listened to ‘Mirrors’ once again, a week ago. And, as far as I’m now concerned, it’s a basic combination of modern day R&B and electropop, with a fair tune and a vocalist who sounds great on auto-tune. On closer inspection, there really isn’t anything remotely remarkable about Natalia Kills or her “legacy”. Or the fact she’s trying to distance herself as far from Lady GaGa comparisons as she possibly can despite the fact that if you shoved her in a glowing egg and gave her prosthetics and a blonde wig you’d barely notice the cheap impostor posing as the real thing.
Everything about Natalia’s “art” stinks, almost as much as it does from GaGa, before we start shouting bias. Everything from her interviews (where she comes across as one of the most arrogant individuals you would only ever hope to meet on the internet) to her artsy little YouTube series Love Kills xx, she reeks of unoriginality because she’s pillaged ideas from the one artist of today who’s pillaged all the good ideas already.
Even her rise to fame mimics GaGa’s. Signed by Akon, a little underground promotion to collect a sturdy fanbase and so on and so forth and her and Interscope are trying to birth a GaGa-style pop maiden to us in the same way they birthed GaGa. They don’t think we’re that stupid do they? So stupid that we can’t see the blatant similarities than could only be more obvious if Natalia’s alias was Natalia GaGa?
If you’re still a little baffled at my retort to Natalia’s musical snobbery, pretentiousness, whatever derogatory term you want to throw at it, let’s look at ‘Mirrors’ “under the microscope”, as it were:
It’s a song about sex. The some crunchy synth riffs and a catchy chorus but at it’s core, there no escaping that this is a song that is obviously about the sex. Natalia seems all too contented with admitting it’s obviously about the sex. She makes no apologies about it being about the sex and all things sexual. But she claims that her interpretation of what the sex is, is okay, because of how she talks about it. She’s happy to slam artists like Rihanna and Ke$ha for coming across as sleazy sex-pests in their songs but because she herself talks about the very same topic in an artsy fashion with oh-so cleverly executed metaphors and poetic post-gothic imagery – “Turnin’ the lights out/Tighten the handcuffs/And the mirror’s gonna fog tonight”, she can get away with it.
“Sex/Love/Control/Vanity”, she repeats in a spoken voice during the middle eight, and it’s around about this time you realise that Natalia Kills, once known as Verbalicious (yet appears to completely disown or even acknowledge this past alias and it’s musical ventures, y’know, back when was decidedly human) is about as artsy and stylised as a piece of driftwood.
Here’s the video: Another difference she feebly claims sets her apart from her competition is that she utilises a darker, more sinister image. No wait, that also sounds like GaGa…
2:49… No darling, that’s a plastic skull.
If Natalia Kills is here to stay, she better fix her act quickly, and not come across as such a carbon-copy of other stars. She needs to drop the pretentious Artaud-isms and the dark, neo-gothic symbolism and, more importantly, make her music more interesting. Because all things aside, it’s still a decent party tune, but then again, you could say that about most songs these days. Now, if that’s what pop’s next big thing’s legacy stands as – someone who produces songs that sounds similar to a lot of others – then they don’t really merit that title now, do they? And if this really is the case, then her album needs re-naming.
Rating: 2.0 STARS
Download: April 17, 2011 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘The Perfectionist’