I write about songs.

Archive for the ‘Kirsty MacColl’ Category

Kirsty MacColl, “Walking Down Madison”

This hip-hoppy single doesn’t sound like anything else the lovely and wonderful Kirsty MacColl ever did, most of which was in the folk-pop vein of the Smiths. (I say this, although Johnny Marr co-wrote the song.) But with its social conscience and Soul II Soul-style shuffle beat, “Walking Down Madison” does sound a lot like the year 1991. The rap is a little wack—there’s the weird rhyme of “dilemma” with “baby Emma”—but the song bobs and weaves in a euphoria-inducing way, and in the end I cherish it as much as the gentler entries in Kirsty’s repertoire. I’m charmed by her presence in this video: her I’m-not-going-to-get-too-excited  dance moves, in contrast to the spinning and stomping going on around her; her hand gestures and shrugs and arched eyebrows, all of a piece with her cool-as-a-cucumber vocals. Also, the album “Walking Down Madison” comes from, Electric Landlady, has one of the best titles of all time. Kirsty was killed in a boating accident in 2000. Hers was one of the few celebrity deaths that genuinely left me devastated. If you aren’t familiar with her music, you nevertheless get to hear it every Christmastime—she sings the female vocal on the Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York.”

Written by peterterzian

March 8, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Kirsty MacColl


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