Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Halftime: Rotten Pea Soup

Ever see those "American Idol" auditions where the confident young performer warbles so off-key for the judges that you wonder how their parents and friends could ever have let them make such asses of themselves? "You will never be a singer, darling," Simon Cowell would deadpan, to their utter, absolute surprise...

That's what it was like watching Black Eyed Peas at the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday—like a gargantuan version of "The Emperor's New Clothes." These fools sell millions of records? Fergie has a Grammy? Kids sing along to this crap? Really?

I never in my life thought I would rather see Tom Petty on that stage.

It's hard to say who was the bigger embarrassment, will.i.am, with his weary overwrought auto-tune "vocals," or Fergie, with her audacious off-key screeching and lack of anything resembling moving to the beat. I swear, at one point, I could see Depends peaking through her leather mini-skirt. I suspect Betty White would have been more convincing as an ingenue than the awkwardly rhyme-and-rhythm-less Fergie.

Usher delivered more convincing artistry in his one minute of tightly choreographed dance moves and adept singing of his "OMG" than Black Eyed Peas did in its 12 minutes of robotic, seemingly unrehearsed uh, performance art. The dissonance between the two performers was like watching Chopin playing a piano recital beside your 8-year-old niece.

"I Gotta Feeling" that the Peas proved what many have known all along: The quartet is strictly a studio act, whose gimmick-ridden sing-song nursery rhyme hits like "Boom Boom Pow," "Pump It," "Let's Get It Started" and the gruesome "Dirty Dancing"-raped "The Time" are nothing more than electronically enhanced loops pieced together until they add up to 3 and a half minutes of radio-ready goop.

The media has focused on the fact that Christina Aguilera flubbed the lyric to the National Anthem. But she sang the shit out of the song—a capella—and proved that she is an artist, albeit one with a poor memory. Likewise for "Glee" star Lea Michele, who delivered a glorious, proud version of "America the Beautiful."

will.i.am, Fergie, apl.de.ap and Taboo are anything but music artists. At best, they are cartoon images that prove when it's not Memorex, the Peas are poop soup.