Monday, May 14, 2007

Song of the Week: "Legend of a Cowgirl"

Download: Imani Coppola - "Legend of a Cowgirl"

I've been a slacker of a blogger this weekend. The 20-miler wore me out yesterday and today was just a lazy day, so I apologize if anyone was at all eagerly awaiting this week's Song of the Week and have been disappointed all weekend.

I doubt it.

This week's song takes us back ten years. Imani Coppola's "Legend of a Cowgirl" was one of the freshest songs of the late 1990's. I can remember the first time I heard it: at night driving home from school at the intersection of 3rd Street and La Cienega in front of the Beverly Center.

Ten years later the song is still fresh. It hasn't aged one bit. It was a minor hit back in 1997, but it deserved so much more. For all its hooks the song was probably a little too smart to be a huge hit. Its theme of female empowerment isn't anything new, but its wit and effortless charm is rare in such songs. Not even Beyonce's recent hit, "Irreplaceable," matches Coppola's irresistible take on feminism. From the song's sampling of Donovan's "Sunshine Superman" to tongue-in-cheek lyrics like "I'd give my sight to see her," "Legend of a Cowgirl" proves to be a relentless delight.

Coppola qualifies as a one-hit wonder, and apart from this song I haven't heard anything else from her. According to Wikipedia she continues to record and perform, and she seems to have made a career out of music. She was most recently involved with Mike Patton's Peeping Tom project. Based on this one song, she seems to be profoundly talented. I really ought to check out the rest of the Chupacabra album.

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