It’s that time again people! Time to go back to an era when music was all about, well, music.
Allow me to be clear, the 90’s were positively the best thing that could have ever happened to music. Period. I’m obsessed with that decade, and I want you to obsess about the phenomenal era along with me!
It was exactly 14 years ago when the extraordinarily talented Jennifer Paige first slayed our lives with her début single ‘Crush‘ (while I struggled with morbid obesity during the end of high school). Back in 1998, trends were a-changing. Britney was about to unleash her pig-tails and her iconic ‘Baby One More Time‘ school dress that seduced the imagination of everything alive on this planet. The Backstreet Boys were ruling the entire galaxy with their brand of mush-Pop. Brandy, Monica, Mary J and Missy changed the face of R’n’B, while Destiny’s Child were about to bring in a new sound, effectively christened Hip-Pop. Considering that every trend in music was about to undergo a thorough change, I wouldn’t have been surprised had Jennifer Paige’s début single ‘Crush‘ bombed on the charts. Fortunately, it didn’t.
Firstly, ‘Crush‘ sounded nothing like the songs that were ruling the airwaves in 1998. Neither an out-and-out Pop-fest, nor R’n’B, and definitely not Hip-Hop (since it was so incredibly cool back then to have a random Rapper throw in a ‘Yo‘, ‘Bitch‘, ‘Baybeh‘ and a few choice expletive-laden verses about how he can ‘score’ or how delicious his package is, on a totally unrelated cheesy pop song to make it a # 1 hit – classy indeed). ‘Crush‘ was a song that seduced the listener without a single sexual moan, a single expletive or overtly sexual lyrics, purely on the basis of Jennifer’s thoroughly free of flaw and smoldering voice, and some very cleverly crafted lyrics. The guitar driven mid-tempo jam was so insanely perfect for Jennifer’s genuinely amazing voice, you might just want to add this song to your baby-making playlist while you saunter around in your bedroom sashaying your tush, and yet play it in your car while driving with the windows down.
Fact – Jennifer’s voice can slay you and your faves.
And then there were the lyrics. Right after the haunting intro which completely sets the mood for the song, Jennifer’s voice teases you ‘See ya blowin’ me a kiss, it doesn’t take a scientist, to understand what’s going on baby‘. One line in particular that I consider iconic? ‘You say the word “forevermore”, that’s not what I’m looking for, all I can commit to is “maybe”‘! Are you amazed already? Could your faves ever? I can’t even! Someone switch on the fan.
Fact 2 – The song is more addictive and repeat-worthy than a double scoop strawberry-cheesecake gelato sundae.
And finally, the video. Jennifer, covered head to toe in regular clothes, beats the living daylights out of Rihanna wearing nothing more than a palm leaf as she relentlessly bleats out ‘music‘. In the video, all you see are subtle eye movements, and that’s just EVERYTHING. Watch the video right here :
‘Crush‘ went on to become a huge international hit, peaking at # 1 in Australia, Canada, Spain, Asia etc, while peaking at # 3 (for 10 weeks) on the Billboard Hot 100, # 4 on the UK Top 40, and within the top 10 of every credible chart on the planet! Although the album ‘Jennifer Paige‘ sold well in Asia, Europe and Australia, it never really made a mark in the US (why am I not surprised). In case you want to pick the album up, you won’t be disappointed. The album’s third single, ‘Always You‘ along with its bonus remix (also available on the album) is probably one of my fave songs of all time, I can’t get enough of it even today, a decade and a half later, while tracks like the second single ‘Sober‘, ‘Somewhere, Someday‘ are enough to make this album a part of any music aficionado’s collection. In case you get a chance to browse through my old cassette collection, chances are you’ll come across an over-used, much-abused tape of ‘Jennifer Paige‘ intact in its red cover. Ah..nostalgia, people! I honestly can’t help but get a little sentimental here! And in case you were a fan of hers back then like me, I’m pretty sure y’all are getting a little misty-eyed yourselves!