Monday, August 27, 2018

Certain Songs #1304: Neneh Cherry feat. Michael Stipe – “Trout” | Medialoper

Album: Homebrew
Year: 1992

If people remember Neneh Cherry at all, they probably think of her as the one-hit wonder whose 1988 single, “Buffalo Stance” was a worldwide hit single. Though, weirdly enough, she also had a top ten single with song called “Kisses on the Wind”

However, it was the follow-up album, Homebrew, that caught my ears, featuring a song, “Trout,” that is one of the most early 1990s things ever.

Here is what “Trout” has: two big rock samples, Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher,” and “When The Levee Breaks;” lyrics about safe sex; and lead and backing vocals by Michael Stipe.

And if that isn’t early 1990s enough for you, it also has a rap by Michael Stipe. Look. Ya’ll know that I love R.E.M. beyond measure and reason, and their lifetime pass was issued by the mid-1980s. But I gotta admit that this whole song is corny as shit, and I love it for its corniness.

So after Cherry sings:

But I need some S-E-X-E-D-you-see-A-T-I-O-N yeah
Sex education
For the people ya ‘all

Stipe raps:

Parents and teachers get together get cool
Children need to learn about sex in school
Children need to learn about sex in school
You think they don’t do it?
Don’t get fooled
Parents don’t turn your back on the pack
Teachers want to teach but the law says whack
Don’t let your kid get caught
Without a jimmy hat

It’s not terrible. But of course, I’m biased, so it might very well be terrible.

One thing is for sure: it’s totally sincere: there isn’t even a hint of irony here in either the words or the delivery of the words, though somehow they end up with Stipe rapping nearly all of the alphabet — because they’re talking about school, I guess — and while that doesn’t quite work, the chorus where they both sing “round and round and round” totally works, especially over Bonham’s sampled hallway boom boom.


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