Exhibit A: Beth Ditto: I Wrote The Book
Beth Ditto is the openly lesbian singer of the indie band, The Gossip, who scored big in the UK with Standing In The Way of Control in 2006. The album went Gold and produced 3 hit singles. This year, Beth Ditto released a solo ep and traded her indie roots for 90s style dance beats while maintaining her unique sound. Lead single, I Wrote The Book, has become an indie hit as well as its video which copies Madonna’s Justify My Love, but does so by having fun with itself, thus removing all the pretentiousness of the original, making it cleverly subversive.
Exhibit B: The Miracles Club: Light Of Love
I am living for this remix by Cut Copy?! I know I seem to be comparing everything to Saint Etienne lately, but I really mean it this time; with its reverb vocals, 90s dance beats and even the lead singer strikes an uncanny resemblance to Sarah Cracknell. But this is clearly not Saint Etienne and they bring their own unique sound. And besides, there is nothing wrong with being compared to them, since Saint Etienne are pop geniuses who really deserve to be recognized as the innovators of pop that they are. In the video, The Miracles Club along with some friends Strike poses and fiercely work it, and at the same time have fun and somehow sucessfully combine ballroom vogue dancing with miming?!
Verdict: This is a tough call since both are great songs with even better videos, but for this bout, who ultimately takes the crown (or more appropriately, the tiara)? Which is better, emulating an artist while being true to yourself or copying a video, but bringing your own unique style to it? It may be unfair since Beth Ditto has the name recognition and bigger budget, but still, in this case, uniqueness wins and I think she is more the original, and therefore takes it, even though it is by no means a knockout punch. Bravo to both contenders.