Monday, 11 April 2011
16: Alizée, “Moi Lolita” (no.9, 2002)
And by placing “Moi Lolita” next to “My Sharona”, this is presumably the point at which this list gets shut down by Operation Ore - or, alternatively, at which Pete Townshend gets in touch with his own idea for a book about one-hit wonders. (The video, which looks to have been shot by a French Larry Clark, and features a truly chilling final image, doesn’t help, I will concede.) Still, as I see it, you can get queasy about Alizée, or you can shrug your shoulders in a suitably Gallic fashion and conclude she wasn’t doing anything Vanessa Paradis hadn’t done a decade before: chiefly, to demonstrate how pop songs sung in a foreign language are often the most intoxicating of all. (Pop historians might equally see the track as a riposte to the fusty tut-tutting of The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”: “It’s no use, he sees her/He starts to shake and cough/Just like that old man in/That book by Nabokov.”)
Though haters may scoff “Moi Lolita” is only intoxicating in the sense, say, Rohypnol is intoxicating, the song - if not the imagery - becomes slightly more palatable upon translating the lyrics, in which the teen star (18 years of age at the time of recording, your honour) asserts “it’s not my fault if everybody’s looking at me” - i.e. whatever grubby thoughts “Moi Lolita” may provoke, they reside solely in the eye, or the ears, of the beholder; having enchanted the men around her in the video during her night on the tiles, Alizee herself gets to walk off into the dawn, and - at least for the time being - unscathed. Bonus points if you can recognise the bassline, stolen (in a fashion that really does merit shame) from another one-hit wonder soon to be revealed on this list.