Jordan Pruitt/An Open Letter to Nick
1. Some discussion of Jordan Pruitt on the teenpop thread, and I'll repeat here what I wrote there: I am really loving her song "Outside Looking In". In addition to a really nice vocal performance by Jordan Pruitt, and a nice laid-back melody, I really love the lyrics. It deals with the issue of teen rejection/loneliness (which isn't all that different from adult rejection/loneliness) in a way that totally works, and I don't think I've quite seen used in another song. Rather than attempting to paraphrase, let me quote directly from what I said on the teenpop thread:
"...one thing I really love is the "You don't know how it feels..." aspect to it. Of course, the reason the song works is that EVERYBODY knows how it feels to be on the outside looking in. But that feeling of loneliness can, in my experience, create a kind of self-pity, "Nobody has ever had to face this before me, I'm all alone" feeling. So not saying you don't know how it feels in an accusatory way (a la Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels to Be Me") but in a self-pitying way. I would guess this feeling is especially prevalent in the more self-centered teen world, which is why I think it works better as a teen pop song than it would in other genres."
Even though the verses have a really accusatory feel to them, like I said that's not how I interpret the chorus. I interpret speaking directly to her tormenters, the ones who are rejecting her, "YOU don't know how it feels..." in a way that feels just so real and raw. Not in a way of trying to blame them or make them feel bad, just trying to show them how much they've hurt her, and self-pitying as I say in the quoted passage above. I think this song is so great because virtually anybody can probably relate to the song, not just as the speaker, but also as the accused. Who here has not felt rejected/alone or made other people to feel rejected/alone? Not only that, but Jordan totally sells the vocals. Jordan's only 15, and her album comes out in early 2007, written entirely by her and her two co-writers on "Outside Looking In". I'm looking forward to it.
Jordan, on her Myspace, also streams a cover of "We Are Family", which seems to be a pretty original and pretty good one to me. In addition, she recently has started streaming a new original song, "Teenager". Definitely really different from "Outside Looking In", as it has a bubble-R&B sound rather than the confessional rock sound. Given my well documented love of the confessional rock sound, I'm obviously not too excited about this, but I still like the song. I do dig the interesting instrumentation in the chorus. Mild bonus points for featuring a totally WTF phone call bridge.
[Ethics force me to reveal I first heard "Outside Looking In" in the Panabaker film Read It and Weep.]
[Also read the reviews of "Outside Looking In" on Myspace which say the same thing I'm trying to in more poignant ways. E.g. "Hey jordan I love your song last year i went though the same thing for your song outside looking in", "i cry every time i hear it... your talking about me".]
Dear Nickelodeon Executives,
Hi, my name is Greg. At the age of 24, I am aware that I am most likely above the typical age of the audience that you are targeting with your programming. Nevertheless I felt compelled to write in to express my discontent with your current programming decisions. I've noticed that you currently have four live-action original series, those being Drake and Josh, Zoey 101, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, and Unfabulous. I also noticed that other than Unfabulous, starring the incomparable Emma Roberts, all of these shows are terrible. The reason I'm writing is the distressing current trend that all three of the other shows, other than Unfabulous, receive daily repeats from between 5:30 to 8:30. (Please note that Zoey 101 does not repeat every weekday, just most weekdays). However, distressingly, I have yet to see a daily repeat of Unfabulous except for their weekly Sunday night airing. There are many possible reasons for this that I can think of. Perhaps since Unfabulous is an older show, you want to promote your more recent shows that have not had as much time to build up an audience. Perhaps Unfabulous has been losing viewers and is now just not as popular as the other shows; hell, maybe it was never as popular. Maybe it's because Unfabulous isn't currently airing new episodes whereas Ned and Drake are (I admit that I don't know if Zoey is currently airing new episodes). In any event, I don't really care what the reason is. I just humbly request that you air more repeats of Unfabulous in an attempt to pacify one single 24 year-old fan of a network that is self-proclaimed as a network for kids. I can also make additional programming decisions for you, if you desire.
Lots of love,