Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The new Missy Higgins. Not boring. Bored.

She started off so strong, she played every festival, we couldn't escape her catchy-as-measles song 'Scar'. But something has happened to our girl-next-door, Missy Higgins.

Has anyone else noticed that Missy Higgins, in her latest incarnation, presenting her latest album On A Clear Night, seems quite disinterested in the whole process. Not just bemused either. The monotony of being Missy seems to be getting her done and she probably wishes we'd all just leave her and her music the hell alone.

Missy was on Sunrise last week; approachable, gorgeous smiles and a cheeky joke here and there, but she let slip that she never wanted to be famous. "I wanted to be successful but I didn't realise that fame necessarily came with it."

This now puts her recent behaviour in perspective. In my last job I got to meet her a few times as photographer, and watched a two recent interviews from behind the camera. I got a feeling then that Missy was looking over it. During her live appearance on Live Earth, I got the same vibe. And it goes beyond her having to recycle Scar, or The Special Two another twenty times.

The most convincing evidence is Missy's most recent songs. The first single, Steer, is rather pleasant pop but lacks the swing or originality of Scar. The video was the real let down. Playing out a metaphor of a girl employed to be a crash test dummy (Steer, get it?) was not profound or even clever. It felt thrown together.

Remember the compelling clip for Scar? We all watched it over and over. Steer hardly keeps you to the end of one viewing.

Missy's second single is Where I Stood. Song's so sad it feels like it was meant to embody a kind of depression or fatalism. Fun!

The video features a very disappointing clip of Missy moping about in Sydney's Museum station, pining for a lover I presume. But, unless Missy is an outrageously good actor, the overwhelming impression you're left with is that Missy is bored to tears by all of it. The musical cycle, the publicity, interviews, the performances, the rigmorol of fame. This clip. This take. This angle.

Still, if you are feeling sorry for Missy, do what I do and go back to hear her at her sparkiest - on the Sound of White.

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