Back in January, I read in Andy Kellman’s occasional “R&B chart-watch” feature on the All Music Guide blog about a female trio from Atlanta I’d never heard of called Dear Jayne. The Jan. 28 entry mentioned that “Rain,” their debut single–produced, Kellman said, by Carlos McKinney, a.k.a. L.O.S., who’d been behind J. Holiday’s “Bed”–had entered the R&B Top 100 at No. 99. Kellman graded the song 9 out of 10. I went to Amazon’s MP3 store, paid a buck, downloaded, listened, and immediately gave it a 9 out of 10 myself. I played it all the time, shocked that a record this good was coming out in friggin’ January. The record fell out of the R&B chart after a week. A couple weeks ago, I made a list of my favorite tracks of 2008 so far. “Rain” is third. Damn, I thought, this is going to be lost forever, isn’t it? Apparently not, since there is now a video.
A few thoughts:
1) Lindsey’s heels look like they hurt to walk in, much less perform choreographed dances with umbrellas. Still, for all the “suggestive” moves of the vid’s first half, her pursed-lipped grin at the end of her verse (it shows up after the bridge, too) is the sexiest thing in the entire clip besides the song itself.
2) With her vocal runs at the end of her verse, Jasmine also appears to be the muso of the group, which makes sense given she has the artiest haircut of the three. Mullet bangs! Why should Karen O hog all the lopsided hairdos? Or Wendy Melvoin circa 1985, for that matter?
3) In another very Princely touch, Jasmine’s name is written on a drum kit that just happens to be sitting next to her couch–on a record, mind you, that has approximately zero non-electronic non-vocal instruments on it.
4) The video actually improves as it goes along, mainly because the group finally loses the goddamn umbrellas. (I understand their purpose, particularly given that the song is, at least conceptually, an answer to Rihanna’s “Umbrella”–still.) The choreography gets better too. And when the women finally get rained on, their outfits switch to basic, all-over black–miniskirts, yes, and the outfits are form-fitting, but there’s no gratuitous skin, and the camera keeps things respectful. Nice.
5) “You’re not gonna get the privilege/Until you prove you’re with it” and “I’m-a turn the tempo up and slow the tempo down/And I can’t wait to hear us make those ooh-ahh sounds” are still two of my favorite couplets of the year, maybe ever.
Anyway: decent video, totally amazing song. Be like me and go listen to it a zillion times.