I've been on the record as kind of supporting Bonnie McKee in the past, more because her presence in the pop world seems so unusual and oddly fascinating. She's not quite a reality show "Making the Band"-type star, she's not an American Idol, but she's not the factory-produced pop princess she wants to be either. Nor is she a MySpace or YouTube star of the people.
Unless I'm very much mistaken, she's a new breed entirely. Someone who already has the big studio backing, who's not relying on social media or grassroots fan support, but who can't — with all the backing in the world — seem to "make it."
And because of the way American culture loves to force successful women into Cinderella's little glass heels, there's something about her "try-hard" that makes her a little unlikable — or, more accurately, hard to "root" for. She doesn't seem like a little farm girl who just got lucky — she's showing all the sweat and blood and tears that it took to get where she is, and it seems like people resent her for it.
So here she is again with a Jeff Buckley-esque cover (and a heavily-airbrushed-to-the-point-of-absurdity video) of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
All of the pop star mythology problems aside, if I have one real sticking point with Bonnie, it's her voice. It's like she's either very technically good but her tone just isn't that pretty or unique, or else that she's trying to inject too much pop into classical training and we're left with a singing equivalent of a smart girl doing a baby voice.
Either way, in a slightly sadistic fashion, I find the "event" that is Bonnie McKee consistently fascinating, and the song itself is pretty good, so... enjoy?