Girls Like Us: The Women of the 70s Rate (THE END) | Page 32 | The Popjustice Forum

Girls Like Us: The Women of the 70s Rate (THE END)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Lila, Jun 10, 2019.


Which is your favourite album here?

  1. Blue - Joni Mitchell

    14 vote(s)
  2. Between the Lines - Janis Ian

    4 vote(s)
  3. New York Tendaberry - Laura Nyro

    2 vote(s)
  4. Tapestry - Carole King

    8 vote(s)
  1. I Feel The Earth Move needs to vacate immediately. It's a cute bop, but ultimately harmless and it has no place staying in over these other heartbreakers.
    Lila likes this.
  2. Oh, I was certain that "It's Too Late" was heading for a top 5 finish. It's quite surprising for me to see it not ending up as Carole's best performing song in this rate. Nice 11 pick, too.
    "I Feel the Earth Move" is great and instant, so it reasonably remains in, but how did "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" place above "It's Too Late"?

    And with this elimination, I can reveal that, except Janis, none of the 'main' girls managed to receive a 10 from me (Joni and Laura both had a 9 and Carole 9,25 as my highest score for them).
    That's a major rarity when it comes to rates, so that's another thing it will be memorable for.
    Filippa and Lila like this.
  3. Lila

    Lila Staff Member

    It’s actually not my lowest score left.
    Maki likes this.
  4. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    I Feel The Earth Move is amazing and y’all can stop with the slander. Not every song in the top 10 needs to be a heartbreaker. Sometimes you just need a song that slaps.

    Because many people genuinely consider it one of Carole’s greatest songs? Your shock is the shocking thing here.
  5. Lila

    Lila Staff Member

    You're all wrong for this.



    In the Winter

    High scorers: 11 x 1 (@Music Is Life), 10 x 4 (@soratami, @Trouble in Paradise, @Maki, @Lila)
    Lowest scorers: 6 x 1 (@abael)
    Thread title lyrics: Does He Love You? - Rilo Kiley

    "I am wiser now, you know, and still as big a fool concerning you."

    I've been an introvert for most of my adult life. As a child I was horrendously precocious and encouraged to be so by people who wanted me to be an actress of some sort. They used to have a 'Speech and Drama Festival' in my city and I competed in it every year from the ages of six to eleven, partly because I was told to, but also because I liked the attention. When my life became a bit of a mess when I was twelve, I naturally receded from that. I became quiet and nervous and shy in ways that I never had been before but still am to this day. It eased with time: I'm comfortable talking to people I don't know, I've grown to like parties a bit more and I'm not so wracked with daily anxiety. When I found Janis, I was just beginning to recognise all these things about myself. And then there was this song.

    This is my favourite track on Between the Lines. It still speaks to me like very little else, drenched as it is in toxic insecurities and ill-fated loves, two things I always seem to run into time and again. It's about introversion at it's most extreme and loneliness at it's most fatal. Anyone who has been truly lonely can tell you that there is a degree of displacement that occurs. You can recognise the cause of your loneliness but you very often feel there is nothing you can do to stop it; for me, I had no friends because I was depressed, but I was depressed because I had no friends. There's always a cyclical nature to it. You want to meet people, but you feel as though you can't because you don't know anyone to go out with to do so. Life becomes terrifying and enclosed. And so you try and fill the hole with fantasy. You think about the people you'd like to be friends with, the relationships you'd like to have, men you'd like to love you. Very often it's imaginary, but sometimes it's real. Falling in love is never easier than when you're lonely, because it provides an illusion of intimacy even if it's unrequited.

    Let's talk, then, about that second verse reveal.

    You must remember how I never liked the party life
    Up all night, lovely wife
    You have a lovely wife

    We can only assume Janis is the protagonist here. She spends the whole song singing to someone we know doesn't care but whom she idolises desperately ("Are you there? / Do you care?" is clearly supposed to be about the song's subject as much as it's about God). We assume it's a man. But she talks about his nice friend and then, in the song's denouement, his wife. We pause for a moment with her. It's a cycle again: she's depressed because her love is impossible, but her love is impossible because she's depressed. Obsessing about a married man is displacement at it's most obvious and destructive. It's a placeholder, one that can fill a hole while preventing an actual progress, an attempt to form something real. But then, of course, we have to think about who Janis is. It's so easy to get swept up in this song's grandeur, but the person singing it is shy and quiet and we know her as well as she does. What if it's the wife she loves? What if she hates him for having her? The couplet of "No, I live alone / I found it easier" supports me, I think, as does what we know of Janis' life at the time. She's closed herself of from the world because of how she feels. She obsesses over men to try and feel something, all the while subconsciously focusing on their wives and friends, trying to hide it in songs that portray nothing but sorrow. I used to listen to this song and cry because I always loved men who would never love me back. I still do sometimes. But today I listen to it and cry because queer women had their lives stolen from them by a society that chose not to understand.

    Straight off the back of their 11, here is @abael (6) with something I truly don't understand: "As most of the production for Janis seems to prop up her lyrics, I need more substance than this track provides." I'm not being facetious, I'm genuinely just not sure what you mean here. @pop3blow2 (8.2), meanwhile, makes me sad: "Nice strings. I know it’s a preference, but some of this album just crosses the uncanny divide of melodrama to me… without having the same emotional impact of the other main albums/artists here. I understand that threshold is different for different people. The music by all the artists in this rate is so personal it’s hard to drag any of it, but imagine we all have our facets we connect with more. Janis just never really was one for me, outside of a few songs. I wonder why that is? I wonder if it might have something to with how perfect her voice & production is, here. There was a messy rawness to Blue, an unhinged soul to Carole’s voice on Tapestry, & a completely manic-musical rawness to New York Tendaberry. A lot of this record is very ‘even’ sounding, so when the emotion is supposed hit in some places, it comes off forced or just misses period. Maybe its not fair I'm comparing it so much to other three, but I just find myself connecting with it the least here."

    @Filippa (9) just says: "Very dramatic!" Fair play. Presumably laminating his stan card at this point in the album was @Maki (10): "Those verses... those verses!!! They almost killed me! I didn't expect this little song to crush me so much - goosebumps everywhere. The verses are so emotionally delivered, have the optimal amount of drama and build-up, and are so damn good that I wish the chorus didn't even exist. To sum it all up... The melody: perfection The production: perfection. The instrumentation: perfection. The lyrics: perfection The chorus: almost perfection. Oh, and when that violin creeps in! All that, and it's not my 11? No."

    I'll hand over to @Music Is Life (11) who, after much fretting, finally has to say goodbye: "The production in this is fucking amazing. The strings and the drums together combine to make this almost creepy/circusy sound. And when the drums really start going it starts to feel almost jazzy, and then the piano flourishes start and just elevate it to that space. Then there’s her voice. It’s absolutely perfect across this entire song, and just soars. Her lyrics are so beautiful and well-written, and fit the amazing melody perfectly. I can’t even tell you how much this song just hits me in all the right places when I’m not even sure why, and combines to make one whole masterpiece that just ends way too soon, but I don’t care cause it’s still amazing and is my 11."

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  6. Um.... I am not okay.
    At least it made top 10. Thank you for the amazing write-up @Lila, for putting into words every reason why I relate to this song when I wasn't even sure why at first.
  7. These last two eliminations are more like it.
    Lila likes this.
  8. ohnostalgia

    ohnostalgia Staff Member

    We could throw out the last two Janis songs at any moment and I’d give no fucks. I’ll also add Killing Me Softly to that list.
  9. This was a weird rate for me in some ways. I like Janis, but when listening to Between The Lines against the other big three here, it really didn't stack up. It's really good, but I would give it a B... compared to A's for the others. I like it, but it just didn't have the same emotional resonance with me. As such, I rated it the lowest.

    The reason I say it's all kinda weird, is that I actually find Janis the 'best' singer of the big 4 here. Normally vocals are big deal for me and getting into Joni's voice was a hurdle when I was younger. Likewise, Carole is an acquired taste vocally... and Laura, well we see how she did here. Janis' voice is actually the most sonically pleasing of the big 4.

    In an odd turn, though, I found many times listening to her after Carole, Joni, or Laura... that Between The Lines felt more glossy to me. I don't know, it could just be the mood I was in listening to those albums back-to-back after over a few days. The perfection of her voice & perfect production of the tracks, just doesn't' work with the lyrics in places for me. Sterile isn't the right word, but there was certainly a disconnect for me.

    This rate did get me back into listening to Janis, though, which I really hadn't done much in awhile. This actually made me feel better about my scores for Between The Lines, as I realized I just prefer some of her other work more.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  10. Lila

    Lila Staff Member

    Tomorrow’s eliminations should be interesting.
  11. I'm so disappointed in both of you.
    Filippa, Maki and Lila like this.
  12. "In the Winter" was my second contender for an 11. That being said, it did really well, considering the song length and the fact that Janis isn't generally loved here.
    Still, top 5 is the only acceptable place for a song like that one.

    @Lila, if I had to choose which one is my favorite write up, it would be this one. The first part of it is insanely relatable to me, so let's get a bit personal. When I was young, there was no shame; hyperactive kid doing whatever comes to their mind. That drastically subdued when I was about 11 (around that time I changed school, but that had absolutely no effect on me mentally), but I still was very friendly and talkative, even annoying at some points. But I've always been shy, even in small doses. A little backstory is that, during pre-school, I was supposed to sing a duet with a girl for some type of festival. They always said I sang really well for my age and pushed me to perform in front of audience, but I refused to do that; I was a dancer instead, because I 'had to do something', according to the organizers. Funny thing is that I loved to sing in front of my family and friends when I was little (of course I loved music back then, too), but wasn't comfortable with doing that in front of bigger audience. Fast forward... and at this point, I'm sure it's been more than 10 years since anyone heard me sing, even my parents and closer friends.
    That clearly indicates that during and after high school, I became more reserved than before. I was still fun and friendly during the time in school, but when I get home, that was about it when it comes to my social life. I mean, I still have a few friends, but we are meeting way, way less often than before.
    Being an introvert isn't a bad thing at all, the loneliness even suits me, but the thought that you can't overcome your extreme shyness because of that loneliness does sting.

    Wow, I really typed that much. Kind of makes it seem like this is my favorite song in the entire rate - even during the reveals I thought at times that "In the Winter" was my 11.
    Perhaps it is my favorite song in the rate when it comes to the lyrics; I'm happy that @Lila loves it so much.

    I've already mentioned it, but 'I never liked the party life' is 100% me.

    Amazing 11 choice, @Music Is Life, I'm so thankful that you 'replaced' my own biggest contender for that spot!
    Lila, Filippa, Music Is Death and 2 others like this.
  13. This is such an eloquent take that hits at my feelings toward Janis here as well. I almost feel like I overscored her concerned that I’d come off trollish if I had been harsher
    ohnostalgia, Filippa and Maki like this.
  14. In my case, that 'perfect' production and vocals is what made the album stand out and resulted in me loving it.
    But I totally get what you say; one example I can bring up is the album "Beautiful Trauma" by P!nk. I've always found the production of it so polished and 'sterile' that ot lost its emotional edge and rawness (except for a few songs) that all of her previous albums had. It was a quite disappointing first listen, but I eventually got used to it and now I really like the album.

    Still, "Between the Lines" has rawness without any doubt, although when compared to the other three albums, it does sound polished, which makes sense.
    But Janis surely has the most pleasant voice out of all the 'main girls', right?

    And now I must confess that the vast majority of my scores are higher that they would actually be - I had to scale them for this rate, because there was never a rate dedicated to pre-2000 music and especially acclaimed albums like these. There was something telling me that most of the songs would grow on me, in order not to underscore them right away.
    Even with all that baing said, some of my 9's here would've been between 7 and 8 in 'regular' rates.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
    Lila, Filippa and pop3blow2 like this.
  15. You make some good points. I certainly understand why anyone would love Between The Lines and why it’s a classic. Revisiting it for the first time in awhile for the rate even helped me hear some more sonic connections to other artists I like in the album, further cementing its importance.

    ‘Polished’ is a good word, though... and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There's something to said about the artistry attached to striving for such goal. There are times when that's exactly what I want/need in my music (I mean, my fave album of all time is a super-polished album of covers..ddd!) And parts of the Between The Lines that sound pretty incredible, to be sure. Ultimately, I guess I just preferred the general brand of rawness of the other big 3 more in this rate.
  16. Okay, now that I've had time to process and gather my thoughts, here's my farewell to my 11.
    I seem to have had an almost opposite experience than @Maki and @Lila. I was a very shy, quiet kid. I didn't like talking to or meeting other people. I don't exactly remember when it started but it definitely didn't help that I was bullied from a young age, making me more introverted. One of my escapes was listening to music and singing - usually on the bus - often to the annoyance of many people - or in the car - often to the annoyance of my parents and sister. As a young kid, and even as I got older, I always imagined being a famous pop star (seeing Miley as Hannah, being so young, helped inspire these dreams) because it made me feel like I would go somewhere in life even if I knew it would never happen. After I entered middle school, I was lucky enough to be invited to sit with a group of girls at lunch. I was suspicious of them at first but in time I actually became friends with them. I carried these friendships through high school, growing more comfortable being me as I discovered my sexuality and decided on what I wanted to do as I got older. I became a cheerleader in my junior year which really helped me come out of my shell, staying throughout senior year. In the past year at college, I've been leaning more into the part of me that loves singing and performing. I'm not hoping for a career out of it - I love writing and that's what I wanna do - but I just enjoy doing it. I performed three times as a solo last year, two for a vocal lesson, one for a talent show. A couple of them I did fine on, definitely not my best but could've been worse. The third though was actually pretty good. I did a cover of 1D's You & I and I actually think I sounded pretty good. This year I'm going to be in the play, as well as taking musical theatre where I'll be covering a couple songs from Dear Evan Hansen. And I'll be performing more.
    I went off the rails a little there, but my point was that despite me actually enjoying stepping out of my comfort zone, being around and interacting with people and having friends, I still feel that crippling loneliness that is probably at least partly the reason for my mental health issues in my worst moments. In these moments, I think that all my friendships are just lies, or they won't last, or they don't like me. In these moments I feel like I'm going to be alone, single, sad, no matter how much I try not to be. But when I feel like this, I listen to music. I use it to remind myself that no matter how lonely I feel, no matter how often I'm by myself, I'm never truly alone, because there are others out there who feel the same way. I'm so happy that this rate gave me a song that helps capture these feelings and helps remind me that I'm not alone. In The Winter is one of the best discoveries I've made this year, and I'm glad it made it as far as it did.
  17. Lila

    Lila Staff Member

    Working on the next elimination but it'll be tonight my time, probably. I'm struggling a little!
  18. @Lila I really love your write-ups, thank you! And I feel that talking about the things that hurt in our lives is the best thing to overcome them. So please keep talking! I was especially bad when it comes to overcoming lovesickness. But talking helped me a lot until the point that talking about it kept the whole drama alive. But you will know when it's time to let go ... even I realised it eventually.

    @Maki I believe it's fine when you prefer being on your own. You should live up to that. And I really don't believe that shyness is a bad thing it's just a bit of hindrance to get to know people. But if you don't dare to make the first move and talk just smile at people. I might work wonders :).

    @Music Is Life I really would love to hear you sing and who knows maybe we'll hear from you. Just don't give up upon dreams. As you describe it I believe that you are really good (and yes I read what you said).

    And to The River:

    You would love it if you had watched Ally McBeal what I deeply recommend to you. The best series ever.

    Full song with Vonda Shepard on background vocals:

    I really thought about giving my 11 points to that song. I do love the song.
  19. Thank you! I have considered sharing videos of my performances on here but I was unsure if I should. Now I will for anyone who is interested.
    And I don't plan on giving up. I know it's going to take a lot of hard work and time but I know it'll be worth it.
  20. Lila

    Lila Staff Member

    You totally should!

    Also, I think it's sweet and maybe a little telling that the three youngest of us (I think @Maki and @Music Is Life are both a bit younger than me) like Janis the most. Between the Lines as an album definitely speaks to growing pains.
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