"I Wanna Be Overrated" by YNESReview
When I stood on top of Long Compton Hill on Tuesday, the day after Hallowe'en, the November wind whipped across the Rollright Stones & blew the metaphorical cobwebs out of my hair.
A new YNES single has much the same effect: what you chiefly experience is the shock to your system & a wakeup call to be in the moment now.
Today that howl of fresh air goes under the title of "I Wanna Be Overrated" and although only released now, has already been dubbed BBC Upload's Rising ‘Record of the Week' proving I suppose that you need to be onto what YNES is about swiftly as like a gale she swings onto you quickly & can be gone out of your vision unless you react fast.
Like her other work, YNES rather likes getting right into your face here & forcing you to consider her words. Another in her growing body of work which shakes you by the shoulders, screams at you from up close & personal & insists that you start thinking.
A no-holds-barred act of provocation such as the Sex Pistols delighted in, the song expresses such positions as "I wanna be truly hated by someone other than myself" and something more poetic than John Lydon usually went for in "I want my name to taste sour".
A series of reflections (I think "meditations" is not precisely the right expression here) on fame, it encompasses dealing with the jealousies engendered by friends left behind by an artist's rise, the hypocrisies forced on the successful, the dubious power positions & privileges and much much more.
Has anyone ever captured the self loathing of an artist achieving celebrity better? Possibly not. The song lashes out viciously at the narrator & pretty much everyone she encounters, calling out falsity and all its assorted variations. Ultimately I suppose it's all about truth & the effects of fame destroying it: can an artist remain honest to their creativity once commercial success kicks in? Does it corrupt them and by infection all those they come into contact with? YNES doesn't sound terribly optimistic on that one.
There really is only one musical setting possible for this prolonged snarl & it's full on punk & that's done really well by John Rivers' production: a man who of course worked with the first generation punks & understands the passion & the attitude in play as much as the musical arrangement required.
It's a very powerful brew & as I said, cannot leave you untouched or unmarked. YNES really is at the top of her game at the moment: as validated by the BBC's decision. It remains to be seen whether, when she reaches the heights she is singing about here, "I Wanna Be Overrated" becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.. let's hope not.