If you read yesterday’s post even cursorily, you knew full well when you glanced at today’s song title that this was not going to be the Britney Spears version of this song, even if you didn’t see “Fountains of Wayne” at first. First of all, this is Cover Friday, so you should have realized it would be a cover; second of all, you will never find any Britney Spears songs on Reselect, because hey, I’ve got my standards to uphold. But I can’t deny, of course, that yesterday’s Christina Aguilera song inspired me to post this one today.
After all, we shouldn’t necessarily forget that sometimes, beneath even the performances of lesser (or non) talents, there lies the heart of a decent song. After all, those Britney songs are written for her by people who actually know their way around a melody.
Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood certainly recognized it when they decided to record Britney’s “. . . Baby One More Time” (they released this version on their 2005 odds-and-ends compilation album, Out-of-State Plates). While it has become somewhat de rigueur for cool bands to take a cheesy pop hit and turn it ironically into a song that even their fans could love and/or laugh at — which can sometimes be more irritating than humorous — I honestly think Fountains of Wayne really thought it was a good song and wanted to take a crack at making it sound better. But whatever their intent, it comes out sounding pretty darn good, and almost, but not quite, like a song they would have been proud to call their own. Which, given their immense songcrafting talent, would be saying something.