Amanda Blank

Amanda Blank
I Love You
Downtown, 2009

This is hard for me. When I first heard Amanda Blank on Spank Rock's single "Bump" back in 2006, I had no idea who she was. But I did know that she owned it and that my ears liked it. She was definitely the highlight of that track and pretty much every other track she appeared on. So with her solo debut, I waited with anticipation to discover what kind of lyrical gymnastics and debauchery she would drop next.
What I heard as I listened to the first track of I Love You was the song featured in a recent McDonald's commercial. Ouch. After that, it was something like being subjected to the tracks that Santigold passed on. That's right. Not good enough for Santigold.
That should tell you something. The beats are predictable and dated (thanks Diplo) and there's hardly any actual rapping. Most of it is back-tracking over ground already ravaged by M.I.A. and Peaches six or more years ago. The obvious low point here is a whole song about make-up, with shout outs to eyeliner nonetheless (isn't this a Vanity 6 song?).
For anyone who didn't know already, this is a pop record and that's apparently what she was aiming for. All the qualities that made her so refreshing in the past are noticeably absent. If you're familiar with her at all, you know she can be pretty raunchy. Raunchy in a good way. Sexuality is a big part of her image so naturally that's what I expected to hear. Not quite. The dirtiest it gets is the occasional "get up in it", blah blah blah, "let's sleep together", yadda yadda yadda. It wouldn't make even the most insecure middle-schooler blush.
Amanda Blank is a MC. A talented MC. To be fair, there are a couple (literally) of good songs here. The problem is that she admittedly went in a different direction. People do it all the time. But sometimes that "different" direction is a bad one. A very bad one. Like when Jordan tried baseball. Leave radio pop-rock to Katy Perry and stick with what you know. Especially if you're good at it.

E says: Download "Something Bigger, Something Better" and call it a day.

L says: Disappointing and I don't like songs about make-up or love. I still play it in the car though.