0114: “Fuck Me Pumps” by Amy Winehouse

The story goes that Amy Winehouse wanted her debut album named Frank because of a dual meaning: one being that Frank Sinatra was a central inspiration to her, and the other being that “frank” means “unabashedly blunt.” “Fuck Me Pumps” borrows more from the latter than the former as it is a hilariously vicious takedown of desperate clingers-on and other party people who think they will strike it rich by hooking up with an athlete or a rich man. I mean, where to start with this song that almost has as many quotable lines as Airplane? There’s this description of “the Gucci bag crew”: “‘Cause you all look the same/Everyone knows your name/And that’s your whole claim to fame.” And there’s this: “Don’t be too upset/If they call you a skank/’Cause like the news everyday you get pressed.” And this: “You can’t sit down right/’Cause you jeans are too tight/And you’re lucky it’s ladies night/With your big empty purse/Every week it gets worse/At least your breasts cost more than hers.” And this: “Without girls like you/There’d be no fun/We’d go to the club and not see anyone/Without girls like you/There’s no nightlife/All those men just go home to their wives.” And, of course, the final lyrics: “Don’t be mad at me/’Cause you’re pushing thirty/And your old tricks no longer work/You should have known from the jump/That you always get dumped/So dust off your fuck me pumps.” Set to all this is a melody that uses a drum beat that sounds like a clap beat and what sounds like a cross between a high guitar note and a mellotron. Winehouse on this track is like a cat playing with an overmatched mouse. Under normal circumstances one might feel bad or empathize with the mouse and point out the inherent unfairness of the match play with the cat, but Amy Winehouse had the innate ability to call a spade a spade here. The women she sings about are ones that we’ve all seen at a bar or a club at some point. Hell, we might even work with them or know them as friends. It’s this familiarity that allows Winehouse to gleefully paint the scene of a woman on ecstasy getting caned and it be able to be laughed at without fear of it being taken too far. “Fuck Me Pumps” is a deep cut that cements the brilliance of Amy Winehouse on a lyrical level; this is the 21st century “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”

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