Album Reviews

Paris Hilton – Paris

(Stars Are Blind) UK release date: 21 August 2006

So, you’ve just been voted into the Guinness Book of Records as the most pointless person in the world. Do you sit back and think “Yes. Job done.” Or does it give you at least a momentary pause for thought?

It’s Paris Hilton with this dilemma, and with the entry in next year’s annual (perhaps). And surely, to fall into the parlance of our artist, that’s not hot. It can’t be. Can it?

Or maybe it’s what she was trying to achieve all along. Some kind of comment on the society in which we live, the disposable transient despicable plastic inane world, where to be totally devoid of purpose is, in fact, to achieve some kind of higher state. A Zen like calmness stemming from the ability to mean absolutely nothing at all.

Nah. Probably not, for a woman with a predilection away from words of more than one syllable. Having molested the worlds of television, publishing and, uh, ‘home’ movies, the latest outlet to come under attack from the Hilton talent vacuum is music. And her debut album is, appropriately enough, a vacuous hole of a record devoid of anything approaching a personality or a point.

It would therefore be nice to say that the best thing about it is that no baby seals were clubbed to death during its manufacture, but, actually, a lot of it isn’t that bad. Rather unfortunately though, the bits which ‘aren’t bad’ are the bits which don’t involve Ms Hilton.

With Scott Storch taking the money (and probably running) on production duties, the original compositions are glossy, clearly know their influences – Turn It Up tries to grind like The Neptunes, Turn You On frantically thumbs through Kelis‘ back catalogue and there are various points which sound Kanye-lite – and are uniformly of a decent class. Apart from the truly painful cover of Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, which proves that while you can’t polish a turd, you can certainly make it smell worse.

The bits that do involve Paris aren’t possessing of any kind of class at all. They are however, pant-wettingly funny. The girl can’t sing, so it would seem handy that all the first couple of tracks require from her is breathlessness. Easy, you might think, but no, what is presumably supposed to be erotically charged grunting just sounds like she sprinted up a long flight of stairs to get to the recording booth.

In some ways, it’s not actually her fault; you get the impression Paris could be reciting Proust and she’d sound like an idiot, so when given a set of lyrics that run the whole gamut of emotions from ‘hot’ to ‘sexy’, she’s got no chance.

Given a dash of self-deprecation, a nod and a wink at the sheer laughable irony in her telling us “I’ll take off my clothes / you’d like that dontcha?”, with a straight face, and she could have had a chance to transform herself from the most delusional person on the planet to one with just a hint of self-awareness.

Who would then be clutching one of the great comedy albums of the past 20 years. Alas, it’s not to be, so all you’re left with is a proposition almost as unappealing as One Night In Paris, but with the added worry that she has aspirations to do it again. That really, really isn’t hot.

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Paris Hilton – Paris