Ida Maria — “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked”

Released: 7.21.08

Peak: Did Not Chart

Ida Maria’s first single, “Oh My God,” was the sort of song Polly Harvey might have written if she’d already been as clearheaded about sexual passion as she’d become on Stories from the City, Stories From the Sea back when she was still as raw and enraged as she’d been on Rid of Me. The Norwegian rocker flails frantically about for “a cure for [her] life,” never pausing to clarify whether she’s addressing the divine or just venting vernacular exasperation at some failed earthly savior because rock and roll is obviously the real route by which she’ll temporarily thrash her way beyond the confines of her ego.

But I like “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” so much better, because it’s the sort of song Joan Jett might have written if she loved sex as much as she loved rock ‘n’ roll. Again, Ida Maria seeks to bash past her self-awareness, with guitar and drums accelerated an eyelash past the musicians’ comfort zone, but this time it’s in pursuit of that increasing rarity: an excited song about fucking. Much of today’s oversexed pop, sung by people who’ve done it too often for people who’ve done it too little, renders the experience dull and clinical, as though lust were as an inconvenient as an unscratched itch.

But whether she’s cutely breaking “mind” into seven syllables during a “Banana Splits Theme” rip or failing to hold back a scream or a hoarse squeak, Ida Maria has as much trouble keeping it in her pants as Buddy Holly.  Consider “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” is sort of a belated commentary on Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never.” (Remember when “boring and clinical” was an avant-garde counterbalance to pop romance?) It’s not “I might like you better if we slept together,” but I might like you better while we sleep together. And I need to find out RIGHT NOW.

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