On her new single, "I’m Just Here for the Music," Paula Abdul’s singing voice is little more than an electronic squeak, Auto-Tuned into submission behind a thumping bass line that sounds inspired by Indeep’s disco classic "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life." And yet while the track, which premiered this morning on Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS-FM radio show and is streaming at PaulaAbdul.com, is the musical equivalent of a Funyun — wholly unorganic, void of nutritional value, likely to leave behind a trail of chemical flavoring — I cannot lie: I thoroughly enjoyed tilting my head backward and pouring every last worthless crumb down my gullet.
Interestingly, "I’m Just Here for the Music" is actually a remake of a leaked (but never released) recording from Kylie Minogue’s 2003 Body Language disc, and a definite improvement on the original. Not that the electronically enhanced squeak of one pint-size dance diva is necessarily better than the other, of course. It’s just that Abdul’s old cohort Oliver Lieber — who produced much of her breakthrough Forever Your Girl album — provides the kind of muscular production that transforms the track from album filler to viable single. Indeed, Abdul’s version gives you the feeling of rediscovering "The Way That You Love Me" or "Knocked Out" — pumped up with a regimen of post-millennial steroids. (I say that in the most complimentary way possible.)
Check out Abdul’s "I’m Just Here for the Music" as well as Minogue’s, then tell us what you think. I’ll multi-task by reading your message-board postings and chair-dancing with abandon. (Yeah, I’m working from home today, so it’s a total no-shame zone.)