Tuesday, February 9, 2010

don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem...

Back in the thick of the holiday rush at Anthropologie, we were working late to close down the store one Saturday night. It was nearing 11 p.m., and everyone was exhausted and worn thin from helping grouchy customers and picking up a sales floor that looked like it had vomited clothes all over itself (vulgar perhaps, but an accurate metaphor). Anyway, it was discouraging.

During the closing shifts that go late (and the early opening shifts, too), we often have a playlist (designed specially at Anthro corporate) that plays over the sound system to keep the mood up. Usually the music washes over me unnoticed, and we all seem to go about our duties in our own world.

This particular Saturday night though, as I was organizing boxes and boxes of tights, Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" came on. The transformation in attitude was crazy. Every girl was humming or singing softly to themselves; lost in their own thoughts, re-hanging ruffled sweaters or folding piles of denim. It was just the right rhythm to keep us going and release some of the day's tension. (...hard rock... to gem... get it?)

This song is just so good. It's full of longing and sadness, but the beat and Lauryn's amazing voice keeps it from being depressing and cheesy. When it hits around the 3 minute 30 second point, it breaks into the best part (cry for me cry for me, you said you die for me - give to me give to me - why wont you live for me?) and instantly I remembered why I love this song, as well as the whole The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album. I still have the CD i bought when it came out in 1998; I was 13.

So take my advice and spice up your ipod with a little Lauryn H. Don't forget "Tell Him" and "Doo Wop (That Thing)" are also really wonderful.

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