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the agony booth
Music Review
Heidi Montag's "Higher"
Heidi Montag's ''Higher''

Heidi Montag is a name I have a passing familiarity with, unfortunately. I know of her through her boyfriend and reality television costar, Spencer Pratt. People seem to think that because my last name is the same as his first name, I must be a fan.

In any case, it looks like Heidi figured she could sing, and has released a song entitled "Higher". Pratt is helping her by directing the video. My friend Ted sent me the link to this video with the comment: "Dude, you've got to see this!" Some months ago, I had sent him the link to 2 Girls 1 Cup with those same words. I suspect it's terrible, but Ted already put me through "My Humps", so how bad could this be? I'll eat the bullet. Hell, I'll eat a whole box of bullets so I don't have to eye every flaming paper bag left on my doorstep with suspicion.

The article continues after this advertisement...

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
Singing to an ocean. Can't you hear the oceans roar? No, not really.


I say, "The fuck?" in regards to the cheap production values. I was expecting something a little better than a camcorder. That was manufactured in 1982. Actually, it's more likely that it was a camera phone. That would explain the editing, which is entirely made up of choppy, quick cuts that last maybe three seconds tops, like maybe this was cut together by a nervous squirrel with ADD. I assume they had to send the video from the phone to their computer, and three seconds was the maximum amount they were able to send at one time.

Also, at random intervals, the video inexplicably changes to black and white. I suspect this is Pratt trying to be arty, since music videos often go black and white for, near as he can tell, no reason at all. So he's just following suit.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
Uh-oh. Maybe she shouldn't have worn granny panties for the shoot.


After they finish dropping in samples of a bug zapper, the synthesizer kicks in. It sounds like an Oompa Loopma swallowing a cat with a bad head cold, while being flushed down an airline toilet. It strikes me that I haven't even gotten to her singing yet, and I am terrified. Why, oh, why couldn't Ted have sent more pictures of John Mayer in a mankini? Honestly.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
I'll bet those seagulls are sorry for what they did to Tippy Hedren now.

I remember synthesizer music was ubiquitous in the '80s, but I'd forgotten how bad it was until I recently watched a clip of Kids Incorporated which featured Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson singing the Lionel Ritchie song "Say You, Say Me" to a clown. Don't ask. I didn't understand it, either. But the sizzling hot synthesizer opening for that song, as cheesy as it was, has nothing on this.


I suppose I should make note of the visuals, but there's nothing to note, really. Some blonde chick, probably our "star" Montag, is frolicking on a beach in a manner reminiscent of Madonna's "Cherish" video. And this doesn't compare favorably. It's that bad.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
Greenpeace was disappointed when they rushed to rescue a beached whale, only to learn it was just Heidi Montag's fake boobs.

The music starts to really take off, and actually gets worse. It sounds like amateur hour on a Casio keyboard purchased for $20 from Ace of Base's garage sale. I know they were asking that price, because I saw the sign.

The vocals still haven't started. At this point, I'm just stalling.


Current Lyric: "Here I go now."

The vocals have finally begun. I hate Ted so very much.

One thing I notice is that each line she... sings?... comes hot on the heels of the one before it. The sound editing is as bad as the video editing. Between each line, I can almost hear the click of the pause button, because surely this song was mixed on their roommate's dual cassette deck.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"Frolic" takes on a new and infinitely more boring meaning.

You know, my brother once made a remix of George Michael's "I Want Your Sex" using our parent's dual cassette deck. And for the work of a fifteen year old kid using a cassette player, it wasn't bad. The transitions lined up pretty good, at least.

This, however, is supposed to be professionally produced music. Maybe it's not fair to judge this by professional grade standards. But even by the significantly lowered bar set by Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, and the queen of suck (in more ways than one) Paris Hilton, this song has been weighed and measured and found wanting.

God save me, if it is right that he do so.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
Poseidon, god of the seas, and only pound helplessly against the rocks.


Current Lyric: "No time for looking back. I'm dreamin' that's a fact."

I am going to get myself a dog. I shall name this dog Ted. Every day I will kick that dog. Hard.

Since this kind of bubble gum pop music is exactly my idea of hell, I'm probably not the best judge of its quality. But I will say that it sucks grout out from around the tiles in my bathroom.

Ms. Montag's singing is very samey, just like any American Idol reject. In fact, as much as I hate American Idol, since I find its variety of soulless pop akin to fast food (and about as nutritious), I now have to give the contestants a measure of begrudging respect. Because it seems there is some talent and craft in their work. Not much talent or craft, but they have whole planets, whole solar systems worth of talent compared to Heidi Montag. It's sad how someone can lower your standards so much that you'll find yourself saying things like, "Well, at least Clay Aiken ain't this bad."

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"I pledge allegiance—to the Time!"

The lyrics are atrocious. At least what little I can understand of them. Enunciation is not part of this girl's vocabulary. It's like she needed to disguise just how trite her lyrics are, so she... sang?... with a mouthful of marshmallows. The basic effect is, "Darble darble Don't you let me down farble warble shi boo-boo Fly high..."

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"Christ! You know it ain't easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going, they're gonna crucify me."

What really drives it home is how she moves to illustrate the lyrics. She says (because "sing" really doesn't seem accurate) something about breaking her heart, and she touches her hand to her chest. She says something about us, me and her I guess, spreading our wings and flying, and she holds her arms out like she's Gene Simmons wearing leather batwings or something. What the hell? Didn't she have enough of a budget to stick in some hand puppets to act out the words or something? I mean, Jesus!


Current Lyric: "I'm breaking the Bown Dar Rees."

Shoot me now!

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
A beach blanket, a bottle of gin and a girl belching like a trucker. Now that is sex-AY!

Apparently, I have now gone through an entire verse and the chorus. I say apparently, because it wasn't readily apparent when she switched from the verse to the chorus. The song is completely devoid of any hooks.

For those who have less musical savvy than I do, a hook is basically anything that makes a song catchy. They are meant to catch the ear of the listener and stick in the mind. When you're listening to the greatest hits of the Strawberry Alarm Clock (that's right, kids. It has both songs) and you shush your friends because you really love this part, that is a hook.

This song has no hooks. I suspect that after I suffer through all three minutes and twenty-seven seconds of this, I will promptly forget I had ever listened to it. That may be for the best.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"Dude! You should have seen it! That fish was this big! No foolin'!"


Current Lyric: "I'm only going higher, higher."

One thing I can't call the editing is "inconsistent". It continues to cut every three seconds, lending credence to my camera phone theory. Ms. Montag is either wearing a hot pink bikini or a white dress over the hot pink bikini. So their wardrobe budget was about twelve dollars? Actually, this was made in California, so she probably paid $500 for the bikini alone. But I assume that she already owned the wardrobe prior to this video. No sane person would buy an outfit just for this video, when the money could have been spent on a better camera, or maybe a trip to rehab until she came to her senses about trying to become a recording artist.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"Awp! Help! If I get this bathing suit wet, I can't return it!"

I won't say she's hideous, but I do not find her attractive. She's just not my idea of pretty. I probably wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers, but after watching this, I probably would kick her out of bed for lack of talent. Which is why I'm frightened because as she did this little butt wiggle thing, I found I have an erection. I don't know where it came from, why it's here, or what it wants, but it will not go away! Help!

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"Dang. I forgot my line again."


Current Lyric: "Higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher, higher "

On what I assume is the bridge of the song, judging by the clever lyrics, she reaches for a high note and fails the way Captain Emmett James Smith failed. At least Smith's failure only endangered the lives of fifteen hundred people.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
The inevitable remake of Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal hit a snag when Heidi Montag was cast as Death, and no one found it credible that she knew how to play chess.

Sweet Georgia Brown! Who told this twit she could sing? Was it April first when they told her that? Did she get back at them by, say, throwing a dead sand shark in the back seat of their car? She should.

It's painfully obvious that she is reaching beyond her range. It's like that episode of the Brady Bunch when Peter's voice starts to change and crack, and instead of singing "We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter", the kids record "Time to Change". Sha-na na na na. Her voice sounds almost exactly like that.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"Oops, I fluffied again."

I think she's coming dangerously close to the brown note. For a moment, I had thought she'd hit an heretofore unknown yellow note, but it turned out I was just sweating profusely due to the stress.

At least I'm through the lion's share of it already. I'm pretty sure that the worst is over at this point.

However, I must have something in my eye, because everything is starting to look fuzzy.


Current Lyric: "We can go at your pace. Pace."

GrATE Caesar's gHOsT buTt this thing jUst keeps gOIng. ThiS muSt be whAT it fEELs like JusT beFORe you dIe. I here a ringing in my ears. my leFt eye is completelY bLiND but i cAn seE a pinpRick of Light that is stEADily geTTing cLOSER.


Current Lyric: "So set me free."

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
Hey! Down in front!


* snap *

baH faRBle DArble noo-noo pINto


Current Lyric: "Am I dreaming?"

What? It's over? Oh, wow! That is the best music video ever made! Oh my god! I must buy this album. She has an album, doesn't she? Please tell me she has an album. She must have an album because I must have it! I will eat light bulbs until she puts out an album. I mean it. Woo hoo! Thanks, Ted! You are a true friend!


Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
"You belong to me, now. Your soul is my property. You shall be my lap dog. You will eat the scraps I throw to you and be grateful. Love me and despair."

The Aftermath:

Jack Spencer, Jr. was arrested for attempting to steal two hundred and forty-three light bulbs from a local Wal-Mart by hiding them in his down vest. Mr. Spencer told authorities that he needed the bulbs to power his flux capacitor. Mr. Spencer was sanctioned under the mental hygiene code and after successful treatment at the Long Bedfellows Hospital for the Generally Loopy, was released under his own recognizance. Mr. Spencer has refused to speak with anyone about the ordeal that caused his breakdown, although he would often be heard sobbing to himself as he slept.

Spencer Pratt continues to be a non-entity. After his engagement to Ms. Montag was called off, Pratt has told reporters that he is intent on winning her back, since he apparently cannot do any better, the poor sap.

Heidi Montag was shocked by the generally negative reception her song and video "Higher" had received and reportedly cried herself to sleep. However, she has refused to take "no" for an answer, and is grimly determined to pursue a career as a recording artist.

May god have mercy on us all.

Caption contributed by Jack Spencer Jr
Run for The Hills, Heidi Montag!


BONUS! Watch the video for Heidi Montag's "Higher" below! (If you dare.)

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