Single Review: Vitamin C “Last Nite”

Last Nite
Album: Vitamin C
Year: 2003

While seeing previews on the WB for WB’s Superstar USA, I thought the second judge looked familiar. However, I couldn’t place her. It wasn’t until I heard in the commercials that it was “Vitamin C” did I know it was her. She had the “forgotten pop star trying to make a comeback” role. Except it wasn’t really a role, it was actually the state of her career.

In 2003, she tried to reinvent herself as a disco pop singer along the lines of Kylie She toned her orange hair and became blonde. The single’s cover suggests a nightclub, adult atmosphere.

With “Last Nite,” she lets the sample of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” sell the single. In fact, other than the lyrics, it is “Heart of Glass.” But what she was really covering was the Strokes’ song, “Last Nite.” The Strokes’ cover is full of lingering confusion (“and baby, I feel so down/And I don’t know why/I keep walkin’ for miles”) Although there is doubt if he really wants to stay in the relationship with his girlfriend, who is upset that she’s being included in his life. He, on the other hand, doesn’t really know if he wants to be single or not. In the end, he chooses the single life (“So I, I turn ’round/”oh little girl, I don’t care no more/I know this for sure/I’m walking out that door, yeah”)

Vitamin C’s version is a muddled imitation that lacks focus and careens every direction possible. She keeps her voice soft and breathy, as though she’s trying to be sensual. Also every time there was a growl in the original, she lets a weak growl, too. Except in her version, she sounds evil, like she’ll steal all your favorite CD’s and a ton of money from your wallet before she leaves.
Unlike the original, she is talking to two people: a man and a woman. In the second verse in the song, the pronoun is changed to “she” Then in the third verse, she changes it back to “he.” She wants to be flamboyant and carefree. Instead, it comes across as manipulative and self-centered. For example she sings, “And I feel so down/and I don’t know why”) It’s called guilt. But in her version, she lacks self-awareness to know to feel ashamed of what she’s doing. In the end, she leaves her boyfriend and girlfriend behind and doesn’t seem to care that she’s hurting them. In Vitamin C’s version, people are disposable.

The “Heart of Glass” sample would’ve worked, if she put it in the title like Heart of the Last Nite’s Glass. It would still be a blatant ripoff, but at least it could’ve been marketed as combination of two pop songs together. To destroy not one, but two pop songs at the same time is a dubious achievement itself.

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