Let's hear it for the girl
Only In My Dreams - Debbie Gibson
My back's against a wall and I can see the glint in your eye and broken bottle in your hand. I'll talk fast.
First, Debbie Gibson wrote and produced her own music. Did you know that? I'm learning as I wend my way through this, in the annals of bubblegum girl pop, self-actualizing ladies occupy a couple sentences, a paragraph at most. And did you realize "Dreams" is kind of a sad song, a song about foolishness and delusion and regret? You'd be forgiven if you didn't. I mean if you thought about it, sure: love, only in my dreams. Yet from the opening reel and smack to the bumpin' bass to those yummy sugar-spun synth lines, this song celebrates, celebrates, carefree American teenhood. (The video, with its multiple shots of a rumple-sheeted white bed and Debbie's coy, guarded expressions, is somewhat more complicated.) Granted, I was an American teen when "Dreams" was released, so I'm reading it with nostalgic lenses, falling for the fantasy. Even though I'm not too old to remember how care-full that time is. But isn't that what ear candy is about? A suspension of disbelief, temporary insanity? And if the cool kids are going to celebrate the Scandinavian Annies, Robyns, Marits, Fridas, the wholesome homegrown Kellys, markedly not-wholesome Christinas, and all the slick London gals, isn't it time to start rejuvenating Miss Gibson's hits (this one, anyway) and restoring them to the lineage? Really, I shouldn't have to argue the awesomeness of that chorus or explain how a verse that, if anything, bests it, is a flat-out achievement. Should I?
From Greatest Hits (US, UK).
BTW, Debbie goes by Deborah these days.