"Don't Cha," Tori Alamaze

Thanks to my friend Rich Juzwiak — who really, really needs to start a blog — I've now come across my first listened-to-20-times-a-day single of 2005: Tori Alamaze's "Don't Cha." Google trawls bring up little, aside from this being Tori's first single, and it's released by Universal and produced by Cee-Lo. "Don't Cha" sounds like Mary J. in her hours of darkness — insecure, legs shaky, her feet nervously crossing each other, a quivering sip from a glass of wine, eyelids fluttering as she tries to maintain eye contact. Like 10cc's "I'm Not in Love," "Don't Cha" is about a narrator talking herself into a decision she doesn't want to make. After spending the majority of the track laying down her case for why she's worth catching, Tori wraps up "Don't Cha" with resignation, singing: "I know she loves you/ So I understand/ I probably be just as crazy about you/ If you where my man." It's a personal ad in song: SBW seeks MBM to leave SO for true love. Only no one responds and she's left alone in her too-big apartment and sings her troubles into his answering machine with only pitying handclaps and a keyboard drone as accompaniment. Halfway through she starts feeling strong, the rush of laying her story bare convincing her that she's doing the right thing, that she's too good for this asshole, too pretty to waste her time on some loser who doesn't even know how good she would be to him. But then comes another burst of organ, a little louder and harsher this time, and again she's frightened into a corner, suddenly talking about "maybe next lifetime" and wishing she was already there.