Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
A jezebel is good or bad, depending on how one looks at it. It's both the way that Meiko sings about her, for the jezebel who runs a current through the Georgian native's songs is this one particular person. She uses this figure in jest and as an example. She mocks the poor jezebel for her foolishness and for her errant jealousies, her petty squabbles. She's supposed to be a hussy, one known for a sexual wickedness, this jezebel, but it's more the young Meiko who projects those characteristics almost upon her actions and the kinds of emotions she's provoking simply with her ways, her wiles.
It's not anything a jezebel can help, much less control. Troll around YouTube for a few minutes and there are a dozen shakily recorded video clips of Meiko performing a new song called "Real Real Sweet," the companion piece to her new album's catchiest tune, "Boys With Girlfriends." It's a song that gives off a tidal wave of cloying seduction, which sounds like how you'd want every girl you've ever had eyes for to talk about you. It's like the words that she sings are being dipped into a fondue pot of the richest chocolate and the most humid of hot breaths. It's like En Vogue giving him something he can feel, even though the point of the song is to turn that jealous girlfriend of a good friend rabid with rage. This one girl must have nightmares about what possibilities could have been laid out for her baby when he wasn't around her. She might be in a madhouse right now, if this song hadn't come following the end of the friendship that was causing all of the cat-on-cat friction between the two ladies. The way the word "sweeeeeehhhhhht" is drawn out to sound like air escaping a slow leak is an ambush on any strong man's senses. The way that it cuts through like a hot sword just burns your cheeks and you yourself are led into the circle to begin cluttering your racing head and heart with some very impure things. It's the reaction that was called for. The result couldn't have only had the one target.
Meiko is a fiend with her words, brandishing their implications as if they were tranquilizer darts and Cupid-stung arrows both. They make everyone blush for different reasons. Here's believing that she has a hard time having girls for good friends, because her power - or at least the power that she sprinkles all over her sexy folk songs - is in her very approachable and dangerous innocence that is anything but. She's not the girl that everyone thinks she is. Or is she? The one in the songs doesn't have to be her, but the blurry line is fantastically intriguing and beguiling. She's a conundrum and she's likely either here for you (if you're a man) or here for your man (if you're a woman with a man). She can get them or you, no problem. She's not the quiet type, she sings, and she's capable of knocking back shot glasses with the best of them. The phrase that comes to mind is, "What's not to like?" She - with her songs - makes you taste your mouth differently. There's anticipation and a slight sweat on the brow. It's smart and it's effective, those pretty sounds, those gentle nothings and those lips smacking softly as if to draw you into solitary confinement - to the uproar of all of the people out there who have already called dibs on you. All loyalties seem to be thrown to the wind when she comes around.