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Countess LuAnn De Lessep’s “Money Can’t Buy You Class” Proves That It Can’t Buy You Talent, Either

June 2, 2010

Money can buy a lot of things.  Smooth, youthful skin that radiates for the camera.  Volumizing hair products that make it look you’re always facing into a gentle breeze.  Ripped young men for your viewing/whatevering pleasure.  Access to VIP lounges.  What it can’t do, however, is save Real Housewives of NYC Countess LuAnn De Lesseps’ music video “Money Can’t Buy You Class” from being a piece of shit.

At least she's consistent

The song features De Lesseps, a supposed real-life expert on etiquette who wrote Class With The Countess, prancing around in classy outfits teaching hopelessly unclassy people how to be classy, like when she yanks bottled beers out of the hands of pretty young people and gives them what looks like champagne instead.  Classy!  In fact, all the lyrics involve LuAnn teaching people—especially young men—how not to be wretched swine, but rather how to treat a lady properly by not texting on a date, by holding doors open, etc.  (Sadly, she fails to address how best to punch non-obsequious wait-staff.)  She also tells young women to expect such royal treatment and be “entitled to the grandeur.”  LuAnn also drops some science on “panache” and “savoir faire,” terms I don’t think I’ve ever heard in a pop song.  But then, I’ve never heard a song whose chorus consists solely of “Money can’t buy you class/Elegance is learned.”

This type of song doesn’t come without controversy, of course, and “Money”’s got it, sort of.  Apparently, the video was “leaked” weeks before it was due to debut properly.  The premature distribution was probably meant to drum up interest in the latest Real Housewife song.  It definitely piqued some interest, but more the type of awe and disgust one might feel upon seeing a two-headed calf in a traveling carnival.

LuAnn and her production team (remember, this isn’t really music or art, but a carefully constructed product) try valiantly to pull this song out of the gutter.  They use every trick in the book:
–Transform LuAnn from a Diane Lane lookalike (nothing wrong with that) into a cross between Desperate Housewives’ (rather than Real Housewives) Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria Parker.  Succeed only in making her look nothing like her former self.
–Copy “Vogue”-era Madonna videos.  Have LuAnn (wo)manhandle several Crispin Glover-looking male models, in spare light-dark settings.  Put her in stuff that looks like a corset.
–Copy “Vogue”-era Madonna songs.  Use simple cadences and lyrics with short lines.  Incorporate lots of piano.  Speak the lyrics, but sing the chorus (though LuAnn’s singing voice must be awful, because she “sings” only the chorus, which is autotuned into oblivion.)

Sorry, LuAnn, you’re a little Tardy for the Party.  This thing just isn’t going to make the club scene.  Most such establishments (or “bars”) rely on the classless and serve lowly drinks like beer and things that aren’t port or cognac.  People who attend the truly sophisticated venues already know the rules, and don’t need to hear them enumerated in a crappy song that’s essentially The Cha Cha Slide for the Gatsby set.  Prep schools, however, will be on this thing like supermodels on ipecac.

  1. Paul permalink*
    June 2, 2010 3:18 pm

    “savoir faire” appeared in Prince’s “7”.

    With an intellect.

  2. June 2, 2010 4:47 pm

    I purposely sat on a similar comment because I knew you’d make it eventually. You don’t disappoint.

    Watching them fall,

  3. PaisleyParker permalink
    June 3, 2010 10:09 am

    Upon a close reading of this post, it could be argued the author meant that he was unfamiliar with a single song that incorporated both “panache” AND “savoir faire” (note the Boolean operator).

    In either case, this milestone has now been reached, by no less a musical icon than Ms. De Lesseps. We may now move forward, bravely, into the Great Euterpean Unknown.

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