Ninety 90’s Songs: Lisa Loeb Should Stay, Not Rihanna…

So, Rihanna has another hit single called “Stay”. Isn’t that such a common song title? U2 has one. Miley Cyrus has one. Even Pink Floyd has one. It’s easy to suppose that yearning for someone to remain with you rather than abandoning you is a common feeling. Then again, Rihanna also liked taking a bow like Madonna, the artist she emulated in the video for “Umbrella”.

Okay, Rihanna, we get it. You are easily inspired by the past, a.k.a. not very creative.

#73 “Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories. Congratulations are in order for Lisa Loeb for being the first artist without a record deal to have a song top the charts. Guess we have Ben Stiller and Ethan Hawke to thank for that, who got Lisa’s song into their film “Reality Bites”. I would bet money those two gents were competing with each other to see who could get her to “stay”.

Lisa Loeb represented indie-hipster-chic when it was a fashion faux pas and even gave being a sad cat lady a try as evidenced by her video to the song. Her horn rimmed glasses, in retrospect, actually make her look ahead of her time since even people without vision impairment are going out and snagging a pair.

Lisa Loeb, whether by intention or chance, was part of an emerging trend of singer-songwriter songstresses that garnered fame and street cred by performing acoustic versions in coffee shops and singing unabashedly about their feelings. Jewel, Alanis Morissette, Paula Cole, and the like filled the airwaves with a gentler sound that was a refreshing change of pace if one was emotionally encumbered by gloomy grunge, or audibly maimed by the melismatic musings of “quiet storm” R&B.

By sticking to the basics and keeping things musically clean, but not overly simple, “Stay (I Missed You)” ages quite well and gives us a glimpse of true talent not burdened by attempts to be trendy and commercialized. Ironically, nowadays being indie and hip is trendy and commercialized.


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