Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs

Shivaree’s sultry chanteuse, Ambrosia Parsley, debunks the phony romanticism often embedded in pop music.


Shivaree’s sultry chanteuse Ambrosia Parsley would have crooned torchy nightclub laments in an earlier era. On Tainted Love, she brings an intriguing twist to her moody pop, covering songs by men known for sexual misconduct or violence against women. While the material itself is often innocuous, Parsley’s crafty role reversals generate subtle shocks. Her mocking mimicry of R. Kelly on the sleazy R&B jam “Half on a Baby” feels downright creepy, though it’s a hoot to hear “Shame on You,” from western swing great Spade Cooley (who died doing time for killing his wife), turned into a lazy, sardonic shuffle. If Parsley intended to debunk the phony, predatory romanticism often embedded in pop music, she’s succeeded brilliantly.

IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT MEDIA BIAS

We believe that journalism needs to stand for something right now. That the press is the enemy of secrecy and corruption. That reporting without a sense of right and wrong only helps liars and propagandists succeed. And that we're in this fight for the long haul.

So we're hoping to raise $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall. Read our argument for journalism that is fair and accurate and stands for something—and join us with a tax-deductible monthly donation (or make a one-time gift) if you agree.

  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.