I usually try and avoid the use of the first person in my reviews. However, after listening to this song, and I will admit that it took multiple listens before I could formulate any sense of thought, I understood that it demands a more personal reaction.
‘Mr Weinstein Will See You Now’ is the modern-day equivalent of Kate Bush’s ‘This Woman’s Work’, it is a feminist statement of extraordinary power and raw emotion. With the song’s narrative centring on the #MeToo movement and the recent flood of sexual harassment allegations, it has a boiling sense of female anguish, and it makes me wonder where on earth we went wrong in the last 30 years.
Amanda Palmer, having written this track with Welsh singer Jasmine Power, put out a call on social media for “feminist journalists” to let people spread the word for themselves. I remained unsure over what to expect as Palmer has had such a varied and eccentric career in The Dresden Dolls and other such bands. The track itself was cinematically beautiful, almost too beautiful that the swelling string parts seemed unnerving. In a statement, Palmer expressed this as ‘almost overdoing it… to kick Hollywood in the face’, and I couldn’t explain this track in any other way. It is a kick in the face, an emotional wake-up call that this has to stop. The part of the record that especially got to me was the realisation that the two women singing were representing two halves of a woman’s conflicted thoughts, whirling around my head through the exceptional use of panning to create this sense of blurred confusion.
The reason I made the earlier comparison to Kate Bush’s track is that in the 30 years since its release, it has had a fascinating history. People have used ‘This Woman’s Work’ in films, soundtracks and cover albums so many times that it has almost suffered from overuse, but it remains a devastating ballad of crisis and reflection. And it is this feeling of crisis and reflection that I think ‘Mr Weinstein Will See You Now’ also captures. Palmer describes, “it took two women getting into a room together, comparing notes and joining forces to create something almost like an anthem for taking back our narrative”. At face value, this track is one motivated by the current scandals coming to light, like Weinstein and others, which demonstrate that industries like Hollywood are as corrupted as they ever were. But it also forces a sense of reflection, that if there is still a need for tracks like this to be written then maybe society hasn’t progressed as much as we would like to think.
‘Mr Weinstein Will See You Now’ is raw, radical, and reflective. It is heartbreaking and it is inspiring. In many ways, I hope it does become the next feminist anthem, although I also have the feeling that many will listen to it unknowingly and bypass its power. But even this is a feminist statement in itself, one that’s saying we’ll keep singing anyway.
Stream ‘Mr Weinstein Will See You Now’ on Soundcloud: