Sky Ferreira and the Dubious Math of the Sexiest Man Alive


I am listening to Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time album right now and trying to figure the math around Adam Levine being voted the Sexiest Man Alive. I didn’t even get to vote and nobody else I know voted either. I’m no statistician, but it seems to me to be pretty fucking unlikely that, of all the men alive on the planet, the sexiest one alive would be American, let alone white, let alone (again) famous, let alone (once more with feeling) Adam Levine. I mean, what are the odds? Ms. Ferreira opens her album by opining that boys are a dime a dozen, which is how I tend to feel about frat-pop hucksters like Adam Levine but I’m still baffled by his ascension to the sexiest man throne. One would almost begin to think the exercise of choosing the sexiest man alive is as pointless as, well, reading People magazine.


Why am I thinking about Adam Levine anyway? Someone mentioned him over the holiday weekend and I got all irritated because I found myself wishing they’d mentioned Curtis Mayfield instead. Every time I get to the end of a Curtis Mayfield album, I just want to listen to another Mayfield album. Or the same one again. I say it all the time and I will continue to do so until everyone agrees: Curtis Mayfield was a goddamn genius and your kids should be taught about him in school. If People wrote more about people like Curtis Mayfield than it does about people like Adam Levine, the world would be a better place.

So but anyway, this Sky Ferreira album is pretty good. It’s a shame she’s stuck opening for Miley Cyrus’s Minstrel Show (I mean, um, tour). Questionable taste in tour mates aside, Ferreira has a clear knack for 80s pop and rock; Night Time, My Time makes the obvious nods to Madonna, but you also get a whiff of the Runaways and the Pixies throughout. The melodies are catchy and the songs don’t hang around any longer than they should. I have no idea how this album is doing on the charts (do we still have charts? If so, why?) but it is worth hearing.

For some reason, Night Time, My Time reminds me a bit of EMA’s album Past Life Martyred Saintsespecially on the title track with its lumbering beat and dour atmosphere. Both Erika Anderson and Sky Ferreira share a sense of adventure musically – they’re not afraid to be a little dissonant here and there and yet you can’t find one of their songs that lacks a hook. And both Ferreira & Anderson demonstrate a skillful synthesis of their record collections into music that is at once familiar without being hack work. I was gonna make a Miley Cyrus joke there, but she’s transcended your usual hack shit and gone on to brazen racist appropriation (and if you think it’s impossible to be racist just because you’re trying to be flattering or nice, you need to understand that impact matters more than intent, Brad Paisley). I’m probably gonna talk about that more later (I think it intertwines with the lie, especially popular among white fans of Led Zeppelin, that all music is theft of some kind and so it’s okay for white musicians to steal from musicians of color and get rich doing so) but for now (I have to get up in 5.5 hours!) I’ll leave you with the thought that Sky Ferreira’s Night Time, My Time is lovely and it only makes sense for her to open for Miley Cyrus in the sort of irrational universe where Adam Levine is considered the sexiest man alive.