The Only Time I’m Happy

You gotta admire the peppiness of The Supremes (and Motown girl groups in general.) The lyrics could be about any depressing thing and the music would still sound happy as a children’s party. You also gotta admire the innocence of these old songs; I’m pretty sure this one is actually about what the Swedes call Gråtrunkabut you’d never guess it from the way it’s presented. I know that it’s retrograde and problematic and whatnot, but there’s something so damn appealing about a trio of pretty girls in matching wigs and dresses singing relentlessly chirpy pop songs about how utterly miserable their men have made them. The tropes and traditions of the girl group phenomenon can never be brought back  except cloaked in postmodern irony (because deeply problematic, duh) but gee whillickers, kids, weren’t they just swell?

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