Y Kant Tori Spell?

Tori Amos on this week's word.

After telling a co-worker I was going to see former Throwing Muses frontlady Kristin Hersh last Wednesday, he quickly declared her a MILF (basically an attractive woman who has given birth to children and who still makes young men overly amorous, but go ahead and Google it). In fact, he may have even said “MILF of the Month,” a club I didn’t know existed. Earlier in the week, there had been friends’ observances of Liz Phair and Martha Stewart as MILFs.

You can blame the incredibly awful Fountains of Wayne song “Stacy’s Mom,” unfortunately resurrected from 2003, for some of the popularity of the term or the film American Pie. Who could forget J Bigga’s 2005 jam “Your Mom Is a MILF”? Van Halen was "Hot for Teacher." Soundgarden's Louder Than Love contained "Full on Kevin's Mom." But you never really hear it the other way around. There won’t be a Britney Spears song about Alec Baldwin anytime soon.

The term rolls off the tongue sounding dirty, and appropriately it’s been relegated to websites you need a credit card to enter. But then there’s Tori Amos’ new album, American Doll Posse (read the full review Thursday), and the song "Big Wheel," on which she not only claims MILF-hood, but embraces it. She performed the song on Letterman Friday night, and, of course, she had to change the spelling of the word to what sounded like M-I-L-X (Mother I’d like to X-ray?). There she was weaving a meathead’s elbow-in-the-ribs remark into musical tapestry, claiming the term as empowering, not degrading, but ultimately the censors won. The refrain ("But baby I don't need your cash. Mama got it all in hand now.") is in-your-face enough without the MILF declaration. As the first single, it’ll be fun to see how many radio stations will touch something so offensive. This is radio in the year 2007, you know. There are standards.

She’ll be screaming the verse on tour this summer, no doubt, as she slinks around on her piano bench, and ultimately it’s a nice backhand from the vanilla-scented ether of pop music’s current tragic landscape. But will other musicians follow suit? Is Madonna readying her MILF song? And, really, is anyone really that offended by an acronym in 2007?

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Tori Amos, MILF

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