Pop Music is shit. I get the impression sometimes that people think NYLPM will roll over and put its paws in the air for anything as long as it goes Top 10. I say thee nay! There is a whole cartload of pop music out there which is just as calculated, predictable and hokey as the form’s critics would have us believe, and to make matters even worse is rubbish to boot. No, we like pop just fine, but we’re discerning about it, just like you all are with your indie rock (heh, heh). Here’s a capsular selection of recent hits which haven’t made our exacting standards. First in an occasional series.
5IVE – “We Will Rock You”: Dicey repositioning alert! 5ive have always been the nearest thing to ‘tough guys’ the British boyband boutique offers, and they’ve remained acceptable for precisely as long as they’ve not actually noticed this, having their biggest and best hits with stuff like “Keep On Movin'”s delightful Haircut 100 shuffle.But what with the recent and farcical marijuana spats, and now this horror, it’s obvious some dingus in marketing has spotted 5ive’s latent greaser potential and is pushing it hard, much as he would a recalcitrant turd. Queen are actually credited on this, and hearing the enervating guitar histrionics at the end it wouldn’t surprise me if May,B. had given some kind of sonic endorsement, but really, even without their input “We Will Rock You” would have been a joke. A song that rocked as hard as pyjamas in the first place is unlikely to be toughened up much by a boy band singing it, and so it proves. Misjudged to bits.
KYLIE MINOGUE – Spinning Around: That’s Jason spinning in his commercial grave as he witnesses his ex’s ‘return to form’ with this undiverting bit of neo-disco. All the years of desperate grasping for indie cred have been revistionistically purged, and Kylie is apparently back doing what she does best: simple pop for that segment of the market with more disposable income than sense. What nobody seems to have noticed in their rush to praise hits like “Shocked”, “Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi” et bloody al is that “Spinning Around” sounds nothing like them. Kylie puts on a sultry diva voice which sounds bogus and unsubtle, and the chorus slips from your head like dandruff.
MELANIE C – I Turn To You: But who? Who does she turn to? Well. Can you guess, readers? The video, you see, has Mel with long fair hair extensions, standing on a rock overlooking the sea and, and waving her arms about as she sings a techno-pop tune with a ‘spiritual vibe’. Do you think she’s got a Madonna record in her collection? Mel C’s solo career has been remorselessly useless, careening from bad pastiche to bad pastiche with only one relatively high point (the good pastiche on her Left-Eye duet). A recent compilation of the tracks Moby borrowed for his Play has been making someone a pot of cash – I’m sure Mel C’s record company could do well for itself along similar lines by releasing the Northern Star Companion with tracks Mel has found hem-hem inspirational.