I know this is a genre of pop cult that I don’t really talk that much about, and the reasons are threefold: 1. My playlists are more exclusive than an L.A. nightclub. I am very picky about just who I let into my music library. 2. Once I find an album I like, I will devour it continuously for months! 3. I’ve spent the better part of three years boycotting Top 40 Radio due to the popularity of novelty rap and singing actresses/reality stars.
Lately I have been streaming Ryan Seacrest’s morning show on 102.7 KIIS FM, and I’ve been getting up-to-date with the music game (and short of his nagging about his weight and love of Miley Cyrus and reality show starless the show is pretty awesome for radio.). There are several songs I am currently lovin’ and some of them I admit with great shame.
1. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay.
Coldplay is a very cerebral, think-outside-the-bass-clef type of band that I never really got. Previous tracks, especially “Fix You” made me yawny and sleepy, and that was enough for me to deny them access to K’s Super Exclusive Playlist. Contrarily, “Vida” packages Coldplay’s intelligent instrumentation and lyrics with an infectious beat and dreamy vocals supplied by the eccentric Chris Martin. I absolutely love the song and have enough thought about downloading, I mean, buying the album.
2. “When I Grow Up” by Pussycat Dolls
This is one of those aforementioned shame tracks I mentioned. Yes, I like this song. You know why? Because when I was younger I actually WOULD say, “When I grow up, I wanna be famous/I wanna be a star/I wanna be in movies…” although I never wanted groupies. Ew. PCD, a record label extension of the popular burlesque show, is a blatant ploy to fill the super-hot, girl-next-door-gone-wild spot left by Britney Spears, and they’re doing a pretty good job! Nicole Schwartinblahblah might not be able to launch her own solo career, but she can sing circles around Ms. Spears, and looks better in latex pants, glitter and a bustier.
3. “Take A Bow” by Rihanna
I wrote her off as a Cassie carbon-copy when her first album came out. Even with a nasally whine of a voice, the Bohemian beauty still worked with songwriting and producing giants thanks to her connection with Hova himself. Give this girl a year to learn the ropes and an edgy haircut, and she suddenly blossomed into a songstress with Beyonce’s flair for fashion and the benefit of an actual personality! This done-me-wrong diddy is all lyrical gold matched with Rihanna’s unqiue lilt and diva attitude.
4. “7 Things” by Miley Cyrus
SHAME TRACK!!!! Miley Cyrus is a 15-year-old with the voice of a 44-year-old trucker’s wife, but she can write a mean song. Somehow she is captured the insecurities, frustration and joy of a budding and then a dissolving relationship. Most of her singles were catchy tracks I caught on the radio while in the shower, and I didn’t even know it was sung by Hannah Montana’s alter-ego until I tried to add them to my playlists. Oops! While I refuse to embrace the music of a young girl who never met a camera she didn’t like (yes, I’m talking about those racy pictures she takes and posts on the Internet) and who's probably where she is now because of her one-hit wonder daddy, I can enjoy a good, well-written song. On the other hand, has the Miley Cyrus Trainwreck Meter started yet? I have feeling this one is going to be a handful in about two years.
5. “Closer” by Ne-Yo
The soul crooner who never kept his love for MJ a secret is a dead-ringer for The Gloved One in this multi-tempoed, beautifully constructed track that dares you not to dance. This track is featured in an Overstock.com ad and sounds even better on the radio. If Ne-Yo continues to moonwalk down the narrow tightrope that combines Michael Jackson’s genius and those impeccable suits without his pedophile tendencies and love of plastic surgery, he has a bright future behind him.
Despite the novelty rap that’s more noise than music and the string of Barbie dolls who can buy record deals, there is a surprisingly amount of decent talent out there. Other artists like Duffy, Katy Perry, Leona Lewis, etc, seem promising. Also, the new round of teen pop sensations, i.e., the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, will only do wonders for the industry, especially with record sales.
Of course, I never get tired of my talented pop staples, like the underrated Pink who has recently announced that her new, post-divorce album will be released on Oct. 28th! And if this isn’t a reason to celebrate, nothing is!
*blasts Viva La Vida*