Wednesday, 17 March 2010

"Get a fucking sense of humour, OK?" - Madonna.


Pop music was all fine and dandy for a while, but then it got slaughtered. It's hard to pinpoint the moment it started to die, but it's safe to say that the funeral took place at the 2004 Brit Awards, where Cat Deeley straddled an enormous bottle of champagne and proclaimed "Rock is back", which strangely was a gimmick created simply so that The Darkness could go home with a bunch of awards. Where are The Darkness now? Exactly.

LIKE OMG ROCK ON. Fuck off, pet.

While it might have been a bit hasty to start shouting about rock being back, it did start a new era of music having to be "credible" and "real". Suddenly indie bands were cropping up all over the shop. I'm sure you remember. Bands like The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and Arctic Monkeys were getting number 1 records, which they would never have been able to do in the past. It was all fun and games to begin with, people having a grand old time listening to the trust fund boys playing their little guitars and singing about their broken hearts. It was lovely. And then it became overkill. Suddenly what was alternative had become the mainstream. And what was previously mainstream had now become the alternative. Bizarrely, for possibly the first time, pop music had become an alternative for people.

2008/9 arrived and people began to cotton onto this fact. Lady GaGa entered stage left and suddenly the "freaks" (once the mainstream, now the alternative) had a leader. Pop music began to take back the mainstream. Suddenly the charts were ours again. But something had changed. People had been so used to "real" (ERGH ERGH ERGH I HATE USING THE WORD "REAL" ALL FUCKING MUSIC IS REAL) music by people who wrote their own songs and played their own instruments that people felt the need to justify loving pop music. This is where we are today.

There's something in your hair, love.

Here we are in 2010, where for the first time in many years, pop music is thriving and going strong. Why, then, are people still looking for ways of making a genre that prides itself on being shallow have some form of hidden meaning? I'm sure you remember the Telephone video came out this week. It's a gorgeous, if not somewhat confusing and irrelevant to the theme of the song, video. And it has got everyone talking. The fashion, the acting, Beyoncé's breasts. It's all a hot topic. For those who still haven't seen it- Lady GaGa goes to prison for killing her boyfriend in the Paparazzi video, Beyoncé bails her out and they go for a drive to a diner where they kill everyone and then drive off again. It's got bright colours, endearing dialogue and- more importantly than any of that shite- the song itself is incredible.

Of course, people aren't happy with that. We have to have hidden meanings in it. It has to have symbolism. It has to have a message. If you'd like you can check out some articles yourself such as this one (where the video is disected a hundred times over just so someone can feel good about liking a woman whose song titles include Beautiful, Dirty, Rich and Money Honey) or this much more bizarre one which takes "running away with a loose idea until you sound ridiculous" to new levels with its theory that Lady GaGa is somehow linked to the Illumnati.

Q magazine have been guilty of this sort of behaviour twice in recent memory. Cheryl Cole took the cover with the headline "Cheryl Cole Rocks" while Lady GaGa had to get her tits out. Why is it that the only way for a popstar to be taken seriously within music is for them to be violated or for them to have to "rock"? Pop music is not hurting anyone, it is there to make you feel good. It is there to make you dance. It is there to take you away for four minutes. It's not something that should be a "guilty pleasure". Nor is it something that needs to be analysed, dissected or "figured out". It is what it is.

And so, in the spirit of pop music "being what it is", I turn to the Queen of Pop and say: "Get a fucking sense of humour, OK?"

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