A break from my regularly scheduled programming…
Just to get it out of the way up front, I was on Vevo this week watching Katy Perry videos.
And I like looking at her. So there. That’s why I was on Vevo.
Anyhow, while I was hanging out with the youngsters, so to speak, I decided to poke around a bit and see what else I could find that was interesting. I consider myself reasonably up with the times musically, even if I do spend most of my time as a thinly veiled hipster listening to music most people don’t. But even with my belief that I’m still connected, of the current top 10, I had heard only the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaboration “Otis” (which is not bad, but I’m hoping for better).
The main reason for my ignorance of the top songs probably stems from my general disdain for all the interchangeable hip-hop/R & B stuff that makes up the majority of popular music right now. I know I sound like an old codger, but it all sounds the same to me. I like the aforementioned Kanye and Jay-Z, and pay attention to Lady Gaga, Pink, etc., as well as bands such as Maroon 5. But when I see an artist’s name followed by “feat.” and a list of names, my eyes and ears glaze over.
But I did check out several songs from the top 10 list that weren’t by Pitbull/Lil Wayne/Akon, etc., and found a few things interesting:
- I’ve liked some Beyoncé songs in the past (she fits into the same category as Katy Perry, mentioned above). So I watched her video for “Best Thing I Never Had” up until the point she was no longer in some see-through lingerie/corset outfit… visually, worth a look, but lyrically? OK, so “if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it” might not be worthy of Dylan, but the first verse of this song was a string of awkward sentences seemingly written by an angsty 16-year-old girl. It just struck me as sloppy, badly paced and not very catchy, which is what her songs should be all about.
- According to NPR, “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO (and others, of course), is the anthem of the summer of 2011. The video was amusing, if a bit derivative of “Thriller.” The song is indeed catchy, but the difference here is that the lyrics (what there are of them) aren’t the catchiest part; instead, it’s some strange electronic noise that makes up the hook. The good news there is that even though I thought the song was kinda catchy and I went back and listened a second time, I can’t right now remember how it goes (OK, I remember the line “Every day I’m shufflin’ “). But 10 years from now, when someone says, “Hey, you remember that song ‘Party Rock Anthem’ that was the hit of the summer of 2011?,’ “ it’s not going to be like “Rump Shaker,” where you remember the hook. (You’re singing it now, aren’t you? You’re welcome).
- The chorus of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” is kind of catchy, but it’s not their best work overall.
- … and last but not least – I don’t want to Google this and find that my thunder has already been stolen — because I’m sure it’s been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere — but how close to being a pop-country song is Lady Gaga’s “You and I”? Take out the heavy drum beat and it would pass for a Lady Antebellum song. The pacing, even the lyrics (mentioning whiskey and Nebraska) all reek of pop-country. Even the video is set in corn fields and barns – of course, everything done in this setting is right out of some disjointed dream that’s vaguely erotic and disturbing at the same time (it includes Gaga dressed as a greaser and flirting with herself). I’m sure this is entirely intentional on her part, pushing the envelope and seeing how much her fans can take. Maybe her ultimate goal is to draw millions in and slowly lead them back around to the type of music she started out playing in clubs. Brilliant, if that’s her plan. And you thought meat dresses were for shock value.
OK, enough of that. Time to get back to my recent obsession with Dawes’ new album…