Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pop Sensibilities: Kelly Clarkson, Morningwood, and Christina Aguilera

Pop music is one of the few things I have encountered in life that is able to be shat on intellectually (as opposed to intellectuals who have been literally shat on-- some guesses of these people are Dante, Plato (at least once), and Ben Franklin (often)) while at the same time causing the critic to be unconsciously tapping his foot or hand in rhythm to the song. Music snobs, hipsters, and many of the elderly would have you believe all pop music is bad (or more likely explain very expansively why some pop music is amazing). While not a huge listener or enjoyer of mainstream pop music, I have selected three songs from over the past year or so that are not only extremely poppy songs, but also great guilty pleasures.

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
I'm wary of all songs using internet slang in their titles (U, 8, etc), and yet Kelly Clarkson's masterpiece Since U Been Gone has filled my soul with joy time and again. I first heard the song while lying awake in the summer heat at 4am. VH1 was actually showing videos, so I turned it on and watched as Kelly stormed and danced around some apartment, eventually destroying lots of stuff. The trick ending revealed it wasn't her apartment, which was a like lot saying, "tricked ya, i'm a bitch!" but still, I was hooked by the music. The beauty of pop music is that it's always on the radio. You wanna hear a song, and then there it is, no problem. I was never quite able to say, "Man, i'd love to hear The Decline by NOFX right now" and have the 14 minute punk epic come on the air. It seemed that everytime I wanted it to, Since U Been Gone came on the radio, at parties, and in bars. By the end of the school year, I had at least four or five other people that were hardcore into that song, and much air guitar, group singing, and pogo-ing took place. There will always be a special place in my life for Since U Been Gone.

Morningwood - To the Nth Degree
This band is another early morning music video VH1 discovery, only of a very different kind. The song is poppy as all hell, and yet the band is something unusual. There is a slightly overweight aka healthy looking lead female singer who jumps and hops around the stage and her male bandmates. The song is simple verse, chorus, verse style, but was said to be "an anthem for the band," like something to pump them up at the beginning of shows. Luckily, the band's name is Morningwood, so most of the chorus is ridiculously catchily spelled "M-O- M-O-R- M-O-R-N-I-N-G W-O-O-D". If you haven't heard To the Nth Degree, check it out.

Christina Aguilera - Whatever the hell that new song isHoly Christ, I thought I was done hearing or seeing C-Ags ever again, but apparently that's not the case. Other than her voice, I had very little idea when I saw this video that the singer was Genie In A Bottle of Jack Daniels. But the beat was catchy, the lyrics were quick and interesting (or at least quick...), and the following took place:

onscreen: "Ain't no other man...something...something like youuu"
me: This song sucks. It's using cheap catchy word sounds to make me like it.
onscreen: "Ain't no other man...something...something like youu"
me: Damn, this song is catchy! It's using these quick catchy word rhythms that I really like!

Exactly. So if you haven't checked out these three songs, and feel the need to indulge in a little guilty hipster/music snob pleasure, check em out.

L8er Boi,

PS. I'm guessing the Christina Agui-Scare-a-baby song is called "Ain't No Other Man...but that's just a guess...


IrishGal said...

Did U notice that they played that Kelly Clarkson song at halftime during the Real Madrid game? I caught myself singing along to the ENTIRE THING. Yikes.

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