Has anyone been watching Much Music lately? I don't watch it as much as I once did, because they are turning more MTV-y and playing more crap-tastic reality shows around the clock.
Well, this week, I watched some of the MM Countdown, which is a show where new videos are arbitrarily listed from 30 to 1. Sweet Jesus. Am I getting old, or is what passes for pop music becoming even more piss-poor than it always was?
I'll always admit that I'm a pop casualty. I enjoy pop music. It's designed for me to like it. It's designed to be popular.
I'll try to link to videos I'm discussing, but they are often quickly disabled by the heartless music moguls who can't stand to let people enjoy music without paying or watching commercials.
Where to start?
First: These ass-hats. AFI? A Fire Inside? A fire inside what? A fire inside their groupie-filled tour bus, hopefully. The video, "Miss Murder," (here live) which is listed on the MM Countdown right now, is the most pretentious waste of space I've had the misfortune of forcing myself to sit through in a long time. For a moment it sounds a little Dookie-esque, which might be slightly redeeming to some, but then it starts to sound like stuff from The Wedding Singer soundtrack. The overwrought lead singer needs to be sterilised for the sake of mankind. The hair? The makeup? Is this cool? Am I so square that I can't even see how this is cool? Please, younger, cooler people, post a comment and tell me why these fools are cool.
Second: Fergie's "London Bridge." Saints preserve us. Is Fergie talented enough to have her own recording career now? No, she's famous enough. I thought she served as the Minister in Charge of "Woah-woah-woahs" and "Steri-eri-eri-eri-os" for the Black Eyed Peas. Agree with me, won't you, that she should not have quit her day job, as it were. This video, which is inexplicably high on the countdown, is nothing but a platform for this poor exploited woman to tease back her hair and strut around with no pants on.
Speak of the devil:
Third: Beyonce feat. Barry Manilow. No. Of course not, she's flanked by her hetero life partner Jay-Z in her bound-to-be-overplayed "hit" "Deja Vu"! Beyonce looks like a deer caught in the headlights for this entire video, if deer caught in headlights wore too much eye makeup. She quivers her claw-like hand. She twitches her synthetically-sweaty mocha shoulders. She pretends to be a supermodel, like she does in all her videos, and treats us to a Gunga-galunga tribal dance, as well. The vocals are breathy and too high. I'm looking forward to hating this song in T minus one week.
This one hurts me:
Fourth: JT. JT's trying to bring sexy back to the music industry with the first release off his new album. Oh, he's called it "SexyBack." It is a very sexy video, but the song is terrible. In the video, he's some sort of superspy James Bond/Robbie Williams character, doing his spy thing, doing his spy women, jumping off spy balconies. The video has very high production value. Too bad they didn't put more time into the recording studio. Had I not seen his name at the beginning, I would not have recognised JT's voice. It's whiney and tuneless, and if it weren't for a familiar short, rapid-virbrato bursts like in his "Cry Me A River" track, I would never have guessed it was him. I might have guessed it was a new Gorrillaz song, or at least old-school Albarn. Oh: the neckerchief? I am not feeling the neckerchief.
The silver lining: I will mention a couple of new videos that are excellent.
1) Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." Great concept and theme. Kudos.
2) Christina Aguilera's "Aint No Other Man." Again, a great concept, and very stylish. Beside the ample ta-tas, it's probably fairly accurate to the time. The song is pretty tight. Too bad I can't say the same for JT.