Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pop and the Human Soul

"Extraordinary how potent cheap music is," Noel Coward once remarked before slipping into a bellboy.

How right he was, I only realised as I jogged in to Ultim8 Pop Party, a free CD kindly thrown jeeringly given to me by the editor of the TOTP website. Looking at these songs through the lens of a couple of years, there are many lessons for us:

1) Baby One More Time by Britney.
At the time we wondered whether it was about spousal abuse or teenage alcoholism. Now we simply marvel that she's married someone called Kevin Federline, whose name is a homonymnic rhyme with the song title. Freaky, eh?

2) Year 3000 by Busted.
How I miss you. Except for the ugly ones. They deconstruct their own song on Popjustice

3) Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne.
Hmmn, thinking about this, what Avril doesn't realise is that the Sk8er Boi will gladly dump her for the girl who said See You Later. Men are like this. Even if they don't wash their hair.

4) Spirit in the Sky by Gareth Gates.
"I've got a friend named Jesus. Or Krishna." A brave attempt to reset Britain's multicultural agenda. But, sadly, too little, too late.

5) Cheeky Song by the Cheeky Girls.
"Touch my bum. This is life." Ah. Perhaps no one has ever understood a good Friday night quite so well.

6) Fast Food Song by the Fast Food Rockers.
Their website was last updated in December 2003. A weirdly ourobouric ditty about where one-hit wonders end up working. Pop, take note.

7) Tragedy by Steps.
"oh!my!god!" I thought, pulling short on Portobello Roard outside my ex's squat, "This song is my life! I really am going nowhere. I've lost my soul and am losing control. There is no-one beside me. The feeling *has* gone."
So profound is this song, perhaps if I rename it Le Tragedie d'Escalier, I'll be prouder of its message.

8) Who Let The Dogs Out by Some Wankers.
A mistake. This song has nothing to offer human society. Unless it's about Hen Nights. In which case, fair point, lads.

9) We're Going To Ibiza by the Vengaboys.
From a distance, this is actually a surprisingly poignant paean to the human urge to escape everyday mundanity for a metaphorical "Island". Why else the semi-mystic chant of "Eoha-Eoha-Yahweh!" - less Spanish, and more primal scream.

Meanwhile, a google search reveals the following puzzle: Did they change VengaSailor?

Ah, how well I remember (My VengaBus has, dear readers, gone on a VengaDetour), that merry evening at GAY when they were performing to a packed crowd and getting a great reception until VengaCowboy strutted forward and yelled, "Good Evening London! Some good lookin' women here tonight!" Even the twinks booed.

10) Mambo No 5 by Lou Vega.
I think, if you asked Angela, Pamela, Sandra and Rita, Monica, Erica, Tina, Mary, Jessica about it now, they'd tell you there are more effective forms of birth control than: "Jump up and down, move it all around, put your hands on the ground, clap your hands once, clap your hands twice."

11) Mickey by Lolly.
Why have I been dumped? wails Lolly. What have I done wrong? The answer, my dear, is simple and lies in your plea: "Any way you want to do it, I'll take it like a man."

As many gays could tell you dear, never play the sodomy card too early. It only makes you look cheap.

How I remember, sadly, deciding that I wouldn't see a Swedish man again after he offered too much too soon. Well, within the first ten minutes to be precise. Against a tree on the way home. Just too eager. Plus, somehow, my novelty Action Man watch got triggered. Nothing taints the mood quite like a tinny bark of "Alert! Action Man! Deep Sea Patrol! Dive! Dive! Dive!"


Scott Keir said...

Yes indeed - the original VengaSailor was Robin, who was replaceed by Yorick in 1999, possibly for not looking gay enough.

Not that I have a shrine to them or anything...

Skip said...

Why, thank you for clearing that one up. I mean, I know all manufactured pop acts look alike, but that was a bit suspicious...