You're not really here, it's just the radio

Monday, June 06, 2011

Like so many other grumpy people who are no longer in the throes of adolescence, I find myself complaining from time to time about how horrible pop music is today. Well, I watched VH1's Top 20 countdown this weekend and found myself enjoying a large majority of the music featured. Can it be that music is "good" again? (Not that VH1 has ever been the true authority on pop music.) Of the top 20 songs, I found myself recognizing a lot of the songs, though I don't listen to the radio much. Is this subliminal messaging at work?

I Can't Get Enough Of ...



The big surprise hit with me on this countdown was Sara Bareilles' "Uncharted". I've heard the song before, I own the album, I didn't love it. Especially not as the theme song of "Audrina" (yes, I've watched it). But beyond its chorus, the song is pretty awesome. The video is not quite as big of a hit with me as it gets kind of annoying, but even the ever-annoying Adam Levine seemed to have redeeming qualities in it, so I guess that makes it a mild success.




I don't think I really need to sing any more praises for The Civil Wars. They're great. Not as great as I'd like in concert (yet), but great nonetheless. I hadn't seen their music video for "Barton Hollow" in full until, well, this weekend and I love it. It's so moody and reminds me of a decrepit Southern plantation full of antiques and cobwebs and smells like gasoline and a sticky summer. Yeah, I don't know about that gasoline.




This is kind of a shocker too. I haven't liked ANY of Britney's music since maybe ... 2003. This one is infectious, though. What is up with all the songs about the end of the world? Could've worked so well if the Rapture had really happened on May 21st.


I Love ...




If I just close my eyes and ignore the fact that Miley Cyrus is in it, I am 100% okay with this.
This one I'm sure I've heard either on the radio or in commercials. I've long been "watching" the VH1 countdown but not listening, so when I finally turned the volume up on this song, I was a little shocked. The video footage totally doesn't match the song, but I guess it works.




I really like Train's "Save Me, San Francisco". Like so many others, I hated that other Train song whose name I can't even remember because it has been banished to the the deep hells of the garbage dump in my memory. Oh, that's right, "Hey, Soul Sister." This one's different ... it's city-in-the-summer hipster-jaunty, like a constant beating of heels against city pavements.


I Like ...




At first, I thought Andy Grammer was going to be another Mike Posner (who, for some irrational reason, I cannot stand), but he is so much better. I love the funky, underlying-reggae thing he has going on in this song. This is a perfect summer song ... reminds me of all the unironic, happy pop songs of the late '90s.



It's Steven Tyler. You can't really not like it.




It took me a while to come around to Katy Perry. But I have surprisingly liked a large number of the songs off her "Teenage Dream" album ... a lot for someone who pretty much hated everything off her first album. My favorite is still "Teenage Dream", but "E.T." has a really cool haunting quality to it that I really like.




I don't usually like dance numbers, but something about this one is very hopeful to me. I guess anything to do with stars would be.

Now let's talk about the songs I did not at all appreciate.

Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor." I really think she should give it up. Her singing "career" as well as her "acting" career and just stick to being a judge on "American Idol" (although I also blame her and Steven Tyler for the weirdness that was this year's Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina showdown ... one that I couldn't bring myself to watch). The only song I've ever really liked of hers was "I'm Real" and that's because she spent most of it talk-singing. This song (and her musical career) is one of those examples of pop music that makes me think I am either not of this planet or everyone else just has NO taste whatsoever. Also see: Jason Derulo.

Then there's "Lazy Song" by Bruno Mars. On the surface, this is a catchy and cute song. It even SOUNDS lazy, which would make it some sort of onomatopoeia -- if only it were a word and not a song. I know the song is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but to me it just screams "pompous ass." His previous song "Grenade" also rubbed me the wrong way with that line about the girl's eyes being open during their kiss. I don't hate the guy (yet) ... in fact, I thought his album was pretty damn awesome on the whole and he's definitely a talented singer and songwriter. Maybe he won't throw in so many immature references on his next album. Well, here's to hoping ...

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