iPods and "... Baby One More Time" #MusicMonday

Monday, July 14, 2014

Baby One More Time Britney Spears 1998 pop music bubblegum pop

My iPod Classic 160GB that I bought in mid-2011 pooped out on me earlier this year, without warning. One day, after a long stretch, I plugged it in to add new music and my computer told me the iPod had been corrupted and that I would need to do a factory reset. This broke my little music-loving heart, because unlike most people I know, I have more music than I can reasonably store on my hard drive, so I use my iPod as an external hard drive. Meaning: I'd lost most of my music.

What was worse, I was soon to find out, was that once I had prepared myself to erase all of my music, I realized that iTunes had a multitude of excuses for not being able to actually erase and restore my iPod. I was given the runaround with errors 1392, 1430, 1434, 1436. I tried every remedy I knew from the advice of Apple sages, including checking the stats of my iPod's hard drive, which were generally inconclusive. I've given up.

I found my iPod Video 30GB from 2007, which is still in perfect working condition (what gives, Apple?) and decided to reload it with my music. With my 160GB iPod, I just dumped whatever I had recently acquired onto it to listen to sometime in the near future, but now that I'm down to just 30GB, I've got to be a lot more choosy. I've found that since the advent of cloud technologies and apps like Spotify, I've unfortunately grown to want to be able to listen to what I want when I want. (Has that happened to you too?) And I'm finding now that I'm older that the music I want to be at arm's length is music from my adolescence.

So I dipped into my physical CD collection this weekend to rip my music back onto my computer ... what a trip down memory lane. I'm a little ... OCD about my physical CD collection. When I was about 13, I began organizing them based on the order I bought them in, which makes putting them back in order a bit difficult now that I can't remember exactly which month I bought one of the 15 CDs I bought in, say, 2000. (Especially in those cases where I didn't buy records in their release month.)

Do you ever think about how your music collection represents you? For some reason, I often think of these representations in colors. Since my CD collection is skewed towards the late '90s and early '00s, at which point I promptly slowed down my CD buying, I would say my collection might be a lavender color. Not quite pink, but still pretty girly.

Anyway, this brings me to "... Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears. It's been a while since I've liked anything Britney's put out -- the last album I even listened to was "Britney" in 2001, and I didn't love it. But something led me back to the "... Baby One More Time" music video and I have to say that I love it every bit as much as I loved it then. The hair and the makeup might be dated now, but to me, there's something incredibly classic (and even iconic, dare I say) about the video. The dancing is fun, fresh and on point. Everything about Britney in that video has the "it" factor written all over it, and even though the video is not conceptually interesting in the least, it's still visually captivating. It makes me wonder why they don't play "... Baby One More Time" more often on the radio. (But then I remember that I don't actually listen to the radio anymore, so I can't definitively say that they don't.)

I've uploaded a lot of albums that I had written off over the years because they weren't "cool." But what the hell -- Christina Aguilera's debut album is a pop music masterpiece. Craig David, it's been too long. No Authority's debut may be the biggest forgotten gem of all. 

And then there are the duds which I'm removing to make room for others. Michelle Branch -- what was I thinking!? What were we all thinking? I even saw her in concert once and made certain I was standing front row. (Never mind the fact that my tickets were free.) Her music was bland and generally uninspiring, a less sparkly and less verbally nimble Taylor Swift. I think listeners were in want of something a little more organic after years of Britney and 'N Sync. Gone, too, are the Ingrid Michaelsons of the late 2000s. My one-time crush on Jason Mraz has waned.

The music I've carried with me through the years are evergreen, good for all seasons: John Mayer, Norah Jones, A Fine Frenzy, The Weepies, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Toby Lightman. And now late '90s Christina Aguilera, No Authority, Jordan Knight and "... Baby One More Time." Those opening bars bring me right back to autumn 1998.

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