There is a ‘twenty year rule’ for pop music. It applies across other genres but rings especially true in pop. When a chart song comes out the ‘music fans’ hate it; after ten years it’s ever so ironic, and after twenty it joins the classic pop cannon.

It happened to Burt Bacharach, Elvis and Abba; it happened to synthpop and Stock Aitken and Waterman, and whether you like it or not, it will happen to Girls Aloud and Lady Gaga.

The latter gets complicated though. The 00s/10s have been particularly forgiving of cheese. In our metropolitan anything goes era, listening to chart music isn’t quite the social faux pas it was in the dark tribal days.

There are of course exceptions. When pop goes wrong, it goes really wrong. Some songs are so poisonous the contagion never leaves.

If you could somehow distil down a weekend in Blackpool into a song you’d have Cher’s ‘Believe’. Only, you can actually escape Chav-Vegas. But like a sewer rat, you are never very far from ‘Believe’. It still evokes a wedding punch-up, a mobile DJ or the worst kind of 6am drinking.

The whole composition is phoned-in europop b-side fodder. Cher does his automated operabot programming all the justice it deserves: complete personal engagement with an near sociopathic lack of emotion.

It’s nice to see that Cher himself – in typically modest fashion – takes full credit for inventing autotune. As if she not only devised the studio technique, but also sleeps soundly at night with the utter shame of what became of that. Having said that. At least there is some remnant of something new for 00s pop, except the pornography.

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ARROWS OF LOVE – HONEY

 

Amongst a playlist of passer-by indie this morning this managed to stomp about over everything.

A chewy bit of early 90s indie-metal, exactly like more bands should do. It makes zero pretensions to being anything other than a shouty riffy mess that you absolutely know leaves the band in a crumpled mess on the floor. It comes across like the sorely missed Macrososmica.

Unfortunately it isn’t indicative of the rest of their output. Their other tracks are good but lack the sheer pissedoffedness.

The album comes out in September. The very fact they’ve gone to the trouble to make a video means they are serious about it. Hopefully they will steer more in this direction.

And the video is really good too.

Perhaps not a popular opinion, but it could be argued there is a bit of emperors new clothes about Sigur Rós.

Not their fault, of course. Along with Explosions in the Sky they have been chosen as the go-to post-rock bands for people who are not really into post-rock. There are so many amazing post-rock/shoegaze bands you do have to wonder who choses which get big?

Sigur Rós had promised that the album would be more ‘aggressive’. This is a total cliche for bands decades into their career, along with ‘going back to our roots’ or ‘the electronic album’. In all fairness, there is an industrial edge to the title track but the rest of the album is very familiar.

Kveikur – according to Google translate it means kindle – isn’t in anyway a bad album, although it does have a feeling of treading water. The aforementioned title track is the only place they really get out of their comfort zone but with that they sound a bit flummoxed as to what to do with their new sound.

So it’s business as usual for Sigur Rós and as such a pretty reliable 45 minutes. It will sell well and be in the end of year polls. like the last Deftones album though, you are left asking ‘if this was their debut would anyone actually care’?

I just reviewed a Sigur Rós album and didn’t use the word ‘glacial’ once. Pretty good.

Reunions of amazing bands always require keeping your fingers crossed but if anyone can pull it off where most bands fail the Pixies surely can?

It’s been a surprisingly quick 9 year gap since last single Bam Thwok. While in no way a classic it is really good fun, and the band sounded like they had a ball making it.

The real skill of The Pixies is that they could throw a tonne of amazing ideas into a 3 minute song and it would still sound coherent and natural (much like The Beatles). They’ve tried to do that here but at almost 5 minutes it’s too long and messy. There are at least 3 points where it could comfortably end and it just keeps going.

Kim Deal’s vocals are always welcome but the gang vocal seems peculiar. It’s good that an ageing band are experimenting but it feels laboured and sounds like Frank Black’s solo material, where he was going out of his way to not sound like the Pixies.

Kim actually left the band the other week to be replaced Kim Shattuck from The Pandoras for their upcoming tour, so the future seems a bit in flux for them. Not that they had suggested releasing an album anyway.

Perhaps they should just leave it alone and allow Bagboy to be forgotten like other 90s heroes Nine Inch Nails’ The Perfect Drug or Nirvana’s You Know You’re Right.

Or maybe not… [fingers kept crossed]