I’ve always been a pop tart. In my early teens, my dad took solace in the fact I liked the Spice Girls. “He can’t be a nancy,” he thought, “He likes the Spice Girls for Christ Sake”. It must have been terribly disappointing for him to learn that, instead of having sexual attraction towards the Spice Girls, I actually wanted to be a Spice Girl. I learned their dances and watched their videos. They lost my fascination when Geri quit. No matter how hard I tried, All Saints just didn’t fill that gaping void.
I’d like to admit my taste in music has grown since then, but it hasn’t. I love Rihanna and her million collaborations. I love Lady GaGa. I realise she will have little longevity, but she’s fun for the moment. I love to bop to some not so heavy dance-y pop with a bit of R ‘n’ B thrown in for good measure. God love the person who sits next to me on my bus journey in the morning. Their ears will be blasted with cheap, tacky, soul destroying pop music.
Now and again, well established, lesser known bands come onto my Pop Radar. A few months ago, I discovered a band, Kings of Leon (KL). Upon further investigation, it appeared this band has been around for years. “Sex is on Fire” is viewed as an attempt to go pop-mainstream. One early morning, during a pub lock in, I bumped into some hardcore fans that had just been to a gig by KL in the O2 Arena. We chatted. They didn’t like KL’s new material whereas I did. “They’ve gone main stream,” they complained.
The same thing happened with Cold Play. I liked Cold Play years ago. I loved the album “Parachutes”. Over their next few albums, they went through this phase of churning out the same-ole-same-ole, depressing drivel. “Cheer the fuck up,” I said as I vowed to turn channel every time they came on the radio. Today, I find myself liking their new material. It turns out their hard core fans think their new stuff is poppy junk. In my opinion this is untrue. It is poppy junk, but it’s poppy junk I can dance to.
I now view myself as a sort of Music Grim Reaper. If a well established band come out of nowhere onto my Pop Radar, they’re in trouble. Yes, the band will hit the number one slot, but they’ll lose the respect of their long-standing fans and derive consolation only from their money. I will attend the funeral of the respect, creativity and individuality they were once celebrated for by long-standing fans. I won’t just attend; I and my fellow Pop Tarts will dance the Macarena. Imagine the scene! Glorious.