Mostly Pop – August 2011

By Mr Moth

Britney Spears – I Wanna Go

Hurrah! This is possibly her best single since Piece of Me. It’s a blessed relief after the first two singles from Femme Fatale (neither of which have been even remotely interesting) with a catchy little whistled hook and massive, hands-in-the-air chorus which, all things being equal, would play brilliantly in a club. Plus, it seems to be about wanking. Winner.

But, well, the video. File this under WTF? I’m not even sure my descriptions would do it justice. It starts quite tamely – though “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, you’re cool, fuck you” is pretty great – with Britney being Acceptably Wild, pinching a guy’s arse and flashing a cop (the subsequent frisking by whom is enjoyed to an unseemly degree by Ms Spears), etc. Then the paparazzi attack, and it all kicks off, a bit.

The paparazzi are, I think, robots, sent from the future to take photos of our pop stars. Certainly they can’t be killed using unconventional weapons (a microphone, in this case). Then a man turns up – a man Wikipedia tells me is Guillermo Díaz – whisks her off in a car and decides to have a nice drink of milk. From the carton. At top speed. In a convertible. It doesn’t go well, but he enjoys it and so does Britney. I mean, who doesn’t love a man who smells of yoghurt? It’s a thinker, this video. What’s the significance of the seashells at the end? Are there two Michael Jackson references, or just one, and what do they mean, anyway? “Thinker” might be a bit strong.

Cher Lloyd – Swagger Jagger

You may remember Cher Lloyd from X Factor. She did some songs and people liked/disliked her until she didn’t win and someone else did probably, but you didn’t think they would until they did and then their generic “I’ve had a journey” single picked up the predetermined Christmas number one spot (unless there was some lame Facebook campaign to stop them that somehow worked). Anyway, I don’t care. I don’t watch X Factor. All I know is that anyone who appears on it goes on to have a career based on their full name and I loathe Simon Cowell and his tedious hit factory.

So, whevs, here’s Cher Lloyd’s debut single. It made me cringe the second it started playing. After the opening a capella bit, it gets slightly less awful, but then it has a relapse and becomes worse than a thousand Hitlers electrocuting a kitten sanctuary. Is that the melody from My Darling Clementine? DID SHE JUST USE “YOUTUBE” AS A VERB? Jesus. Lloyd has no charm, no presence and no real point. We all hate her! We all love her! We had better stop hating and/or loving her! Yeah! And don’t you forget it! Only we will, especially if you keep turning out songs which sound like Pussycat Dolls.

Look at the video, too. Oh, amazing. First you’re partying with Studio Line models, now you’re in a Rachel Stevens  video circa 2004! Then back again! It’s like being cornered by an aggressive Fanta advert.

Dev – In the Dark

I didn’t, to be honest, think much of this on first listen. Certainly, it doesn’t grab you by the throat in the way Booty Bounce or Bass Down Low did, but repeated plays bring out the smoky sax riff, recalling Alex Gaudino’s more uptempo Destination Calabria from a few years back. It’s a late-night song, where Dev’s previous singles were early morning.

The video is a somewhat creepy affair, with jerky, choreographed forests of hands, dipped in some black treacly substance so they look like shining spiders (hammered home explicitly by the presence of an actual spider), or the dead rising from a tar-pit grave.  At points the hands surround and censor a naked Dev, but, contrary to what you might expect, the nudity doesn’t feel sexy. In fact, you might even wonder that it is a challenge to  the viewer to find it erotic (though there is an element of having one’s cake and eating it to that, isn’t there?).

Charlie Simpson – Parachutes


“Hello, is that Charlie Simpson?”

“Yes, who is … is that you, Matt and James off of Busted?”

“It is, yes. Look, Charlie, we were looking at the charts in Smash Hits and couldn’t help but notice that your debut solo single only made it to number 65.”

“Well, yes, but it did very well in the indie charts!”

“The indie charts, Charlie. The indie charts? Is that any place for a former member of pop sensation Busted, who charted with hits such as What I Go to School For, Year 3000 and Air Hostess?  Is it? You’re lying to yourself, Charlie. You want to come back with us.”

“I do not! I have just produced my second single, Parachutes –“

“That’s not a Coldplay cover, is it?”

“What? No! As if it would be that exciting! No, I wrote it myself, it’s about, um, parachuting. Anyway, I’m filming the video at the moment…”

“What’s the video like, Charlie? Is it a humorous sequence of larks based around the premise of you doing a parachute jump?”

“No, in fact, I walk down a road, or possibly a runway, at night holding a card which shows good things happening to me and around me, while the equivalent bad things happen to the me who is holding the card. It’s very clever, or at least it’s a first year drama student’s idea of clever. I sing, as well, in my mournful voice, and strum at the old acoustic, too.”

“Do you jump very high off the ground during any of this, striking a pose with your acoustic guitar?”

“I’m sorry, I’m going to have to hang u-”

{click. Brrrrrrrrrr…..}

“But, wait… Smash Hits isn’t even published any more!”

Nero – Promises

A disappointing lack of fiddling means I can’t really be bothered to review this latest release from the mad emperor of Ancient Rome. Apparently it’s dubstep, so if anyone asks you “What’s dubstep?” you can tell them “It’s the sort of music produced by the mad emperor Nero”, and they will never ask you again.

Joe Jonas – See No More

Another Disney creation, another reformed virgin; the only difference between Joe Jonas and Britney Spears is that Britney is interesting. And has good songs. And does good videos. There are a lot of differences, to be honest. I realise a lot of my criticisms boil down to “this is exciting/boring”, but, well, what more do you want from pop? Incisive lyrics? State of the nation political analysis? Restrained hairdos? Yes? Well, fuck off back to the indie charts, and say “Hi” to Charlie Simpson while you’re there, then.

Sorry, sidetracked. OK, so is Joe Jonas boring? Hoo boy, boring and then some. In my memory this is a half-baked Enrique Iglesias song. In fact, it’s Hero, because I just can’t be bothered to remember the actual tune for See No More, assuming it has one. I don’t, just to be clear, like Hero by Enrique Iglesias.

Anyway, in order to distract you from the tedium of the song, they’ve put in a very very thin woman (Joe, too, is extremely thin, making this look like an ad for Weight Watcher Extreme. At one point, Joe might stand in a pair of enormous jeans to demonstrate how much weight he has lost. He might not, of course. You’d have to watch the video to find out, and I’m betting you don’t) and quite few slow-motion EXPLOSIONS! Like, Joe, your house is going to ‘splode! Quick, run! Etc. Christ, I’m bored.

Next month: More of the same.

Mr Moth is a troll with a badge.


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About Thom Willis

Thom is the curator of #microwrites - - and writes his own stories for He lives in London because, given the choice, who wouldn't?

3 thoughts on “Mostly Pop – August 2011

  1. There are still indie charts? How totally lamestream. My music exists on a single broken laptop in a basement in Balham. I make music for myself and if other people like it, it’s a bonus. But not much of one.

  2. “In my memory this is a half-baked Enrique Iglesias song. In fact, it’s Hero, because I just can’t be bothered to remember the actual tune for See No More, assuming it has one.”

    As I refuse to have a look at the video because I freaking hate the JoBros, does this comparison mean he gets beaten to death by Mickey Rourke?

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