Mostly Pop February 2014

Like a dog we’ve trained to say “Sausages”, MrMoth is back with a string of pop reviews in his own, shall we say inimitable style?

So, Tinie, how many good songs have you done now?
So, Tinie, how many good songs have you done now?

Tinie Tempah ft Labrinth: Lover Not A Fighter

What? Tinie is collaborating with Labrinth??? WHAT MADNESS IS THIS??????!!! KERAZY! This is precisely as exciting as finding out that Iron Man is going to be in the next Avengers movie!

Sure, when they first arrived with Pass Out it was great. But since then Tinie has done nothing of any interest and Labrinth… eh, well, Labrinth is totally there, isn’t he? He’s all over “being in the charts for some reason”. This is basically Tinie talking about shagging loads of women, and using the word “bollocks” to actually mean balls, which is at least novel. The track is relentlessly, witlessly, pounding when Tinie is rapping. It’s annoyingly bombastic when Labrinth is singing. The video is potentially interesting but wastes it in showing off cars and doing little else.

Pusha T ft Kendrick Lamar: Nosetalgia

Ah, back over the Atlantic to see how hip hop should be done. Grime is looking tired now (Tinie), but there’s a wave of newer US hip hop that is genuinely exciting. Kanye has adopted it, Azealia Banks is kicking its ass, and here’s Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar (I know the latter only as being the guy who missed out on a Grammy to Macklemore, but I know everyone thinks he should have won so let’s hear him out).

Pusha T sounds quiiiite a lot but not exactly like Kanye. Something in the phrasing. Kendrick Lamar has a good sort of sound to his voice, I’m not sure I’d recognise it yet but give it time. I like this quite a lot, thank Christ. It’s a lot of chat about drugs, but still. Better than singing about shagging women yet again.

ALSO – ONE TAKE VIDEO KLAXON. I mean, sure, it’s not exactly complex, but there’s a lot of lip syncing to be done and it lines up well. I like when Kendrick slopes in for his verse. Y’alright, Kendrick?

James Blunt: Heart to Heart

Let’s be honest, you’re expecting this to be shit. I was expecting this to be shit. It’s really only here because a) a pretty weak slate of releases meant I had to include outliers and b) Blunt’s Twitter trolling is pretty funny.

It’s… Well, it’s not totally shit! It’s not without merit! It’s sort of plinky plonky all right, won’t switch it off sort of music. I’m not going to wholeheartedly enthuse about it, but neither am I going to give this the traditional one-paragraph brush-off review. In that regard, James Blunt very nearly WON Mostly Pop this month, until I found the Pusha T vid. Can you imagine? That still puts him in line for the silver medal and that means the world has officially gone crazy batshit in the matshit.

The video is a bit Peter Gabriel in the 80s; stop motion singing and Koyaanisqatsi cityscapes. It’s also one of them spot-the-bit-of-London ones that I like now that I live in London, even if you do have to look at James Blunt with his top shirt button done up and his hair combed like Calvin on school photo day. All the people who come into focus, mind, have definitely bought a house in Walthamstow in the last two years. A few of them are probably EVEN NOW looking in to opening a yoga studio in an old pub.

Britney Spears: Perfume

Oh. I almost can’t bear to listen to this. I’m actually shifting uncomfortably in my seat trying to not have to sit through it again. It’s painfully shit. Also genuinely fucking deranged, lyrically – she’s actually using perfume to mark her territory, those are her words. Why not just piss on the guy? Oh, because you’re not marketing a range of piss. Maybe give it a try? Bet there’s a market.

One Direction: Midnight Memories

Are ALL One Direction songs based on half-arsed versions of riffs from other songs? They’re like the boyband version of Flo Rida or something. Anyone, this coasts on I Love Rock n Roll, which is a good song . This isn’t a good song, it’s a One Direction song – machine-tooled to pop precision to be sung by machine-tools. It does have the advantage of being vaguely tuneful and upbeat so it’s obviously ahead of Britney and Tinie.

The video is basically a sequence of very bad ideas for a night out. Burst into a kebab shop and take a bite from the doner stack? Recipe for food poisoning. Steal a police boat? You’ll be shot in the head and neck right quick. Climbing Tower Bridge? That’ll get you blown off* (possibly after having been shot in the head and neck). Especially as, and I’m sorry to have to bring this up, one of your number is a bit Muslim. You know? It’s that sort of thing that really gets Her Majesty’s Metropolitan Police Force in a rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ kind of mood.

Random notes – what is with the mobility scooters? Dizzee and Robbie had them in the video for their collaboration. Are mobility scooters cool now? I’m a bit lost. Tinie advertised cars, Britney advertised her own perfume, James Blunt advertised mobile phones, One Direction advertise… Addison Lee? WTF, One Direction? Who is your market? Teenage girls and middle aged marketing managers?

Blue: Broken

Hello, Blue. You were inevitable, but I kind of hoped we’d meet again later in life. You know, after you’d fucked off properly. I mean, Take That went away for almost a decade, then came back looking all grizzled and stuff. You’ve come back looking… a bit less young. I feel no nostalgia for the Blue Period, and I doubt your fans have thought much about it. Oh, they probably thought as you reconvened for the Big Reunion tour, it’s Blue. Yeah, I guess they’re still around? Didn’t they do Eurovision?

Blue are part of the first wave of bands to have to cope with the modern resistance to adulthood, wherein pop bands have to stick around simply because we don’t grow out of them as quickly as we used to. Sociological, innit? We’re deferring “being a grown up” to later in life, so we remain in an infantilised state well into our twenties, possibly our thirties. Or it’s a kind of hypernostalgia, where we feel warmly nostalgic for events of the extremely recent past, so a comeback has to be staged almost before the band has gone away. So… don’t call it a comeback?

Uhm. Look, I’m not saying it’s the worst song in the world but it might be the worst song this month. And there’s some stiff competition, believe me. It’s not just that it’s dreary, it’s that it sounds like a farewell, like the last song on a final album. Even the name! Broken! Broken up! Split! BYE!

*not in a good way, mind. Although it probably will get them that too, because they’re One Direction.

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?

4 thoughts on “Mostly Pop February 2014

    1. Zayn Malik. I mean, if you know about One Direction you’d probably know his religion, but if you just know *of* One Direction you probably won’t. Having said that, I didn’t know which one was Louis and which one was Niall until yesterday so there you go.

  1. Oh my but that Britney song is really something isn’t it. I put on my perfume/to leave it over you/and mark my territory Pepe le Peu taken too literally?

    So the lad in the baseball cap in the Push T vid. Does his Mum know he’s out that late?

    And I actually like the James Blunt track, shameless Sony ad that it is.

  2. > So the lad in the baseball cap in the Push T vid. Does his Mum know he’s out that late?

    He’s 26! Or are you advocating some kind of curfew for everyone under 30?

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