Mostly Pop June 2016

In which something yawns and it’s not MrMoth for once.

Rizzle Kicks
I’m Always Late

I genuinely like the ‘Kicks, and was only just the other day wondering where they’d got to. Well, here they are, staying in their comfort zone BUT WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT? I’m not here to demand people move on. Do I expect innovation? I do not. I’d be something of a hypocrite, for a start. I’ve been doing this in exactly the same style for five years, after all.

If you are unfamiliar with Rizzle Kicks, they’re just a couple of nice boys who do fun pop-rap business that isn’t going to shake your world but will make you happier for a few minutes. Unless you’re an irredeemable sourpuss, and that doesn’t sound like you, does it?

Cool. Well, here you are. This is a catchy terrace chant about how they can’t even adult, and we’ve all been there. “Sorry I didn’t fucking die sooner” is a nicely acid tang in a generally sweet concoction but like I say – no one is going to lose their shit over this. I like it.

Final Song/
Justin Bieber

This is how generational gaps open up. It’s not the edgy stuff, the angular work at the cutting edge, it’s the soft and easy music. The conservative art. We swerve hardest in the middle of the road.

Mø and Justin Bieber occupy this space in different ways. Bieber is bland, stodgy guff. We’ve always had this, the smoochy whitebread boys yer ma likes (although I bet she doesn’t, not really. Mums are way more hardcore than you give them credit for, but they’ll pick someone they don’t have to invest in to bond with you. It’s a sham, kids). He’s nothing new, conceptually, it’s just the same old idea given modern gloss.

I find Mø much more difficult. In a way, I can appreciate the production twiddles, the cute structural tricks (the beat coming in juuuust after you’d expect, for example) and the solid hooks. But I can’t bond with it, at all. I find it unapproachable, will almost certainly disregard it as “boring” without listening. This makes it hard for me to understand when it’s a mega hit (as this probably will be, and Bieber is locked-in), standing by the sidelines looking baffled. How did this happen? I get no endorphin rush from this!

And now I’ve written myself out of a column, let’s carry on with the pop reviews.

Calvin Harris ft Rihanna
This Is What You Came For

When was the last time Big Cally H was fun, eh? Dance Wiv Me, by my reckoning. It just doesn’t feel like his heart is in it any more. He’s always the main artist, with the vocalists “ft”, but it’s never particularly distinctive. He’s no, let’s say, David Guetta. Our Dave may be shit, but his stuff has a personality. A terrible, awful personality.

Maybe it’s to his credit, though. His unshowy work puts the singer in the spotlight; this is, like We Found Love, very much a Rihanna song. In that regard it’s a complete success, although, again, Rihanna hasn’t been a barrel of laughs for a while. There’s nothing moody or mournful about the song, but it doesn’t have a great deal of fire. It’s as if there was confusion about who was the contractor on the job and who was the director. Oh well.

Wish I’d seen this video a few days earlier, mind, it would really have helped explain to my daughter how they did the Hotline Bling video (she was confused by how he was in a box seemingly embedded in a wall). Instead I used a magnadoogle. My picture of Drake dancing was EXCELLENT. This isn’t, to be clear, anything like the Hotline Bling video. It’s Rihanna in a… I dunno, a wingsuit? Maybe she just landed.

Jacob Sartorius

What… What is this? WHAT IS THIS? Why am I having to listen to this? Why am I watching this? WHO DID THIS TO ME?

So much to unpack, I don’t think I have the space or the energy. First of all – sweatshirt is just not an appealing word. I know it’s commonplace, but look there’s “sweat” right there in the name. Wear my sweat. Shirt. So that’s bad, but FUCKING LOOK AT THE REST OF THIS. He’s what, twelve? I’m not even joking, he’s in school still, right? No schoolkid should be singing like this, not ever. Not in public. It’s GROSS, people. Oh, I just heard the line where he says the girl he’s singing to wants “to flaunt it”. SHE IS A CHILD do we honestly need to listen to this? And is he giving her the sweatshirt so she is covered up and not flaunting it? You don’t own her, Jacob Sartorius. You don’t own SHIT, mate, except maybe a Lego Millennium Falcon.

“If you are not ready for my kiss, you can wear my sweatshirt” can you… Honestly, who greenlit this shitshow? And look at the video. The sweatshirt actually creeps around after this child (who, please note, at no point wears the possessed garment) like a fucking facehugger. This is solid creepy shit.

Also, god, musically this is awful. Basic. Overly auto-tuned. Plodding. Ugly. Get fucked, the lot of you.

Danny Brown
When It Rain

I’ve not heard of Danny Brown before but judging by this he’s kind of Kendrick Lamar’s Slim Shady character is that right? Huh?

I wouldn’t exactly say I’m bored of this sort of sound (whatever it is, please don’t ask me to define it), but I think America needs to come up with something new fairly soon. Yeah because I, NOBODY, am bored. Do it.

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?

5 thoughts on “Mostly Pop June 2016

  1. What I like about Mostly Pop is it isn’t just dad-writes-reviews, it’s dad worries about the welfare of the kids involved. Mostly Pop was annoyed on the dad’s behalf in Cruel, with Good For You Mostly Pop worried about whether Selena Gomez had rebooted Minipops, and Mostly Pop is basically giving that kid in the sweatshirt a random-adult-who-doesn’t-know-you clip round the ear. At the end of it, it’s clear the kid’s balls have dropped to his knees. He’s old enough. (Admittedly the girl’s assigned schoolwork does seem to be colouring-in.)

    1. Yeah, but colouring in is the new grown up thing to do (somebody actually showed me a Pride and Prejudice colouring in book the other day).

      Ta Moth. I’m glad that you listen to the New Young People stuff so that I can carry on listening to the Pixies and moaning about how nobody does decent guitar music any more.

      1. Oh GOD, adult colouring books. Yeah, slip on your onesie, have a drag on your Skittles flavoured vape pipe and do your adult colouring book. Why not put on a nappy so you can shit yourself without having to get up?

  2. When I worked at eBay, we had a big debate about removing a listing for adult nappies. The accompanying picture showed them being modelled by a bearded middle-aged man with a slight paunch.

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