by Mr Moth
Lady Gaga – Applause
This is more like it. After the frankly lacklustre Born This Way (the singles were… OK, but frustratingly short of the brilliance The Fame/Monster threw out with unthinking abandon, and the album tracks were terrible), this first shot from Artpop promises much.
Supposedly rush-released following leaks – at which point Gaga declared a POP EMERGENCY, and who are we to argue? – Applause barrels into the room and bashes you with hooks until you beg for mercy and no more hookings, please. Your eyes hurt from the hooks. Handclaps, crowd noise, a bit where is goes quiet then comes back in… textbook. Magic. And isn’t it nice to have a pop star who really loves pop and wants to interrogate it? Who lives an examined megastar life? The self-awareness, the wit, the flamboyance and a load of cracking tunes make Gaga the most important pop star on the planet right now, and that’s before I get to the video.
Continue reading Mostly Pop August 2013
Girls Aloud: Something New
Yay! It’s Nicola, Kimberley, Cheryl, Sarah and Nadine! They’re back! It’s an objectively-decided fact that Girls Aloud created the greatest pop music of the 21st century, possibly of all time. Yes, it is. And I know they came from a Cowell-inflected TV talent show, but it was back in the old days when the format was fresh and, crucially, they were launched with a sequence of tunes so astonishingly great they’re still pop benchmarks. Furthermore, their ratio of proper pop bangers to tedious ballads is a mighty 3:1 (yes, I did the maths), making them better than anyone ever. The songs are provided by ultraproducers Xenomania, of course, but Xenomania are behind lots of pop songs and none are as good as those performed by Girls Aloud. It’s kind of a perfect match. And one of their B sides was about the freaking Kronstadt* rebellion, because they’re a) awesome and b) really the last great working class band, now that you can’t be a musician on the dole. I haven’t really fleshed that argument out, but it’s 100% true. Who are our pop stars now? Mumford and Sons. Fuck’s sake.
Continue reading Mostly Pop November 2012