This Is Pop #1

Second of my new threads for the week now, and here is where I want to expand on the whole “there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure” ethos which is supposed to pervade this palace that I have built. It’s also the thread which is most likely to shatter what little is left of my credibility.

But first, I want to draw on a couple of things my blogging peers have written. Firstly, to Rol at My Top Ten‘s tagline: “Irk the Musos!”, and secondly to something Alyson said recently over at What’s It All About, Alfie?: “It seems you should never be dismissive of any genre of music as one day you may suddenly just “get it” and you have a great new world to explore.”

This is a life-long philosophy of mine. I always hate it when I meet someone for the first time and as an ice-breaker they ask “What kind of music do you like?” because I always want to answer “Don’t try to pigeon-hole me, I like music. Not all musics, but lots of musics,” but figure I’ll sound like a bit of an idiot, so end up saying something even more excruciating, like “Oh you know, I guess I’d be called an Indie kid if I was 30 years younger.”

An example: I don’t really like reggae music. It’s fine, I can listen to it, it’s not a race thing, I understand the importance of it, it just doesn’t float my boat, doesn’t grease my wheels or whatever analogy you might choose. I still post reggae tunes when suggested in The Chain, because whilst broadly I’m not a fan of the genre, every now and then I’ll hear a tune and think: “Actually, that’s bloody brilliant.” (N.B. none of the tunes that have made me think that were by cod-white Brummies UB40)

And the same applies to any genre: there’s some songs I, we, you, like, and some that I, we you, don’t. Don’t ever dismiss, because undoubtedly you will be the one to miss out.

Which brings me here, to this second new thread of the week, where I unashamedly nail my colours to the mast and say: this is a pop record, and I really like it.

The thing with pop music is that it’s not supposed to remain popular, fashionable, or current, it is, by its very definition, transient, here today and gone tomorrow. And there’s nothing wrong with finding glee in a pop record that a few weeks later is no longer the flavour of the month.

And so, to Girls Aloud. I like some Girls Aloud records. Actually, I like quite a lot of Girls Aloud records. There. I’ve said it.

And I like them because they are brilliant pop records.

Many of you will disagree, and you’re not wrong to, but I’m not wrong to like them either. Subjectivity, that’s where we are.

This is the second Girls Aloud single, and the first thing I ever bought by them. Lyrically, tt’s  a mighty, anti-authoritarian “Don’t tell me what to do!”; musically, it obviously references “My Sharona” by The Knack, which just makes it even better in my opinion.


Girls Aloud – No Good Advice

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to start extolling the virtues of Saturday Night ITV scheduling, but when they get it right, as they did here, with Girls Aloud (and I’m struggling to think of another “product” from that particular farm this applies to) it can be magnificent.

Girls Aloud will feature again in this thread, because like it or not, they made more than one ace pop record, so I’d suggest you either get used to it, or just don’t come visit on a Thursday.

By which, of course, I mean: More soon.

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22 thoughts on “This Is Pop #1”

  1. Yes, yes, but the Musos will tell you that it’s all right to like Girls Aloud because they worked with Johnny Marr, so immortal cred was forever bestowed upon them.

    I want to see how far you can REALLY push this series, Jez…

  2. This series should stimulate some debate Jez!
    Can you please confirm that you did not opt for this solely on the basis of the cover?

  3. Just saw this post now as gone a bit out of order on the reader I think – Anyway thanks for the namecheck as I am one of the biggest proponents of not caring what people think, just be loud (Girls Aloud) and proud about anything that you take a shine to – Always been a place for pure pop and always will be. Personally I liked The Promise best by GA as it was an homage to Phil Spector’s girl groups of the ’60s – a genre I really just got into in the ’80s. Done a couple of posts about how being out of kilter with what is “cool” gets me in trouble at the time but always vindicated in the end! Looking forward to this series. (check out the last paragraph!)

    1. Yeh, WordPress is doing that annoying thing where it doesn’t differentiate between when you write something and when you post it. Lesson learned this end. Will read your old post later, am about to go in to see T2: Trainspotting. Did you go see it?

      1. Been too busy during the week but agreed with the other half that we’ll go on Saturday – cross fingers it’ll live up to expectations. Enjoy.

      2. It was perfect – A few nods to the last one, Spud, the music, the fact they are 20 years older (but so are we), Edinburgh………

        My faith in sequels is restored.

      3. So glad you enjoyed it. I was full of nervous excitement when I went to see it, knocked my popcorn all over the floor before it had even started(not a euphemism). I’m sorely tempted to go and see it again I loved it so much!

      4. It was all I hoped it would be – so much humour and loved the way they managed to subtly get so many references in from the last one. Won’t say too much more as people might not have seen it yet but as you saybloody brilliant! Think I’ll have to go again as well.

  4. In the midst of a conversation during a meal some years ago, I was asked what kind of music I liked and before I could summon a satisfactory answer, my inquisitor told me that their favourite genre was ‘The Sixties’. The Sixties – a genre? I replied that I really liked The Sixties too – Sun Ra, Soft Machine, The Incredible String Band etc. They quickly changed the subject. I’m afraid I rather overdid the facetiousness.
    Obviously I’m aware of Girls Aloud, though I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve (knowingly) heard any of their music. Much like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and many others, they just haven’t crossed my radar. ‘No Good Advice’ sounds like a perfectly good pop song to me. I’ll be interested to see where this series takes us.

    1. I had a similar, Partridge-esque conversation with a mate a few years ago re: Jimi Hendrix. “What’s your favourite Hendrix album?” I asked. “The Best of Jimi Hendrix” came the unabashedly straight-faced reply

  5. When I mentioned to a pal that I had the new PJ Harvey album his response was “PJ Harvey, he’s good”!

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