|It is the stuff of nightmares. Your friend gets hold of your ipod to discover that in spite of your claim that you only listen to edgy, unknown German electro and New York underground punk, your playlists are littered with things like Coldplay, James Blunt and, hidden in a file titled “Other”, you have stored the entire Moody Blues discography. So, what are we really listening to and enjoying?
Show me someone who has never tried to hit the high notes on ‘You’re Beautiful’ and I’ll show you a liar. That song was so ludicrously – and I mean ludicrously – popular that for almost two years we were all seeing her face in a crowded place and not knowing what to do. Blunt seems to have kindly gone away for the time being, but he will be back, and all of us will be shamed by our reluctant affinity for his quavering voice and queasy lyrics.
She never should have made it. This was, after all, someone who tried to merge candyfloss pop with country and western. But two or three hits in and she had the entire male population on their knees in bars around the world asserting that, man, they felt like a woman. There is something faintly ridiculous about singing across genders: Just watch a rugby jock sing ‘My Humps/My lovely lady lumps’ and you’ll know what I mean.
We might not want to admit it, but how many of us somehow know all the words to ‘Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely'? That the words themselves are utterly meaningless matters little. If the Backstreet Boys say that “beauty roams in an endless love”, then you know where beauty roams? That’s right – in an endless love.
The indie kid with the skinny jeans and the emo haircut will sit and badmouth JT until his lip ring gets hot, but you can be sure that after a few cheap beers at a dingy bar most Saturday nights he is pleading with the DJ for some cheesy pop and doing his damndest to bring sexy back. The only problem being that in order to bring sexy back he needs to have known where sexy was in the first place. Dressing like Edward Scissorhands will make that difficult.
When Mika burst onto the scene in his multicoloured outfits and started singing so high half his songs were only audible to nearby dogs, some of the more excitable amongst us said regrettable things like, “He sounds a bit like Freddie Mercury”. Feeling that this was enough to justify interest they bought the album, only to realise moments later that they now owned the worst thing ever recorded in the history of music. Those who were hoodwinked for as much as a split second into thinking he was any good will feel a bit dirty forever.