What to think
Watching chunks of the Video Music Awards put me in mind of how weird my musical tastes are. I hate most popular bands, yeah, but I love some idiotic pop. Off the top of my head (with the help of the Billboard Top 40):

– Justin Timberlake. He started his solo career right, getting smart producers (Timbaland, The Neptunes) to froth up his decidedly average tunes. The singles from Justified are the “Don’t Stop til You Get Enough” and “Billie Jean” of our times.
– Shakira. Has produced at least two great singles in English (“Underneath Your Clothes” and “Whenever, Wherever”) and her Spanish stuff is unstoppable, catchy dance-pop.
– Kelly Clarkson. I like “Miss Independent.” I like that there’s no pretension about her being some kind of “artist.”
– Christina Aguilera. A voice that could – and still might – make the sun implode. And I dig that she’s insane.
– Shania Twain. Mutt Lange writes her songs! He can hardly do wrong.

– Coldplay. Chris Martin is the Eric Roberts of British rockstars. His band is the Showtime Made for TV Movie to Radiohead’s box office smash. Offensively unoriginal, plodding, and meaningless.
– Britney Spears. I prefer it when you can’t see the PR department propping up the star.
– The White Stripes. What if the Pixies couldn’t write tunes? They’d bleat bullshit lyrics and play dead-end guitar leads like Jack White. Seriously – their latest single is called “The Air Beneath My Fingers.” That’s inexcusable.
– Madonna. Useless since 1991.
– Norah Jones. I liked that song better when it was called “Yesterday” by the Beatles. But she is very cute.

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