Monday, February 15, 2016

#385, in which we are introduced to synthpop

I promised you I'd write two of these today, and here I am, delivering. And utterly squandering my day off, too! You're welcome.

This album started off like many of the earlier and more reprehensible collections I've listened to, like the awful "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" from P!nk and the truly, truly rancid "Whistle" from Flo Rida, which could not possibly be a more transparent ode to fellatio if it tried. (If you haven't heard this song before, please, I beg of you, DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVEN TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A LOVED ONE, LISTEN TO THIS SONG.) I cringed and gritted my teeth, expecting much more of the same. It would have been grating and an affront to nature, but at least it would have given me something interesting to write about.

And then we got "Gangnam Style," and you may not believe this, but today was actually my first time listening to the song in its entirety. (Still haven't seen the music video.) This song could also be an ode to fellatio, but I certainly wouldn't know, not being a Korean speaker myself. (Wikipedia assures me that the song is about the lifestyle of residents of the Gangnam District of Seoul, which, to my knowledge, is not especially renowned for womanizing behavior.) This song is utterly infectious. It's absolutely perfect for what these compilations are trying to be. By the end of the song, I'd forgotten all about the trash from the first two songs.

And then, AND THEN, we entered an hour and a half of pure synthpop. For those unfamiliar with the genre, imagine a song that was written to play over the closing credits of any tween-targeted Disney Channel show and you're pretty close. We got Owl City, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and even Nicki Minaj got in on the action. I don't especially mind synthpop, personally, but that's not to say that I'm a huge fan, and it's certainly not to say that I was hoping for nearly a dozen straight songs of it.

And yet, I sort of like the idea of going completely overboard with one genre for one of these albums. They all sort of blend together for me, being one huge indistinguishable blur of pop, so differentiating them by a popular genre is pretty clever. This isn't just Now! 44, the latest in a long line of pop collections anymore, it's the synthpop Now! album. You instantly know the one we're talking about now. They could produce similar entries for emo, indie folk, girlpop, boy bands, you name it. I know that I, personally, would get a huge kick out of Now! That's What I Call Thrash Rock.

In summary, if you're interested in synthpop, you should give the album a listen. If you're not, you should probably avoid it. And if you're just looking to get a taste of the album, just give Gangnam Style a play. And if, for whatever unfathomable reason, you're wondering if you should listen to "Whistle," please seek professional counseling.

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