Saturday, 1 November 2008

The Definition of 'Pop'

I have determined how, with almost 100% accuracy every time, one can determine whether or not a band is 'pop' or not. Whether a band is aimed at ten-to-thirteen year-olds or not. And, rather surprisingly, it's ever so simple. All these years, all these millions of dollars spent attempting to define what is and is not pop, and all along it came down to one thing:

Linear notes.

I know, right? How did everyone miss this for so long? A band is clearly and very determinedly 'pop' if each individual artist gets their own 'Thank You' section in the linear notes. I finally realised this when reviewing The Saturdays' debut album* for The Mic magazine. The linear notes were a hark back to simpler days - each band member, irresistably beautiful in the eyes of any man (and also just teetering on the edge of the legal age limit for leering), has their own 'thank you' section. They flick between loving mentions of people we shall never know, loving mentions of their own band members, loving mentions of all their fans and passing mentions of the dozens of people involved in the making of the album.

They all do it, they really do. Sugababes, Girls Aloud, B*Witched did back in the day... everyone. And here we stumble across McFly's issue. They want to move on and be a big boy's band - a rock group, if you will. They keep playing the same old music though - in fact, it's a little worse of late if anything (a shame, seeing as they actually have the ability to be terrific). That said, this isn't an issue ultimately - it isn't the music that defines you, is it? No! McFly are still very much a pop band because even on their recent 'adult' release they each had individual 'thank yous'. God forbid the fan girls can't get an individual thank you from Dougie! God forbid Harry can't thank the other three for the best years of his life. God forbid. You never saw Queen with individual thanks, did you McFly? No. Pink Floyd? I think not. The Killers? Never. I think that is, as they say in the television, case closed.

* P.S. The Saturdays' album, entitled 'Chasing Lights' after that what stupid people do, is actually literally excellent. If you've ever lied to someone about how great you really think Girls Aloud are, or still feel guilty for claiming not to like Sugababes, then here is your chance to redeem yourself. Buy it. I'd post a track for you here ('Keep Her' or 'Lies' would be my recommendations) but bearing in mind Bloggergate and all that is going on there, I think I better not...

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