Years ago I wrote the first draft of a book. I’ll get back to it someday, but I penned a line that was both obvious and painfully insightful. “Pop music is popular for a reason.” Durrr. This was big for my young, snobby, musically elite self, who played hardball with musical authenticity, and doing the whole “I liked their early stuff before they sold out to the corporate record industry.” God, what a shithead.
But pop top 40 music is finely crafted from hours of marketing studies, and loads of metrics that produce a highly desired sound. We’re actually pretty helpless at the hands of what David Crosby (Crosby, Stills, and Nash) calls the “musical pop tart machine.”
So, I started justifying it all. “I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys had the same chord structure as Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Paramore is 90s emo (the good emo) mixed with nah-nah-na-boo-boo bubble gum. I fall victim to the machine more willingly that way.
So, what happens when a pop tart creation forgoes the machine with all it’s corporation-y machinations, like a wiley musical Bernard in “A Brave New World?” Well, you can’t help but let the earworm in, right?
Enter Kiddo. Three members of the former prog-pop outfit A Yawn Worth Yelling have bound together their collective pop sensibilities to release their first single “Anyone But You.” More like Québécois maple than high fructose corn syrup, these gentlemen give those guys from ABBA (you know, the guy who write most of the top pop 40 songs these days) a run for their cotton candy-asses. When member, Brayden Deskins, wrote to ask if I liked their new sound, I promptly replied with a “I hate you. It’s perfect.”
So, just deal with it. They’ve done it again, this time hoisting an adorable middle finger to the corporate pop tart machine, as if to say, “You’re not so big a monster that we can’t haul your ass in a game of coochie-coo.”
Well, fine then. It sounds like Davíd Garza meets M8 . . . aw screw it. I’ll be saving my rationalizations for a more winnable battle, thank you very much.