I’ve been predicting for a while now that the prominence of pop is going to be imminently overturned and it looks like my fear that (despite being generally brilliant) The Wanted are the unwitting ringleaders, as Busted were eight years ago, is sadly coming true. Although The Wanted’s songs, even more so than Busted’s, are most definitely pop, and as a band they fit many of the traditional boyband stereotypes, they have been positioned as a more ‘real’ boyband. “They’re just a bunch of normal lads,” says everyone. That’s their biggest charm but also the reason why they are causing a shift in the pop-time continuum (or something equally dramatic and terrible – I was never very good at science).
Music has been all about fun for a few years now, which unfortunately means it’s time for authenticity and sincerity to be considered vital in music once again. Just like in fashion, politics and many other areas of life, the public always want the opposite of whatever trend has just overstayed its welcome, and every trend overstays its welcome eventually, however popular it may be at its height. You could even say that the more popular something becomes in a short space of time, the more quickly it will wear out its welcome. We all remember how many singles the Spice Girls released from their third album.
The shift to musical boringness is inevitable, but having lived through it once as a die-hard pop fan, I’m not looking forward to living through it again. Better start rehearsing my retorts to the “oh my God, that’s not Britney Spears on your iPod is it?” jibes asap. But on the bright side, the last time pop was considered a dirty word, Girls Aloud were at their best and S Club 8 were on TV every Saturday morning. There’s no need to suffocate yourself in your Kylie pillowcase quite yet.
But back to the doom and gloom for now: The clearest sign that the apopcalypse is nigh is the onslaught of new ‘boybands’ which manage to simultaneously be rubbish versions of the traditional pop boyband and rubbish versions of the traditional boys with instruments band. These bands do vary in quality and success, ranging from Hanson to the Noise Next Door, McFly to Freefaller. They can occasionally provide us pop fans with some real treats, but they are never going to give us a Bye Bye Bye, a Get The Feelin’ or even a Back For Good.
So far the guitar-toting boybands attempting to weasel their way into Planet Pop without a visa this year include a wide variety of mediocrity, with the early frontrunners being Twenty Twenty, The Kixx and Lawson (the only one with a hope of success). They can easily be eclipsed, however, so the role of Pop Ruiners 2011 is still very much open. If you’ve got a guitar, hair straighteners and male genitalia, get some mates together and it could be you!
I never thought I’d say this, but the memory of the Noise Next Door has just made me feel quite thankful for Jedward…