I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago lamenting the rubbishness of pop in 2008, but having thought about it more, I have decided that there are both positive and negative sides to the current situation. While I feel that there were not as many songs which we will consider classics in years to come (only Just Dance and No Air stand out particularly), there were absolutely loads of really good songs. Maybe not the ones I’d award a rating of over 95% poptasticness, but plenty that would get 85 or 90%.
Some great artists emerged in 2008, bringing with them great albums. I didn’t discuss them much last year, because I sadly don’t feel that many of my readers want to hear about this kind of music, but I loved the album by California Liar. If they make their next album without Max Martin’s help, it could well be rubbish, but their debut was one of the most solid and annoyingly underrated of the year. Ladyhawke released a great album too, and acts like Girls Aloud and the Sugababes, who we are used to being fab, continued to be so. If they had been a new act, from whom I hadn’t expected such greatness, I would probably be quite obsessed with them. These are only the people I can think of right now, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten loads. Anyway, what I really want to say here is that even though it wasn’t as strong a year as the past few have been, that doesn’t mean that music worth celebrating was not being released.
Another reason that I’ve felt negative lately is that the pop acts (particularly electro-pop) which other bloggers and critics, including those I normally agree with, are putting their hopes on for making 2009 poptastic… well, most of them just don’t grab me at all. I don’t like feeling like I’m trying to start a backlash against these new acts, many of whom clearly have absolutely the right aims and motives, before they’ve even really begun, but I can’t pretend that I really care whether Frankmusik or Little Boots are successful. There, I said it! You can all delete me from your links and RSS readers now!
The one thing I always stick to with this blog is to be honest and follow my instincts, even when my opinions don’t quite go with the flow. I would much rather be in love with these acts than nonplussed by them, but a musical connection is not something you can force. What I can do is find acts who I personally believe in and have high hopes for. In 2007, I adored Alphabeat, and in 2008 so did everyone else. Now I’m seeing the same happening with Lady GaGa. There aren’t many better feelings than when you see something special in an act and your instincts are in time proven right. For that reason I am going to keep on searching for acts, or just songs, with that special something and sharing them here so that more people can have that brilliant feeling. In the meantime, here are my top 5 reasons to be excited about the next few months:
This year’s contest has the strongest line-up of singers and writers in years. The first round is 4 weeks today, with Shirley Klamp, Marie Serneholt AND Alcazar!!
2. New albums from Alcazar & Melody Club
These are two of my favourite acts of all time, so new albums from them will always be unbelievably exciting. I have absolute faith in both of them.
3. American Idol
2008 produced an adorable new popstar who went on to release one of the best singles of the year, and 2007’s AI caused the existence of No Air AND Tattoo!
4. A1 Reunion
I have been informed that they will be doing some gigs in February, and if Ben does well on Big Brother they’ll also get to release some singles. Brilliant!
5. New acts such as The Yeah Yous, Love Grenades & Janelle Monae
These are just the first 3 I thought of who I really want to hear more from or just see more of. Most of all I want people to see what I see in them.