The Hypocritical and Profane In Popland
And so it is... celeb gossip columns and online news sites tell the sad tales, tales to which I don't know whether to respond with laughter or outrage. But what tales?
Well, a few weeks ago there was the apparent outbursts of certain members of the Spice Girls in The Sun's bizarre column. What did the Bassett-hounds-in-designer-gear have to say? Why, only that chart music right now is a mound of steaming dung, in particular chart rivals Westlife... oh, and that most pop bands these days are manufactured, false and rubbish. Not to mention talentless and, well, you get the point.
Before you erupt into belly laughs though, a second sad tale... this time from, of all people, the Irish muppets Keith and Shane from popular beat combo Boyzone. In an interview with Attitude, the boys apparently suggested that a couple of number ones goes to the head of most boybands and that half of the new bands are "arrogant f**kers."
Tell us all your chart placings again? Oh, that's right, pretty much all Top 3 placings including number 1s. And you've done OK from it yeah?
OK, stop laughing. No, really. First let's look at the facts. The comments of manly Mel C and her drama school chums came just before the release of their third album, Forever. Having had comeback single Holler pipped to the top spot, they needed media attention and a verbal battle with Westlife seemed to do the trick. For Westlife. Oops.
Now, see if you can guess where I'm going when I once again draw your attentions to Mr. and Mr. Disgrace To Irish Music. You guessed it, they have a single on the way. By a mere act of coincidence, it is an arrogant re-write of Girl You Know It's True - the song that revealed Milli Vanilli as charlatans many moons ago. The new lyrics are little more than an ineloquent rant at their various chart rivals.
Err, wait, to quote the pair, again from their Attitude interview, boybands writing their own material is "the kiss of death. They think they're being all deep and meaningful and it all falls off. It's f**king shite!"
Looks like you're delivering yourselves a massive snog with tongues and everything then lads.
In both cases - that is to say Boyzone and the Spice Girls - the bands were manufactured, the common usage of the phrase in this case being a band formed via various people auditioning and being picked by a pop svengali / manager type. So they disagree completely with the way they found fame and fortune. OK, f*k off back to obscurity. I know *I could happily live without.
As for the allegations that chart music is dire right now... I think they might find it's because 4 slappers who reached and passed their prime before their second album keep unleashing more singles on the charts, collectively, alone or with other acts; and a previously promising boyband have been shown up as one reasonably talented guy and a bunch of nameless faceless muppets whose inevitable solo efforts are draining funds that could get decent bands signed and out there.
I will admit, unashamedly, that I like some of the songs both groups have done... and I do think Ronan is talented, even if he's not my scene. The fact of the matter is, however, that both groups have a lot of young fans (even if their original fanbase is now growing up*) and if I was to buy the latest Westlife single, only to hear a singer I adore, such as Mel C (fiction people, work with me) slagging them off and the like, I would probably be upset.
That asterisk up there signals another chain of thought. Being cynical myself, I had thought that perhaps the sudden shedding of their squeaky clean, super friendly images was somehow engineered to gain them cred with their aging fans. Let's just hope with age comes sense... for disposable, merchandisable pop nothings, they're getting just a wee bit too big for their designer Italian boots.