Monday, September 2, 2013

What I think about when I think about pop (AM)

If pop music is for the unquestioning masses why has Robin Thicke got me asking so many questions? 

Questions like:

Is it possible that a person can be bread to look like an eighties TV star because that's what his parents were?

A while ago before I had any idea who he was I'd see these little posters advertising a Robin Thicke tour or album or something and I'd think, "Who the fuck is Robin Thicke? By the looks of him I guess he's Alan Thicke's son." It's not that they look so similar it's just that he looks like a sitcom son. Turns out his mother was an actress on Days of Our Lives, so those are some serious TV genes. And doesn't Thicke* look like he just stepped off the set of Growing Pains? Or more likely Saved By the Bell. Like some kind of Screech turned "hunk" type in a dream sequence? Screech's "cool" cousin?

And does anyone else think its weird that a face can look so totally 80s/90s. I don't feel like it is just his styling. I think it's his face. WTF?!


Is it ok to want to listen to a song a lot even if you are repulsed by the singer as long as Pharell is involved?

I asked myself this question a lot one night after I listened to Blurred Lines about 5 times on a train from Melbourne to Geelong and then danced to it about 3 times after I got home that night. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it but I couldn't help wonder if what I was doing was wrong.

First, Robin Thicke is, as mentioned, slightly repulsive and that made me wonder how I could enjoy that song so much. Also, despite listening to it a bunch of times in a row, every time I tried to think of Blurred Lines all I could think of was SexyBack. Justin Timberlake, there is a slightly (barely) repulsive pop star I can get behind. But really is that what you want? A danceable song that is so reminiscent of a better song a person can't even remember your song properly? Turns out Blurred Lines has been accused of being too similar to Marvin Gaye's Got to Give it Up. ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA. Dream the fuck on Robin Thicke! That is only one of the all time best songs. And dude, yours ain't nothing like it. Not in any meaningful way.

Also, Blurred Lines has been accused of being about date rape and suggesting that it is cool. When I first heard the song I just thought it was about trying to pick up the hottest bitch in the place. You know, like every other song out there. And I'm not convinced that is not what it's about. But I'm not really convinced it is, either. Not being a date rapist perhaps I just didn't tap into that aspect. I mean, I can see where that interpretation comes from, but gee, Robin Thicke and Pharell and T.I., if that is what you are talking about it is not sexy, it's not cool.

Still despite all this I listened to the song over and over, wondering if I was going to be hooked on it for weeks, wondering why the eff I was listening to this Thicke. Using Pharell's involvement to justify it all. And then after one night, I was done. I mean, it's not as if I am immune to it now, but a real booty shaker, Gold Digger or MyLove, I could listen to those for months. So, thanks Robin Thicke, Pharell and T.I. for getting me to dance a bit, but not compromising myself too much. Thanks for getting me thinking about stuff. Who says pop music is good for nothing.

*Did you know that until recently Robin Thicke just went by the name Thicke professionally. Eeeeeewwwwwww.

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