Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Going, Ummm, Pop! 

Blimey! We're not even two months into 2005 and already more bands are waving goodbye to their careers than even existed in 2004. First up are Blink 182, who have finally realised that they're pointless and the world of music would be much better without their - to use the correct American term - whiny assed vocals, but lets move away from the world of plastic kiddy pop to a group who are far more 'for real' than those supposed punks ever were. Ladies and Gentlemen, lets raise a glass and drink to Pop! who, after failing to make the charts even lukewarm, let alone set them on fire, have finally been dropped by their record company.

We were never, to be perfectly honest, huge fans of Pop!. Their songs were, lets be brutally honest here, a bit on the ropey side. Even Serious, which was undoubtedly their finest (released) moment, we found hard to actually take seriously (arf!), mainly because it sounded more like the theme tune to a glamorous cop show set in Las Vegas, a view which wasn't helped by the video, which looked exactly like the opening titles for a glamorous cop show set in Las Vegas, but even so their loss is important for what they represented, rather than what they actually were.

Pop! were a pop band in the traditional sense of the word. When Pete Waterman put them together he was basically trying to recapture the glory days - and the cash cow - of Steps, which probably explains why their songs sounded like tracks which weren't quite good enough to be Steps' B-sides. They weren't trying to be edgy or cool or redefine the notion of what a pop song should, all of which are, admittedly, admirable aims, but they just wanted to make fun, cheesy pop for the masses. Unfortunately it seems the masses could care less and would much rather lap up the latest uninspiring slop churned out by the indentikit R&B conveyer belt.

Of course, we can't really blame anyone for their failure. You can't force the public to buy what they don't want to buy, and as we didn't exactly rush down the shops to buy their CDs ourselves, we'd have to accept some of the blame ourselves and it certainly wasn't our fault, but it does seem a shame that there's no longer any space in the music industry, and in people's hearts, for music like this. Certainly there's no space for this on your average radio station, who seem to much prefer playing the same things over and over again, being as grey as possible and shying away from anything that might provide a splash of colour to the playlist. Of course, with the advent of the internet there's now a million different radio stations available on-line, catering to virtually every niche interest imaginable, so if the loss of Pop! has affected you more than Jennifer Ellison's announcement that she's quit the music industry - and quite frankly dropping a chip on the floor and having to throw it away has probably affected you more than that - then you could do worse than check out PWL Radio, a pop/dance station set up by Pete Waterman and dedicated to providing "a worldwide platform for some of the greatest pop and dance music from the 80's, 90's and 00's, 24 hours-a-day, with NO DJ's, together with first plays of upfront 'future hits' fresh from The Hit Factory itself", which we're sure you'll agree sounds rather ace. Unfortunately we do only have their word for it as we're buggered if we can get it to work on our antiquated, valve driven computer, but why not give it a shot. It can't be worse than Colin and Edith on Radio 1.