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Brace yourselves: A pop song was discussed on the Radio 1 Review Show


Okay, we’re a bit slow off the bat, but we’ve just caught up on Radio 1’s Review Show with Edith Bowman on iPlayer and *dusts off soapbox, switches megaphone on* we have a thing or two to say.

The panel – Edith, Justin from The Vaccines and a writer from one of our favourite blogs – rattled through a number of new releases, delivering their opinions and reading out a few responses from keen listeners on the internetosphere. In amongst this week’s To-Discuss list was – brace yourselves – Little Mix’s ‘Wings’.

Obviously, we at MP! bloody love that song. Of course we do. We think it’s one of the best girlband singles to be released for a very long time, and launches the Little Mix campaign with the kind of assured identity that The Saturdays are still yet to really settle in to. It’s got an infectious chorus that explodes into a second, even better chorus; and it even manages to squeeze in the word “Boy’d”. But that’s just our opinion. The beauty of music, and indeed all art, is that it is subjective to each individual.

If, for example, The Vaccines brought out a new single next week, we don’t know if we’d be that bothered, because that particular genre is not what we would consider ‘our thing’. That doesn’t mean we don’t respect it or the work they put into it, but when we’re sitting on the train dicking around with our iPod or wanting something to shout along to in the car we doubt it’d be our first port of call.

IF ONLY the other side were as diplomatic about pop. In this particular instalment of the Review Show, we found ourselves wanting to throw our laptops at the wall. Mr Man From Admittedly Very Good Blog said a computer may as well have coughed up ‘Wings’. Justin from The Vaccines quite liked it, but backed it up with the declaration that it, and this type of thing in general  (i.e. pop), are “low culture”. “Tat,” quipped Edith helpfully.

All that time the writers and producers spent on it, all that time and energy and passion the girls spent recording it, all that preparation and rehearsal that went into live performances and the video, all the people who put their blood, sweat and tears into formulating an effective marketing campaign, all the fans who care about them so unreservedly… all for “low culture tat”.

This is the kind of point that pop apologists will have to hammer home until the end of time. It’s like when someone says a cover version “murdered” the original (err no it didn’t, the original still exists, just listen to that). If all art is subjective (and it is), then what gives one individual or one group of individuals the right to dictate what is “cool”, what is “real music”, what is a “guilty pleasure”, what is “credible” and, in this case, what is “low culture” or “tat”?

F**k all, that’s what.

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Written by Oliver Meakings

No dull pop stars allowed.

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