Some Thoughts On Beyoncé, Music Trendsetter, And Netflix, Music Trend

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Beyoncé“Pulling a Beyoncé” has always been a fairly elastic concept. Even when the phrase came into vogue at the end of 2013, when she surprise-released her self-titled visual album and, in her own words, “changed the game with that digital drop,” people were crediting her with both the surprise album trend … More »

Songland Is The Voice For Music Nerds

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SonglandHere is the genius of Songland: It’s every music reality show you’ve ever seen, but it’s also every makeover show you’ve ever seen. Like the best minds in the songwriting industry it spotlights, the NBC series — airing Tuesdays at 10PM ET — has managed to distill lots of familiar ingredients into something fresh. There’s … More »

New Music Friday: Malou Prytz is moving her body to the left to the right to the left to the right

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The Song Of The Week is Left & Right by Malou Prytz. Malou made her first appearance on Popjustice last week in the roundup of the best songs that attempted…

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The Time Has Come To Discuss Yungblud

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YungbludThe name “youngblood” has a rich history in pop music. First there were the Youngbloods, the critically acclaimed folk-rockers best known for their 1967 hit “Get Together.” Decades later along came the YoungBloodZ, the Atlanta rap duo best known for their 2003 smash “Damn!” alongside Lil Jon. Many others emerged along the way including Sydney … More »

Backstreet’s Back, But It’s Not Alright

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Backstreet BoysIn the Backstreet Boys’ video for 1998 mega-hit “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” the group’s tour bus breaks down outside what turns out to be a haunted house. Reluctantly, they decide to stay the night, after which “Thriller”-style horror hijinks ensue. The boys in the band appear in costume as various kinds of ghoulish creatures. If you … More »

Let’s Pause To Appreciate This Moment In Ty Dolla $ign History

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Ty Dolla $ignTy Dolla $ign gets around. The R&B lothario releases quite a bit of his own music — 11 full-lengths and two EPs since 2011, plus a joint project with Jeremih called MihTy dropping later this month — but the collaborative section of his discography sprawls as endlessly as his native LA. At the end of … More »

Three’s a trend: remember the old days?

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Hey readers! Do you remember the olden days? The widespread production and use of bronze — amazing!  The sad disintegration of Pangaea — great times! Opposable thumbs — what a day!

Well you are not alone in recalling Simpler Times because based on this week’s new releases today’s popstars also have strong memories of days gone by, or if they don’t then they can at least use Wikipedia, and referencing the songs previous civilisations once danced to is THE BIG NEW THING.

EXHIBIT A:

Anne-Marie’s 2002 is a strangely joyless celebration of childhood, namechecking Britney’s …Baby One More Time (1998), *NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye (2000), Nelly’s Ride Wit Me (2001) and Jay-Z’s 99 Problems (2004).

In some ways it’s almost impressive that someone could write a song celebrating 2002 in which precisely none of the referenced songs actually came out in that year, and it’s even more impressive that when she thinks back to 2002 Anne-Marie has such fond memories of a Jay-Z song that wouldn’t come out for another two years.

EXHIBIT B:

Incredibly Hello, the lead track from Prettymuch’s new EP, is the second of this week’s new releases to reference the same *NSYNC song: “used to be like ‘bye bye bye’, now you’re here and I don’t mind”.

(It makes sense that Prettymuch should include an *NSYNC reference — their whole sound and style is obsessed with throwback boybands to the point of just seeming dated.)

EXHIBIT C:

The new Naughty Boy, Ray BLK and Wyclef track All Or Nothing is beautiful and amazing in a dozen different ways and of all this week’s olden days-referencing new releases it’s the only one that delivers with a sense of warmth and sophistication, and it actually seems to do this without any sense of a crowbar or wink to camera.

In fact, All Or Nothing pulls off a double-whammy: Wyclef’s “when I say ‘someone please call 911′, that’s ’cause I realised the wrong that I’ve done” line is an obvious callback to his 2000 Mary J Blige duet, but Ray BLK’s later statement that “when I said I want TLC, didn’t mean somebody that creeps” is the jewel in this particular pop crown.

What does this mean? Why has this happened? What happens next? Does this mean there will be a second Brexit referendum?

What this means, in the first two of the above instances at least, is that popstars are trying to surf a contrived Buzzfeed-style nostalgia wave, which considering the age of most Prettymuch and Anne-Marie fans is actually nostalgia for something they didn’t even experience, and which therefore means we’re into the dark and gloomy realm of Connoted Authenticity.

This has happened because pop is an intertextual wonder that consists of layer upon layer of its own history.

What happens next is that Little Mix reference Nelly & Kelly’s Dilemma.

No there will not be a second Brexit referendum. (At least not because of this. That all-important vote will actually come about when Robyn releases new music and the UK realises that freedom of movement is vital to decent promo.)

BONUS! BONUS!! BONUS!!!

Forgot about this — another track that came out this week is this absolutely stupendous remix of Tracey Thorn’s Dancefloor, which references Bowie’s Golden Years, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King’s Shame, Chic’s Good Times and Shannon’s Let The Music Play.

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So, What’s Popping On The UK Pop Charts These Days?

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“God’s Plan” rules the world. Drake’s dominant single is #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for an eighth straight week, and its ubiquity extends well beyond the United States. Although the song hasn’t caught on in Asia or Africa and is only a minor hit in Latin America, it’s the most popular track globally … More »

Saluting the artwork for PRETTYMUCH’s Healthy

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STOP EVERYTHING AND LOOK AT THIS.

It’s… Well, on a practical level it’s the artwork for the new PRETTYMUCH single, which is called Healthy. Unfortunately the song has no redeeming features whatsoever — the band’s first single Would You Mind? found the right balance between ‘throwback’ and ‘dated’, but Healthy misses the mark and ends up in 3T album track territory.

But that doesn’t matter because THE ARTWORK FOR THE SONG IS BASICALLY AND IN FACT QUITE LITERALLY A BANANA WITH THE BAND’S FACES ON IT.

This is a proper, major label boyband who seem to be actually trying to make a go of the whole pop thing. There has been no indication so far that they would do anything like this. And yet: banana.

As you can see, it’s already causing quite a stir on social media.

So many other questions!

  • Is the quality of the cutouts an attempt to visually represent the band’s retro sound by referencing the days when everyone worked in MS Paint?
  • Is the ransom note effect on the band’s name a nod to the Sex Pistols and if so why?
  • Is the banana a reference to Andy Warhol’s work with The Velvet Underground?
  • Do they know something we don’t know about bananas replacing avocados as the ‘fruit du jour’?
  • Or is their choice of fruit just an attempt to get us thinking about cocks?

Actually it can’t be about using food to conjure up cocks because if that had been the intention they would have gone for this.

Anyway it’s the best pop artwork of the year so far so well done PRETTYMUCH.

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Like The Stay Puft Man Before Him, Marshmello Just Keeps Getting Bigger

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Who knows how many centuries the fortune under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson went untapped before the Grosh brothers happened upon it. The Pennsylvanian preacher’s sons had become seasoned prospectors during the gold rush years of the mid-19th century, and that experience served them well in Nevada’s Virginia Range southeast of Reno, where in … More »