Lady Gaga, Pussycat Dolls and a Taxonomy of Vacuous Pop

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unless you count kings of leon

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:18 (5 years ago) Permalink

it's weird that pcd have never had a US #1 after all that though

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:19 (5 years ago) Permalink

it is actually interesting to see how the boyband concept has changed in 10 years - the types you had in '98 don't seem to exist at all now, apart from the SAME big 3 in the UK, 2 of which were always aimed more at older market anyway.

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

What goes around comes around.

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

Sorry dom, that was a weird mix-up.

Tim F, Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

why is there seemingly less interest in male 3s, 4s and 5s in the US market? esp. on the R&B side. ten years ago you still had Blackstreet plus Dru Hill, 112 and a few others. it seemed a reasonably constant model until recent years - what changed?

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:36 (5 years ago) Permalink

reality tv?

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

if you mean Making The Band, maybe O-Town killed it but it's weird to think that their failure on it's own would put a stop to what seems a long-running tradition in the US or all male R&B pop groups.

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:40 (5 years ago) Permalink

OF all male R&B groups, that should be

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

The male R&B group model was still quite prominent even about five or six years ago - Jagged Edge, B2K etc.

I think it's less common for female groups too, now, PCD notwithstanding. Which other new groups have crashed through?

Perhaps the myspace-isation of pop has meant listeners expect a more "personal" relationship with their pop icons, which R&B groups struggle to provide, esp. since male R&B groups never placed the same emphasis on individual personality that the female groups did. Don't know about the rest of you but I struggle to name any members of the male groups unless they went solo.

Tim F, Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:42 (5 years ago) Permalink

making the band male group day26 had a #1 album but they couldn't be more inconsequential in the grand scheme if they tried

pretty ricky had some singles a few years back but their new jack single didn't do anything this summer

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:44 (5 years ago) Permalink

the trend towards solo artists in "commercial" genres like r&b and pop is interesting - i can't really think of an adequate explanation at all. it's fairly definite, to the extent that i can't imagine that format providing a breakthrough act right now. poor danity kane :(

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:45 (5 years ago) Permalink

they tried a new black boyband here this time last year with Ghostt (X-Factor rejects) - actually really liked their debut single but it was hard to see how they could succeed (also hard to reason why not tho, given the precedents (Another Level!)

but maybe there are a few bands like them on Channel U you'd never know about unless you watched that

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:47 (5 years ago) Permalink

is the development of solo artists seen as more worthwhile from a record company perspective? the boyband/girlgroup format implies a limited shelflife, whereas investing money in a solo act like chris brown, who is effectively a one-man boy band, can potentially pay off in a longer career?

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:48 (5 years ago) Permalink

im not sure if this has any traction or not but maybe male r&b groups died here because it just became to inexpensive and not profitable enough to employ 3 or 4 guys who are singing songs written by people who have to be paid and dancing in choreography devised by someone who had to be paid etc

it seems like all success here in the US in terms of male r&b is coming from a few minds- ne-yo, the-dream, t-pain, akon even timbaland- who write songs for other people as well as themselves. i'm not sure what the business side of that is but r&b from a male perspective is so so concentrated now (even female r&b too since ne-yo, t-pain and dream all write tons of songs for women). otherwise the big stars are like, usher and justin who are holdovers from the era of earlier this decade. chris brown seems to be the only mega star i can think of who only sings songs written for him.

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:49 (5 years ago) Permalink

you can see that there are a LOT more solo women doing well now compared to 10 years ago (people used to joke about the Brit Award for Best Female because of the lack of candidates but now, irrespective of how you feel about their music, there's so much more choice).

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

Sounds about right. Used to be a boyband was launched, main dude went solo (possibly as bands were in and solo acts weren't at the time? and maybe things have changed around). Now labels don't expect bands to last long enough so they just have a conveyor belt of solo acts from the likes of X-Factor and the like?
x-post

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:50 (5 years ago) Permalink

Certainly the times suit solo voices: it would be difficult to do an autotune track with a whole group (though in theory the result could be awesome), and solo singers can more easily make space for guest rappers in their songs.

Now I can't remember if Danity Kane use autotune at all. But the fact that they come across as so robotic (which would be a plus only for some listeners) is a good demonstration of the "dangers" of group format right now.

Interestingly, PCD songs are to all intents and purposes solo tracks with back-up singers. This may not simply be because most of the Dolls can't sing; perhaps it was just felt that this structure was easier to fit to chart-ready pop songs circa 2006-2008.

Tim F, Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

the boyband/girlgroup format implies a limited shelflife, whereas investing money in a solo act like chris brown, who is effectively a one-man boy band, can potentially pay off in a longer career?

also much easier (and cheaper) to manage only 1 person rather than 4

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

not that we should give much, if any, credit to the labels imo. t-pain and ne-yo have been two of the most bankable r&b minds of the past two or three years and t-pain was signed by akon after t-pain parodied "locked up" and i'm willing to bet ne-yo got a deal out of courtesy for writing hits but the label mad minimal expectations for his solo career

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:53 (5 years ago) Permalink

because it just became to inexpensive and not profitable enough to employ 3 or 4 guys who are singing songs written by people who have to be paid and dancing in choreography devised by someone who had to be paid etc

good point when taking into account the market decline (piracy + saturation)...altho the number of guitar-based quartets seems the same if not greater

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:54 (5 years ago) Permalink

um that should say too expensive btw

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 22:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

I don't want this to get into a pop vs rock rockist bands should write their own songs "debate". But when did pop groups stop writing their own songs? Cathy Dennis writes loads of songs as does betty boo, but their chart careers didn't last long really. Are labels too scared about their investments to allow pop stars to write like say Madonna did? Gary Barlow is the last one I can think of. (Does Ronan Keating write his songs?) I can't believe there aren't some talented people out there in the pop world that could write or produce their own stuff. (if any do exist please point them out as it's not a genre I'm an expert in obviously)

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:00 (5 years ago) Permalink

I can't believe there aren't some talented people out there in the pop world that could write or produce their own stuff. (if any do exist please point them out as it's not a genre I'm an expert in obviously)

― Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:00 PM (27 seconds ago) Bookmark

i mentioned these a few posts ago, but t-pain has basically written and produced every song that he's sung for himself or been featured on in the past 3 years. ne-yo and the-dream write a ton of songs for themselves and others, and though they don't produce most of them they have each have a reliable team to do the production. akon is the same as t-pain but he doesn't work at the same clip.

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah i think the trend is actually towards pop stars writing more of their own material! and to let a lot of the songwriters out from behind the curtain as viable pop stars in their own right, like ne-yo.

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:05 (5 years ago) Permalink

Any British equivalents?

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:05 (5 years ago) Permalink

basshunter

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

Sugababes write many of their own iirc. All Saints did too.

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

All Saints is going back a bit!

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:09 (5 years ago) Permalink

from a rock perspective, there are no boyish guitar bands that are successful anymore on a massive scale like blink-182 was. panic at the disco fell the fuck off and fall out boy are in the process of doing the same on a huger stage, so right now majors have nickelback and american idol rockers or one offs like hinder and finger eleven. i'd say, contrary to what herman has proposed, pop/r&b are far far outpacing popular rock in terms of "writing their own hits"

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:09 (5 years ago) Permalink

only 2 years! xp

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:10 (5 years ago) Permalink

there aren't that many british commercial pop acts left any more. girls aloud don't write their material, generally, but they're a holdover from a different time. the saturdays are the only other act in this vein having any sort of success, i have no idea whether they write their songs but given how pointless they are it prob doesn't matter.

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:10 (5 years ago) Permalink

jonas brothers, jordan

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:10 (5 years ago) Permalink

i wonder how the game will change as and when all these insanely popular disney stars grow up and forge their own artistic paths outside the disney umbrella

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:11 (5 years ago) Permalink

oh true i forgot about them

but that's still not the same as a perspective a rockist would take cuz jonas bros and the disney-arm are like a parallel universe version of the music business. traditional majors are still flailing

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:11 (5 years ago) Permalink

Are many of the fall out boy type bands having hits written for them? I know that Bon Jovi (in the mid 80s when they got mega) used to have Desmond Child write songs for them until Jon Bon Jovi wrote a no1 single for them and took over. (i wouldn't be surprised if they get someone in to write for their hits now though) Kiss had others write for them too, didn't they?

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:14 (5 years ago) Permalink

i think when it comes to the success of pop we're really going to start seeing two distinct strains:

-megastars who are promoted traditionally, like britney who had no promo budget because she was always in the tabloids, or chris brown scoring a huge hit out of a commercial jingle. i guess rihanna is the outlier here, but usher and pcd were both promoted really traditionally here and didn't live up to sales expectations. i'm not sure how many huge vacouous pop stars are going to appear in the ways we are used to.

-more artists in the t-pain/akon/ne-yo/dream writer/singer etc. mode, though even this may be dying out as neither t-pain or akon are really taking over this year and someone like sean garret flopped earlier last year

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

or i guess we have seen these strains i suspect that they will continue

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

megastars who are promoed untraditionally, jeez

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:16 (5 years ago) Permalink

Jim Steinman is probably looking for a younger band to take on the Bat Out Of Hell franchise haha

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:16 (5 years ago) Permalink

jazmine sullivan wrote her own huge r&b hit this year, whereas ciara, keri hilson and cassie have all had huge megawriters behind their singles which have all been relative flops

dunno if this means anything though

xp to myself

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:17 (5 years ago) Permalink

hang on keri hilson had a megawriter behind her single? b-b-but she IS a megawriter! she's part of the clutch, the only reason she has a career is because she's doing a ne-yo-style move out from behind the curtain. wtf is the point if you're just going to hire someone else?

lex pretend, Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:20 (5 years ago) Permalink

maybe she's trying to groom a new her

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:21 (5 years ago) Permalink

wtf yeah i totally blanked about hilson breaking in as a writer

she didn't write energy though

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

but she did hire the producers of "no air"

i think energy is great though so :/

jordan s (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 23 October 2008 23:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

kind of back to the original topic of the thread...listening to a few of the scherzinger's finest moments over the years, i'm struck by how incredibly versatile she is, and this is because she commits so fully herself to whatever style she's working in at whatever moment. she's so subservient to aesthetic - particularly formalist within an ultra-formalist genre - everything's in the correct place and done in the correct way. 'i hate this part' is their epic groove/ballad, so we got those opulent extended syllables and flowing half-rhymes culminating in heartbroken semi-whispers. 'bottle pop' is their blackout-style banger so all vocal pyrotechnics are abandoned in favour of robotic intonation. 'stickwitu' is all tender candyfloss, the breathlessness of 'whatever you like' makes it overwhelmingly visceral, &c &c.

lex pretend, Friday, 24 October 2008 09:34 (5 years ago) Permalink

'whatever you like' is such a great lost banger, the video was amazing too and t.i.'s verse is so raw and sexy. "somethin' 'bout that cock, you think you got me wanna see what's goin' on"

lex pretend, Friday, 24 October 2008 09:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

T.I. said that?!

Annoying Display Name (blueski), Friday, 24 October 2008 11:09 (5 years ago) Permalink

Always the romantic.

Eric in the East Neuk of Anglia (Marcello Carlin), Friday, 24 October 2008 11:13 (5 years ago) Permalink

I would imagine breaking a manufactured pop band in this day and age is a very expensive and highly risky activity unless you have a ready-made marketing tool like a popular TV show there in advance. In today's market, its not really surprising that British record companies don't really bother.

Matt DC, Friday, 24 October 2008 11:33 (5 years ago) Permalink

i love those articles

References to mind control, to secret societies, to Baphomet and to Metropolis are too widespread to be coincidences or results of artistic expression. There is an obvious media campaign pushing these elements into pop culture. What should we do about it? MTV says: Just dance.

johnny crunch, Saturday, 31 October 2009 18:42 (4 years ago) Permalink

was it someone here who showed me this comparison between roisin and gaga? http://idolator.com/5263432/roisin-murphy-knows-that-lady-gagas-imitation-is-in-fact-flattery kinda funny

oops i accidentally made it personal (surm), Saturday, 31 October 2009 18:43 (4 years ago) Permalink

The truth is somehow both weirder and more mind-boggling mundane than I ever thought.

I'm gonna bump this thread and leave it for my SisX0r to read and be amused be.

The Paisley (shop) Window Pane (Masonic Boom), Sunday, 1 November 2009 12:48 (4 years ago) Permalink

Yesterday the news went around that Irish dance innovator Roisin Murphy had called out the steamroller that is Lady GaGa for ripping off her style

lol

umadeus grozart (Curt1s Stephens), Sunday, 1 November 2009 13:03 (4 years ago) Permalink

I didn't know Roisin was into Riverdance.

Tim F, Sunday, 1 November 2009 13:25 (4 years ago) Permalink

you know if lady gaga hadn't become really famous straight off, then most of her songs and stuff would be lyrically really mad

plaxico (I know, right?), Wednesday, 11 November 2009 15:56 (4 years ago) Permalink

lookin kinda annie lennox to me here

mdskltr (blueski), Wednesday, 11 November 2009 17:16 (4 years ago) Permalink

plaxico (I know, right?), Sunday, 22 November 2009 23:49 (4 years ago) Permalink

awesome

oops i accidentally made it personal (surm), Sunday, 22 November 2009 23:57 (4 years ago) Permalink

yeah i have to say that now i'm over her going on abt being a pop-construct r whatever, I'm totally in love with her a little, just watching her do live performances on youtube and she really is one of those next level popstars, nothing amateurish but pure charisma and great vocals always. She is a fucking awesome piano player too.

plaxico (I know, right?), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

still hate the fame but she has a great album in her at least

plaxico (I know, right?), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:01 (4 years ago) Permalink

Way way cuter with that hair.

& other try hard shitfests (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

my sister claims that clip is "pre nosejob"

plaxico (I know, right?), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:04 (4 years ago) Permalink

don't know if she still has it now, but she had quite a schnoz on her when she was first blowing up

lyrically launched salvo on a plethora of esteemed artist (The Reverend), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:08 (4 years ago) Permalink

i think she's kept it.

i would prolly like to hang out with your sister xp

yeah she's just talented and cool

kinda wish she'd go more jazzy on some songs these days, instead of all electro all the time

oops i accidentally made it personal (surm), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:10 (4 years ago) Permalink

the impression these clips give me is that she's giving over to all the wrong impulses, she's totally over the top on all her conceptual bs while i wish she would be a bit more self indulgent with the crazy piano playing and actually awesome pipes. Really i just get the impression that she's sacrificing making the awesome music she wants to make at least a little bit in favour of maintaining some trashpop aesthetic that works with the r'n'ziggy thing she's tryna pull.

plaxico (I know, right?), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:15 (4 years ago) Permalink

haha ramzi i think u would, she's a pretty scary girl, says them how she sees them

plaxico (I know, right?), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:16 (4 years ago) Permalink

i think she just kinda likes it. and the fact that it still sounds interesting given all the crap she puts on top of it says at least something. you're right tho, her pipes need a little more room in her mixes. good voice.

oops i accidentally made it personal (surm), Monday, 23 November 2009 00:17 (4 years ago) Permalink


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