Open Letters to Pop Stars
To: 50 Cent
Re: â€œCandy Shopâ€, Use of the Word â€œSeductiveâ€ In
To quote the inimitable Inigo Montoya: You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Because clearly, what you think â€œseductiveâ€ means is â€œadding lots of menacing echo.â€ Not exactly.
To: Gwen Stefani
Re: Solo Albums, Crimes Committed Within
You had me, Gwen. Had me with â€œTragic Kingdom.â€ Youâ€™re fantastic in concert. Youâ€™re badass. But for the love of God, Gwen, â€œRich Girlâ€? Itâ€™s a remake of a 1995 reggae song, which would be bad enough, but itâ€™s from Fiddler on the freaking ROOF, Gwen. Had every other bar of music in existence already been taken? Granted, you and Eve did okay with what you had … but why did you decide to screw up the grammar and change it from â€œif I wereâ€?
That irks, but even that I would have forgiven … until â€œWhat You Waiting For?â€ I get that youâ€™re talking to your critics and etc. But you canâ€™t be all Super Girl Power Woman for an entire decade and then drop a casual â€œyou stupid hoâ€ here and there in your songs.
Bad form, Gwen.
To: Green Day
Re: â€œAmerican Idiotâ€
Who would have guessed? That youâ€™d be popular again, but more startlingly, that Iâ€™d be in any way interested in any of your albums again, after my brief 1995 interest. Shocking. I guess you never did need to learn a fourth chord, after all.
Re: â€œNumber One Spotâ€
You sample the Austin Powers theme. You make Dora and Swiper references. And you use the line â€œmillion gazillion fafillion dollarsâ€. Either you have small children in the house, or you have some serious cajones. Either way, I like it. You make me laugh.
To: The Killers
Re: Mr. Brightside
Does Beethoven know that “Ode to Joy” forms the backbone of your song? Just curious.
To: Jesse McCartney
Re: â€œBeautiful Soulâ€
Lovely song, Jesse. For reals. Um, except for just one thing. One teeny little line. One teeny, disturbing little line.
â€œI just want you and your soulâ€ ???
Eeesh. Isnâ€™t that an awful lot to ask for in a sweet little ballady love song? A little Faustian-pact-ish, perhaps? Why canâ€™t you settle for maybe just some quality time, instead of my soul?
Creepy, dude. Creepy.
To: Will Smith
Dear Will. Letâ€™s be honest. This is nothing more or less than a Double Dutch rhyme. We both know it. Maybe less â€“ maybe more like one of those handclap games on the playground like Miss Mary Mack.
We both know you sold your soul (see Jesse McCartney, above, for more on that) to some omnipotent being a long time ago, because itâ€™s quite clear that everything you touch inexplicably turns to gold. And somehow, these mysterious powers youâ€™ve gotten have forced me to like this song. Itâ€™s not good. I know itâ€™s not good. Even radio DJs make fun of it when they play it. Clearly, not good. And yet your voodoo works yet again.
To: Simple Plan
Re: â€œWelcome to My Life,” Utter Loathing Of
This song has the rare talent of being so phenomenally hateable that I actually make a point to listen to it all the way through every time I hear it, just so I can hate it that hard for that long.
You’re wrong, boys: I do, in fact, know what it’s like, because I, too, grew up with the hard lot of being a white kid in suburbia. Woe is you.
Shut up. Actually, first go listen to Ben Folds’ “Rocking the Suburbs.” Then shut up. I’d love to hear some kind of mash-up of the two of these. Angst meets Irony.
To: Aslyn, Tegan, et al
Re: Creativity, Misplaced Uses of
If you took half the time you spent coming up with your name on coming up with a decent song to sing, you might be better off. Just a thought.
To: Avrill LaVigne
Re: â€œHe Wasnâ€™tâ€
For the love of sweet Jesus, Avrill, what is this? It sounds like a demo tape. From an â€œAmerican Idolâ€ audition castoff. Itâ€™s so incredibly bad that I have to believe that you recorded it by accident. Maybe the producer told you heâ€™d add in all kinds of noisy punky stuff that you could hide behind. Because sweetie, you are not good acoustic. Not. Good. Before we just assumed that was the case, but now we know it.
To: Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Nelly, and Alicia Keys
Re: â€œNumb/Encore,” both “Sweat” and “Suit,” and “Karma(stitious)”
I love you. And I’m not ashamed to admit it. (Despite the various pretentions displayed with fedoras, Band-Aids, early retirement and the use of “HOVA.”)
Yes, by the way, I’ve finally found something to listen to in the morning. What clued you in?