Tag Archives: pop

Reasons To Be Cheerful #60: Pop Reunions

29 Nov

kezza main

Walking through the tube station the other night I was baffled to find myself face to face with Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham. Also known as… BZ20. I know I know that you’re wondering who on earth is Mikey Graham and where oh where is Stephen Gateley? (in heaven). But that’s not the point. The point is that musical reunions are happening left, right and centre and it’s about time that this blog had its say on the matter.

Mikey's the one next to Ro

Mikey’s the one next to Ro

1. The Deluded Ones

Everyone agrees that the return of Take That was a GOOD THING. They are a manband now, Gary is quite fit et cetera, but what of their influence? Is that a good thing? Personally, I feel that Gary has a lot to answer for, and four of those things are the erstwhile members of Blue. Touted as the big dogs of ‘The Big Reunion’ (see below) – it was pretty clear from the off that Blue’s reunion was an inevitable eventuality that was cared about by hardly anyone. Without forgetting that they’d already returned in a blaze of failure, during 2011’s Eurovision Song Contest (11th place), Blue’s ‘big’ return to the pop game happened earlier this year. They joined ITV’s the Big Reunion fashionably late, claiming they were too successful to perform at more than four dates and can currently be found supporting Wet Wet Wet. One love.

Yup. Still got it..

Yup. Still got it..

2. The Desperate Ones

This is basically the entire cast of The Big Reunion: a show that gave desperado ex-popstars the chance of a comeback. The alumni? Honeyz, B*witched, 911, 5ive, Atomic Kitten and Liberty X. We also need to include Steps, who – though not on the Big Reunion – were reunited by the weight problems of ballooned member, Claire, who got a bit of airtime thanks to a redondy BBC3 programme about losing weight. Between them, this group of groups notched up a grand total of ten number ones. Lezzbehonest, they’ve hardly been missed on the pop scene. But, as luck would have it, an illustrious combination of bankruptcy, desperate attention-seeking and a continued attempt by ITV to appeal to the lowest common denominator, brought these former stars back onto our screens and into our hearts. Get your tickets here.

At last the gaping void left by 911 is filled

911 – misleading as they only had 1 number one

3. The Embarassing Ones

This is a tough one, as every band on here has their fair share of mishaps and general existence to be embarassed about, but I think that the ones who should be really really embarassed are the ones who trod on actual reputations. When the Spice Girls announced their return, there was genuine excitement. Talent or no, this group was big, they were girl power and their like hasn’t been seen since (Girls Aloud might have better songs, but they’ve got no teeth). But to reunite and then cut their tour short due to ‘family and personal commitments’ – also known as not selling many tickets – was straight up embarrassment. Much like Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Arrested Development, they should not have come back.

Guess which one's a teensy bit embarassed to be there

Guess which one’s a teensy bit embarassed to be there

4. The Innovative Ones

I’ve already said that Take That gets the prize for best pop comeback, but I’m not about to call them innovative. They just learnt how to do designer stubble and happened to have a decent songwriter in their employ. It’s not exciting. What is more exciting is the fusion of Busted and McFly, or McBusted as they are now known. You’ve got to give them props for originality and you can certainly see the thought process behind this: 20% popularity + 60% popularity = 80% POPULARITY = HITS. YAY! Only time will tell if McBusted has what it takes to compete in a field dominated by dodgy quiffs and Harry Styles. Here’s hoping for a Robbie style Charlie comeback.

Where for art thou Charlie?

Where for art thou Charlie?

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Quotes like this from ex-Busted, Charlie Simpson: “Lots of people say to me, I completely hate Busted. I understand why”. Not cool Charlie. Not gracious, at all..)

You're too fat for Busted now ANYWAY Charlie!

You’re too fat for Busted now ANYWAY Charlie!

 

 

 

Reasons To Be Cheerful #32: Music Videos

22 May

When I was a teenager, everyday after school I got home and turned on MTV Base to watch the R&B videos of the day. There was lots of Tweet singing about ‘loving herself’ and Nelly getting hot in hurrr. But I guess music’s just not what it used to be. These days I indulge in a music video only occasionally, but when I do, I go to town. I’m talking entire hungover days (that’s approx 4pm-10pm). Here are some reasons to be cheerful about them:

1. The Fitties

Music vids are undoubtedly full of fitties. Whole armies of them in fact. Men, women, singers, dancers, frame-fillers – they’re all horrendously good-looking. Some are even naked. But weirdly enough, it’s nearly always the women that are naked. This is nothing new, it’s practically a standard – not even practically, just is. Just look at Pharrell’s latest video (and oldest actually). It would be weird for women to be wearing clothes in these. Or another favourite of mine, Pitbull.  There’s nothing quite like seeing a man that looks like your pervy uncle being pawed by topless women. What glass ceiling?

No, let ME have him!

No, let ME have him!

**This is the tame version! It’s all Youtube would allow. For full effect just visualise the girls without tops.

2. The Variation

Now and then an original music video comes along; normally by someone like MIA or artists you’ve never even heard of like Bingo Players (see below). But most of the time diversity is just not a watchword for popstars. Nicki Minaj? She’s in a wig and not much else. Taylor Swift? Boring narrative about whichever famous male she’s just dumped so she can write a song about him. Guetta? He’s at a beach/some kind of Ibiza party DJing, obvs. Any male hiphop artist? Why, he’s somewhere surrounded by boobs and cars. But we’ve already covered that.

 

3. Celeb Appearances

These days you’re noone unless Pharrell Williams is in your video. Or maybe Kanye West, who also likes to do a little cameo. I like these celeb cameos because you get to see who’s mates with who in celebsville. It can be quite depressing though. Everyone and his mum’s boyfriend turn up in Chris Brown’s videos. Cheers for the solidarity.

Spot  Pharrell, Diddy, Bow Wow, T-Pain, Nelly and Timbaland.

4. Air Brushing

Airbrushing is everywhere these days. Forget the celebdom, just scrawl to your more annoying Facebook friends – you know the ones with all the selfies – and tell me honestly that there’s not been some rudimentary Photoshopping. Never-the-less, for me noone does airbrushing quite like the music video. And after all, who needs ‘features’ anyway?

It's Britney bitch

It’s Britney bitch

Breathe? Through plastic (this is Blu Cantrell in case you've forgotten)

Breathe? Through a plastic face? (this is Blu Cantrell in case you’ve forgotten)

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Noone goes to the videoshop just to rent out Thriller anymore. The magic of MTV is no more).