Friday, August 25, 2006

London Bridge is falling down

Fellow blogging friend Jeff posted a live performance of Fergie's "London Bridge" and wonders about the song's appeal. He asked: "How does anyone manage listening to the radio anymore?" My question is: how can anyone listen to this song, period? I can understand if this song was played in a dance club or a strip club, but what about on regular radio or MTV?

I've attempted to watch this video a few times, but it's difficult to watch it the whole way through. These are loud, moronic beats under a bland, monotone melody and ultra-skanky lyrics. The song's main hook sticks with you, but not in a pleasant way. How can you convince me this is a good song? Who is actually listening to this and liking this? Am I missing something in what I perceive as being Blender-like content set to a beat?

I have no problem with female singers being sexy, but I'm turned off when they act ultra-skanky. There's something very un-sexy about a sleazy tease and well, I'm not buying it. With Fergie, I pass this off as her playing another role in a long line of roles. As Stacy Ferguson, she appeared as a baseball player in a motivational/inspirational piece hosted by Mr. T, one of the many members of the house band on Kids Incorporated and a member of the all-female trio, Wild Orchid.

I think about what a 15-year-old might find appealing about "London Bridge." Then I start thinking about the people that were 27 when Toni Basil's "Mickey" came out as a single. I would not be surprised if they wondered what the hell this was. Cheerleader-like shouts under a stomping rhythm mixed with a descending keyboard line -- is this real music? Well, it was a big, popular hit and you still hear it on nostalgia channels. I don't mind the song, but it's not one of my favorites of the '80s.

So I think about the ones that find "London Bridge" appealing now -- will these people speak highly of it when they're older? I don't know, but a part of me thinks this is just flimsy music pure and simple. This isn't meant to make you think about a lot and well, despite shifts in how the mainstream gets their music, this will always be a mass appeal kind of thing. Now I feel really thankful for personal CD players, car CD players and iPods . . .


captain groovy said...

i used to figure if everybody liked something it must suck.I guess i had an eletist arrogant know it all condescending attitude about other peoples taste & judgement.On the other hand i was usually right.

jefito said...

Just so I'm clear, I don't have any problem with women being sexy in music either. Matter of fact, one of the things that got me to finally cave in and listen to "London Bridge" was that I kept reading that the lyrics were about oral sex, and I figured, hey, any song about blowjobs can't be that bad.

But I was wrong. It isn't sexy. It's just crass and pushy, like a 48-year-old hooker. And musically, the song is so clearly trying to evoke "Hollaback Girl" that it's sort of enraging.

I just don't understand what would prompt someone to buy this song. Or want to hear it again.

Anonymous said...

Ok. 1st of all. Fergie has not even said WHAT the song is about. I love it. cool beat and all.
Just now, about 5 minutes ago, I heard that "Fergie won't say what she's singing about in this song." So you cant go off and assume its about skanks and crap.