“1993” by Lips | It’s a stretch to call this one of Shalla’s teenage favorites. When we looked this song up, she pretty much cringed. She thought she heard a remix, but no, this is one of those Eurodance songs that sound really dinky, yet take a life of its own for some reason – and then disappear without a trace. I don’t know who Lips are. A perfunctory (sleepy) search turns up nothing. And I don’t even have memories of this song, so I have little to no idea where to start. So this is… well… it is a song named after Shalla’s birth year. Maybe that’s it? I can’t shake off the image of her cringing, though. [NB]
“Stickwitu” by the Pussycat Dolls | I know I talked about the worst of American pop yesterday, but while this song has the same parameters, it might as well be an exception. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this was around when I still listened to local pop radio. Maybe it’s because it’s not overbearing. (Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together”, however – that was on the sidebar. That was overbearing. Or overexposed.) I never even had a crush on Nicole Scherzinger. Had no reason to follow the girls. So, I guess, I can say it’s all on a case-by-case basis. I mean, I liked “Buttons” and I liked “Don’t Cha”. Or maybe it’s the rose-tinted glasses. I don’t know. I’m sorry. I can’t quite think straight as I write this.
“I Belong To Me” by Jessica Simpson | Now, a reminder of the things I don’t like about American pop. It can be this saccharine. It can be too much. But who am I to shit on a song that’s supposedly a response to Jessica Simpson’s divorce to Nick Lachey? Okay. Now, to be a nice boyfriend. I get why Shalla likes this: it’s that rumbly bass line thing we discussed yesterday. It’s forceful so as to deliver the admittedly simple message with more punch than expected. And yet I can’t help but think of those songs that pop idols have once in a while where they go emotional and slow to convey depth and it feels weird. Okay. Okay. Okaaaay. I ought to be a better boyfriend. [NB]
“1901” by Phoenix | Yes, I’m writing about Phoenix, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering I’ve written about them many times before. Yes, this is the aberration on the theme, a bit, but yes, this song was released when Shalla was just 16, which both slots into “favorite songs when I was a teenager” and “I am very old indeed”. (This makes the list also before Shalla’s always liked songs with… rumbly? Are those bass lines rumbly? We always had difficulty pinning that right word down.) At least we have a reminder that, while this song was ubiquitous, it wasn’t ubiquitous enough to be terribly tired now. It still sounds proper today, even if now I imagine a car commercial. This also reminds me that my first favorite Phoenix song, “Long Distance Call”, was released in 2006, when I was just getting deep into college, and when she was just 13. I really feel old now. [NB]
“Trainwreck” by Demi Lovato | Welcome again to Swap Week, where one takes on a week’s worth of songs from another, for when things get incredibly busy, which is the case this week. This year, I take on Shalla’s picks again, which really shouldn’t be the case because we did the exact same thing last year. But now she’s taking a breather from K-pop (and leaving me behind), so she’s returning to the Western pop of her teenage years for this one. We begin with a Demi Lovato song that I did not expect to be… jazzy, for lack of a better term. Well, it is rockier than what you’d expect from a Disney pop star – then again, she did have strong pop-rock roots, but then again, this was when I started eschewing pop for more obscure things, so in the weird scheme of things, this was a pleasant surprise. Or maybe I’m saying this because she’s sitting right beside me, singing the song over and over. [NB]