One of the more annoying things I’ve found with American pop is the fact that a) it generally sucks and b) when there is something good, it’s the
stolen “sampled” part of the song from another song that got absolutely no play in the US. As an example of this, I’ve just been tipped off to one of the hottest songs… from two summers ago in Spain which is by O-Zone, a relatively unknown (in the US) group from Moldova of all places. I’ve included a YouTube embed below and you can watch the proper video here as this loser didn’t allow for embeds:
The song is catchy. I dig it and despite the uber-Balkan, open-shirted, cheesy sunglasses, dancing on the wing of a plane quality to the video, it’s a good pop song, albeit similar in beat to Remind Me – Remixed. Of course, there was no way in hell this was going to be allowed to play in the US by the powers that be. First off, it was in a foreign language. Secondly, it’s by a group that will probably be a one-hit wonder, and who wants to put valuable marketing dollars in to that when you can jolt another album out of Britney Spears? So of course this results in the “borrowing” of the catchy part of the song for this craptastic venture between T.I. and Rihanna. I mean, Rihanna is at least hot and has some singing chops to her, but T.I. is a hack and the fact that this was how “dragostea tin dei” ended up getting heard by US listeners sucks since the mash up is just painful to listen to.
Europe has a great advantage in that due to how many languages there are in the sub-continent, people are used to hearing songs in different languages. In the US, if it ain’t English, it ain’t heard. But, again, I blame this mostly on corporate laziness more so than public laziness. There will always be those who won’t listen to a song because they don’t understand it, but really, how many of us have walked around with “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” stuck in our heads by Hendrix. The words aren’t so important as to trump the beat and enjoyability of the song. If it can be danced to, who gives a damn how achy and breaky one’s heart is?
My hope is such that the internet hipsters, bloggers, and general users out there will end this trend. We have after all greatly changed the manner in which music is stored and distributed. Perhaps it is possible to change the way music is marketed and allow for these one-off songs to get heard, enjoyed, and added to the collective sound that comprises a greater pop.