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Author Topic: Good Pop, Bad Pop  (Read 8996 times)

blindsuperhero

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« on: 28 Feb 2005, 06:09 »

Okay, so I just picked up the new My Awesome Compilation/Fall Out Boy split single (yellow vinyl, only 400 made!). Now, it is clear that both these bands play what I would call pop music, but, I listen to the MAC song (As Always) and I think it's pretty nice to listen to; I listen to the Fall Out Boy song (Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy?) and it makes me feel kinda ill. So in my opinion, MAC play good pop and Fall Out Boy play bad pop, but the question is, what's the difference? Neither song does anything particularly inventive musically, but one sounds okay and the other sounds icky. Any thoughts?
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BehringerBoy

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #1 on: 28 Feb 2005, 07:16 »

if the bands are equally talented or whatever then i guess if you prefer one over the other thats just your taste?
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blindsuperhero

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #2 on: 28 Feb 2005, 08:11 »

Well, I thought with this being quite an indie-oriented board, most people would agree that most pop music is utter rubbish, however, I'm sure most people know of some pop songs that they like, and I was wondering if anyone has any idea what makes those songs stand out from the others
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rynne

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« Reply #3 on: 28 Feb 2005, 08:34 »

I don't think pop music sucks, but then again there's a lot of music that could fall under the "pop" moniker.  Anything from the Beatles to Paula Abdul could be considered pop music.

Personally, I like my pop music to be catchy, fun, filmsy on the surface, but held together by solid (if not necessarily innovative) musical skill.
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nothingwitty

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #4 on: 28 Feb 2005, 08:41 »

Good Pop - Spoon

Bad Pop - N*Sync


Spoon is catchy without being vanilla.  N*Sync is boring, expected, synthasized crap.  The thing about pop is that it's short for "popular"... and, unfortunatly, the most popular things are just sucky copies of something else that sucks.  I wouldn't call Spoon true "pop" even though it has relatively easy, catchy, upbeat tunes.  I think what you're saying is that real pop sucks, but pop imitation is good stuff.  And I would have to agree.

A good pop song puts thought into what makes a good song, a bad pop song puts thought into what pushes more units.
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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #5 on: 28 Feb 2005, 09:47 »

Quote from: nothingwitty
.

A good pop song puts thought into what makes a good song, a bad pop song puts thought into what pushes more units.


exactly precisely
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mysceneiscooler

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #6 on: 28 Feb 2005, 09:58 »

Quote from: nothingwitty
Good Pop - Spoon

Bad Pop - N*Sync


Spoon is catchy without being vanilla.  N*Sync is boring, expected, synthasized crap.  The thing about pop is that it's short for "popular"... and, unfortunatly, the most popular things are just sucky copies of something else that sucks.  I wouldn't call Spoon true "pop" even though it has relatively easy, catchy, upbeat tunes.  I think what you're saying is that real pop sucks, but pop imitation is good stuff.  And I would have to agree.

A good pop song puts thought into what makes a good song, a bad pop song puts thought into what pushes more units.


I woudn't consider Spoon pop by any means. I've never heard Spoon played on a Top 40 station and I'm thinking only 1 out of 20 people I know has even heard of Spoon, much less listened to them. I consider pop something played pretty regularly on the radio, and widely known. Pop is not a genre, to me, but a description of a music's popularity in mainstream. The Beatles were pop, but they also had some of the best music ever. Coldplay is pop because any non-music-educated 12 year old has heard them and can probably sing their songs. That doesn't mean Coldplay is crappy just because it's popular.

You are right about Nsync being crappy pop, though.

Anyway, I don't ever think music being pop should come into play as to whether or not a person likes it. Of course, in the indie/punk communities, that comes into play all the time. For some reason having a common interest with many people in the world is uncool and shallow.

Right now, punk has become extremely pop, and indie is beginning to.  I've always been hazy on the definition of indie, but let's use the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as an example, because I've noticed many "indie" kids listen to them. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O was in Teen Elle or Teen Vogue or some crap like that in a poll where the teen girls voted which musician most influenced their sense of style. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are pop. But they still have good music. And pop-obsessed teens shouldn't be able to take that away from music lovers.

I guess my point, without all the wordyness >.o, is don't be an indie snob.
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StupidityKills

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #7 on: 28 Feb 2005, 10:03 »

I've never met anyone here in the UK who knows of Fall Out Boy but I quite like them.
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emor

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #8 on: 28 Feb 2005, 10:35 »

my favorite pop

aislers set
all girl summer fun band
architecture in helsinki
beulah
elf power
dressy bessy
high water marks
of montreal

wait, like every elephant six band ever
music doesn't have to be widely listened to in order to pop, methinks
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blindsuperhero

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #9 on: 28 Feb 2005, 10:57 »

Pop is definitely a genre of music, much like indie it doesn't refer to whether it is popular or not (just as indie doesn't refer to if it's "independent" or not), pop music is music that's written to sound nice, instead of to realise some greater artistic vision. And that's why whether something is pop comes into play as to whether someone likes it. I'll almost always prefer something that has a real meaning behind it to something that is just nice to listen to, but not always.
mysceneiscooler: You say "punk has become extremely pop", what does that even mean? Do you mean there is a higher proportion of pop-punk bands to non-pop punk bands than there was? Are punk bands in general more popular? I'm using pop to refer to a style of music, not to how popular something is. And anyhow, indie snob-ness has nothing to do with anything.
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c1utch

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #10 on: 28 Feb 2005, 15:04 »

well, around here, if the 12 year old girl masses like the songs and wear the bands name all over their bodies, its bad pop.

Fall out Boy, though slightly more obscure, is becoming almost as popular as good charlotte, new found glory, all-american rejects or any other whiny pop punk bnd that seems to be defined by a pre-pubescent lead singing voice.

Now, I've not heard MAC, but Fall Out Boy didn't strike me as the worst there has ever been.  Now, I don't listen to it unless iTunes falls upon it in shuffle, but I'd imagine if they are releasing a cd (albeit a single) they can't be too much different

As to why, I find the voice of the singer is almost always what makes or breaks a song for me for some reason. Maybe it just happens to be the way FOB sings?


PS. I definately agree with pop being a genre and not a gained title by popularity.  It would seem that some bands that I've listened to are now popular, but that doesn't mean they're not still punk, but are definately not not pop-punk at all.  Though many bands used to be rock or punk and for some reason their latest cd just seems to be pop music, and that I really just don't understand
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nothingwitty

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #11 on: 28 Feb 2005, 16:06 »

well, the idea of pop, even when considered as a genre is still the idea that you are setting out to make accessible music.  And, well, the "safe" way to make accessible music is to churn out copies of whatever crap MTV is spewing out these days.  (bad pop)


Good pop, I think, is when someone makes accessible and fun music without being a mindless clone of Corporate Band X.
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mysceneiscooler

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« Reply #12 on: 28 Feb 2005, 16:24 »

Quote from: blindsuperhero
Pop is definitely a genre of music, much like indie it doesn't refer to whether it is popular or not (just as indie doesn't refer to if it's "independent" or not), pop music is music that's written to sound nice, instead of to realise some greater artistic vision. And that's why whether something is pop comes into play as to whether someone likes it. I'll almost always prefer something that has a real meaning behind it to something that is just nice to listen to, but not always.
mysceneiscooler: You say "punk has become extremely pop", what does that even mean? Do you mean there is a higher proportion of pop-punk bands to non-pop punk bands than there was? Are punk bands in general more popular? I'm using pop to refer to a style of music, not to how popular something is. And anyhow, indie snob-ness has nothing to do with anything.


First of all the, the indie snob comment was not directed towards you or anyone else. Sorry if it came off as offensive, it definetly wasn't meant to sound that way.  

I'm kind of confused as to what you would consider pop music, if you consider Fall Out Boy pop.  I've never listened to them, but from what I've been told and observed, a lot of emo kids listen to them. I'm going to assume they're emo/rock/something similar.  If pop is a genre, and I'm sure you'd consider Britney Spears pop, how can you put Britney Spears and Fall Out Boy in the same genre? They're both popular.

 I think pop music started out meaning "popular", not a certain sound..and it still means that (unlike indie, which used to describe independant but has come to be its own genre).

So how can you lump all these Top 40 bands into one genre? They're all pop, but there's a variety within pop.  I do agree that a lot of pop has less meaning behind it and more simple rhythm and clean sound. But that doesn't go for all of it..

In a way, you're right that pop is a genre because it tends to be more watered down and "easy on the ears" just because that's what the general public likes. It's just about popularity. I still think there's different genres within pop, though.  To me, Top 40 and MTV are pop.
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m4cphisto

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #13 on: 28 Feb 2005, 17:08 »

some people consider U2 pop...i like that kind of pop...if pop is just classified as popular music, then was led zeppelin a pop band...? wierd, man.
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rynne

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #14 on: 28 Feb 2005, 17:16 »

I think that Spoon should be considered pop, in the classic sense of the world.

And I don't think that pop isn't about "realis[ing] some greater artistic vision," as BSH has said.  Ronnie Spector had his vision of the Wall of Sound, and he furthered that through pop music, for example.  The Beatles certainly had an artistic vision behind their pop records.

I tend to think of the classification of "pop" as music that are structurally simple and which is typically about universally humanistic subjects: life, love, etc.  I view "pop" as more of a general overarching concept under which fall other genre distinctions: Britney Spears and the Shirelles can both be pop in the same way that McLusky and Led Zepplin can both be rock.
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blindsuperhero

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #15 on: 28 Feb 2005, 17:19 »

Quote from: blindsuperhero
pop music is music that's written to sound nice, instead of to realise some greater artistic vision.


Quote from: mysceneiscooler
I've never listened to them, but from what I've been told and observed, a lot of emo kids listen to them


Yes. A lot of emo kids also listen to Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, The Get Up Kids, Brand New, all bands that play pop music. I remember saying something a while back about how the meaning of emo has changed from post-hardcore to melodic guitar pop. But anyway, this is no time for a "what the heck is emo anyway" discussion. Pop music, as a genre, is slightly different in nature to other genres, because you can have pop-punk, pop-r'n'b, etc., but I think you'll agree if you compare pop-punk to non-pop punk, and compare pop-r'n'b to non-pop r'n'b the pop versions share similar elements, they are moving towards sounding more like each other, more generic. Yes there is variety in pop, just as there is variety in rock. But there are also similarities between various pop songs that mark them out as such.

Most stuff in the Top 40 and on MTV is pop, but because something is there doesn't make it pop. When Paranoid Android was in the Top 40, was it a pop song? I would say no. You, maybe would say yes. It all depends on your definition of pop, I suppose.
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mysceneiscooler

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #16 on: 28 Feb 2005, 17:47 »

Well spoken, old bean. Agree to disagree? :)
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blindsuperhero

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #17 on: 28 Feb 2005, 18:05 »

For sure
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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #18 on: 28 Feb 2005, 18:09 »

I think that Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and Gwen Stefani's "What You Waiting For" are amazing pop songs.

I totally went there.
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Willis

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #19 on: 28 Feb 2005, 19:52 »

I'll throw my $0.02 in the ring...
I'll agree with the fact that "pop" refers more to popular music  -- your top 40 songs, Britney/Christina/Nsync/whatever is the flavour of the day.  But there is also the idea of pop being a type of sound.  I haven't seen anyone bring up the term power-pop.  My interpretation is this includes bands that have the pop sound, but lack the...erm..sales to be full desciples of the term.  Power-pop includes bands like Big Star, Fountains of Wayne, Teenage Fanclub (my personal fave), any Scot McCaughey outing (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus Five), the Posies..etc.  Pop (no pun intended) any of these artists into your CD player and you will be pleasantly pleased.  The tunes flow and your ears will welcome the melodic textures and you'll wonder why more people don't listen.

~~Willis
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emor

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #20 on: 28 Feb 2005, 20:18 »

i guess my very personal definition of pop music is modern bands that rip off the beach boys, the kinks, or both.  if they've got kazoos or slide whistles, that means they're more than good pop, they're awesome pop.
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tender pervert

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #21 on: 28 Feb 2005, 20:22 »

Quote from: emor
my favorite pop

aislers set
all girl summer fun band
architecture in helsinki
beulah
elf power
dressy bessy
high water marks
of montreal

wait, like every elephant six band ever
music doesn't have to be widely listened to in order to pop, methinks


Agreed.   Oh and that is a lovely list of bands. :D
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Spike

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #22 on: 28 Feb 2005, 21:57 »

I haven't really put much thought into this before, but what I call pop is usually very upbeat.  Good pop is upbeat but not brainless, that or it's so insane that you know insanity was exactly what was the creator's intent.  As a general rule, I'm very tough and suspicious on anyone who uses their own name because let's face it, Britney Spears, Aguilara etc. I also hate that with tv shows but oh well.  

Off-topic:Ever post something and think that even though you tried.. you didn't contribute anything at all, but posted anyway on the off chance that you did?
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nothingwitty

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #23 on: 01 Mar 2005, 06:10 »

Quote from: Spike

Off-topic:Ever post something and think that even though you tried.. you didn't contribute anything at all, but posted anyway on the off chance that you did?


Gosh darn it Spike, you DID contribute.  We all love you here.


C'mon everyone!  Group hug for Spike!


*HUG*
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Sixleaf

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #24 on: 01 Mar 2005, 10:22 »

I think trying to define pop is like trying to define indie.  "Pop" is short for "popular" the same way that "indie" is short for "independant" but does it really mean that anymore?

There is a specific "pop" sound and something can be very popular but not considered "pop music."
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cri

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #25 on: 01 Mar 2005, 14:27 »

Hmm. Did someone mention Fall Out Boy? I've actually been a fan of theirs for over a year now, and I'm not sure why I like them so much. They're very pop-oriented, although they didn't initially start out that way. They're fun to listen to, catchy choruses and they give a damn good live show.

But they're not everyone's cup 'o tea. Which is also okay. It could be worse. They could be Blink... ew.
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blindsuperhero

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« Reply #26 on: 01 Mar 2005, 14:36 »

Funny you should say that, because Blink 182 is exactly who they reminded me of.
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cri

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« Reply #27 on: 01 Mar 2005, 14:38 »

The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that FOB's frontman actually has amazing vocals compared to Tom's shitty whining we have to endure. I don't know. Blink has songs about poop and piss jokes, and while FOB may not be profound, I do think they've got a bit more substance. I'm a bit biased for numerous reasons though. Is there anything in particular that causes you to think they're "bad pop"?

And also, I hope you're not basing this soley on their single, Grand Theft Autumn... because singles usually don't do a good job with representing any band. :)
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cubin

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« Reply #28 on: 01 Mar 2005, 14:53 »

ok, you can NOT judge Fall Out Boy by Grand Theft Autumn.  I really like them, but i dont like that song. I think its different than any other song of theirs.  

i wouldn't classify them as pop, they do have pop influences, and may be more of "pop rock", but when i think pop i think the bubble gum and boy bands type of pop, which they are not.

I cant really compare the two bands because i dont know My Awesome Compilation.
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cri

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« Reply #29 on: 01 Mar 2005, 14:58 »

I'm not up with my Awesome Compilation, either. But as far as Fall Out Boy goes- I have to give props to anyone that even KNOWS Joy Division. It's surprisingly rare these days unless their into Donnie Darko.

I don't know. You should give a few of their songs a shot. Pat has an amazing voice.
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blindsuperhero

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« Reply #30 on: 01 Mar 2005, 16:57 »

I think 95% of bands in the world know Joy Division. Probably more. Grand Theft Autumn is the only song of theirs I have to listen to (electric and acoustic versions!), but I did see them play live, and I felt pretty much the same way. I find the vocals really annoying, whiny is actually one of the ways I would describe them, amazing is not. Interesting you should metion substance, as I think that's exactly what they're lacking, but the same is true for all of what I call pop music, so that doesn't help us differentiate between good and bad. It just sounds really cheesy, whereas MAC (and, say, the Beatles) don't. I think that's what it is, but what makes something sound cheesy? I don't know.
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cri

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« Reply #31 on: 01 Mar 2005, 18:31 »

It's always a matter of opinion, and I'm not so much refferencing bands knowing Joy Division as I was speaking about people. You'd be surprised and perhaps appalled.

Although I'm a little shocked you think that constitutes whiny. I wonder what you think isn't. If anything he has a high range, but as someone who admires vocal abilities I guess I just admire his. I can't really agree with the rest of your sentiments with it being cheesy as well since I think a lot of the songs lean more towards the adjective bitter, if anything. Ah well. We'll agree to disagree, since Fall Out Boy are one of my favorite "Pop Rock" bands, and I actually loathe quite a few. I enjoy the lyrics as well but yeah... comparing any band to the Beatles is a bit unfair, as most of them will fall terribly short.

Then again, some people would argue a band like Weezer (for example) is pop, while others would disagree, and they're certainly not anyone we've mentioned earlier in the thread. Mostly you have to take it for what it is at face value. I like FOB because they're fun, and sometimes you're in the mood for a song with a good hook.

There's no real way to define good or bad pop. It all depends on your musical tastes. I can think of a lot of examples for the latter, though, and I'm sure someone on this forum would disagree. Thems the breaks.
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blindsuperhero

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #32 on: 02 Mar 2005, 01:45 »

If the songs are bitter then why do they make the music sound so trite and flimsy? That's my problem with 'emo', everyone's like "oh, but it's so meaningful", but the point of music is to express that through the actual music itself, and in the case of Fall Out Boy, the music is definitely cheesy, and not at all in the slightest bitter. Anyway, range has nothing to do with me disliking his voice; it's all about the tone. Maybe it's just because he's from Florida, but the *sound* of his voice, I find really annoying. Whiny isn't a word I tend to use in any case, and I would say most singers I don't consider whiny. Those I do might include Chris Carabba and the guy from Brand New, but name pretty much any non-emo band, and the singer probably isn't whiny.

Ah, songs with good hooks. Now, that's what makes pop music good to listen to, and why I like stuff like My Awesome Compilation. I don't think Fall Out Boy have good hooks, I hear it and I think "oh no, you didn't just do that, dis you? Yuck" and I'm sure there's a good reason why. Interestingly I played my friend the song and he said it reminded him of Busted.
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Alkatyl

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« Reply #33 on: 02 Mar 2005, 02:25 »

Aw, come on. Everyone's been talking pop and no-one's mentioned the Eels? I guess I must be in a different category then
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blindsuperhero

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« Reply #34 on: 02 Mar 2005, 06:30 »

Eels? As in "Elizabeth On The Bathroom Floor" eels? I don't think they're pop, to be honest.
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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #35 on: 02 Mar 2005, 11:56 »

Isn't good pop an oxymoron?

J/k, because otherwise someones gonna be silly...
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Empty Friend

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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #36 on: 03 Mar 2005, 00:57 »

All else aside, I don't think Jimmy Eat World is bad pop...  they know how to play their instruments in a solid fashion that is catchy without intentionally pandering to emo kids.  Are they trying to explore music in a different way? No.  Are they catchy and fun and not recycled/5 note per song garbage? Yes.

Done ranting though.  I think David Cross said "There's nothing wrong with pop music done right."
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blindsuperhero

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« Reply #37 on: 03 Mar 2005, 02:23 »

Good call. I was going to use them as an example of what I think (for the most part, anyway) is good pop. I can listen to Jimmy Eat World, without wanting to throw up.
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church

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« Reply #38 on: 03 Mar 2005, 14:22 »

emor: You brade runner. Illegal. Nexus 6. Your eyes. I designed your eyes.

That's all I can ever think when I see your avatar.
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Good Pop, Bad Pop
« Reply #39 on: 03 Mar 2005, 16:06 »

i am a fan of jamiroquai, so thats good pop
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