Breakups & Makeups: Pop Music

Someone mentions you, and I roll my eyes. And why shouldn’t I? You’re 1,000 leagues below my taste level. The mere fact that you’re appealing to almost everyone automatically makes you revolting to me. You and your despicably upbeat tempo and your infectiously catchy chorus. Pop music, you’re just a disease.

You really expect me to just fawn over you like all the other girls and hum along to you on the bus ride home? You’re gonna have to try harder than that, Buster. Sure, I might bob my head and dance a little when my friends refuse to change the station in the car, but that’s besides the point. To catch my eye, it takes originality, it takes innovation, it takes soul. And you? You’re shallow. All you do is pander to the vague hopes and fears of our collective consciousness. That’s not art, that’s a marketing scheme. You might have those sheep wrapped around your treble clef, but I’m not buying it.

Sylvan Esso. That’s a band that can get away with being catchy and avoid selling out. They hit the nail on the head with their track “Coffee” that had a hell of a beat, nifty sounds, and creative lyrics. I think Frank Ocean is great too, and so does just about everyone else. But that’s not “pop.” Just because those musicians are more accessible than say Nobukazu Takemura or Suzanne Kraft, it doesn’t mean I like pop, ok? I would never…

Well, full disclosure, I was a pretty big fan of Justin Bieber in middle school and… God this is embarrassing, I did cry when I heard ‘Same Love” for the first time. That was purely situational though! It was only because I was questioning my own sexuality and I could kinda relate… And so what, maybe I did hear “Beautiful Soul” by Jesse McCartney the other day and, I guess you could say, I just about lost my mind. I’m sorry but, I LOVE that song. It takes me right back to being six years old, my powder blue cd player laden in Lisa Frank stickers teetering on the edge of my bed, and singing into my hairbrush. But that was like thirteen years ago! It’s technically vintage now. Right? Fast forward to 2017, and now my little sister loves Shawn Mendes the same way I loved Jesse and honestly, I can’t blame her. Shawn’s kind of a cutie in like a lax-boi kind of way and “Stitches” wasn’t THAT bad.

You’re just– I don’t know anymore. I’ve spent these past four years trying to cultivate this pristine identity of musical superiority and “indie-girl”ness, refusing to even acknowledge any kind of feelings I had for you. I guess all that time I spent fixating on what I didn’t like, I was just suppressing how I really felt. In all honesty, everything about you that should make my skin crawl, just makes me wanna get up and dance. I wouldn’t be able to do chores or wake up in the morning if it weren’t for you, and I’m so ashamed for how blindly I tried to bring you down. Pop music, I can’t hide it anymore. I really like you. Like, like-like you.

But don’t get me started on Country…


Words and pictures by Kaya Noteboom