Friday, January 25, 2013

Five Spoken Interludes in Pop That Are Better Than Taylor Swift's

I gave my begrudging (and qualified) approval to Taylor Swift's 2012 hit single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" on this blog when it was released last summer. I had decided the end result was effective enough to ultimately outweigh my critical objections, which I kept to myself at the time. I figured someone out there in the wide world of music journalism would surely address them at some point anyway, right? Not so much. I don't want to hail on the Taylor parade just for the fun of it, but the Swift-worship is really beginning to get out of control and someone needs to provide a little sanity and perspective. The way some folks are carrying on you'd think Taylor Swift was the first person who ever made a witty pop song about a breakup with Max Martin.

"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is simply a musical Frankenstein's monster built from pieces of other successful singles from the producers' catalogue: echoes of the acoustic bits on Katy Perry's One of the Boys here, big Kelly Clarkson chorus there, some Ke$ha-inspired attitude, and, for the pièce de résistance, the staged "un-staged" spoken interlude of Pink's "Raise Your Glass." Voila! Instant hit. It's not hard to get the same result when you use the same building material, even if you take one piece from the purple tower, one from the green, one from the blue, and so forth. You can always repaint it Red.
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