Thursday, April 28, 2005

Music in the Consumer Age

Casey Dorrell

I've yet to talk about the new Eels CD or give my thought on the Ben Folds Album, both of which came out on the 26th. I still intend to, but I'm feeling lazy so it will have to wait a bit yet.

Instead, I'll tell you about Alexz Johnson, born Alexzandra Johnson. I know what you're thinking. What the hell is with the "z"? It's completely unecessary, given the fact that "x" ends with the same sound. But then, that's fitting, because Alexz Johnson's CD is also completely unecessary.

Manufactured pop is nothing new. Its first wave hit its peak in the 1990s with the onslaught of groups like the Spice Girls, the Backstreet Boys, or N*Sync (I'm ignoring the Monkies and the like here). Then came the rise of reality television. The t.v. of "real" people gave us Pop Idol [American Idol, Canadian Idol, etc.] which makes the old manufactured pop look almost credible. We're all savvy, aware people - let's celebrate the manufacturing process! Hooraw. Bring on Clay Aiken, Rubben Studdard, and Kelly Clarkson!

How could music be any less natural? Enter Alexz Johnson to answer what should have been rhetorical. She stars on the Canadian show, "Instant Star" - a drama which follows the life of Jude Harrison (played by Alexz Johnson) after having won a "Pop Idol" type show (I think they cleverly call it pop star). And now you can get all those great "Instant Star" songs on a CD: the songs manufactured to sound like the manufactured content of a pop contest.

Lemon Juice and Honey
The First Wave of Manufactured Pop - Lemon Juice and Honey c.17th Century

Maybe I'm not giving Alexz enough credit. After all, she's been singing since she was two - this could just be a good jumping off point for her music career. Let's see . . . there's a Ramones track on the CD. She must have some pretty cool influences then, it's not like it could be a contrived attempt at credibility . . . right? Well, let's take a look at her influences. Her favourite Singers include Britney Spears and Mariah Carey ( I mean Mimi, sorry). Favourite group? Hanson. Hmm, but her influence is listed as Celine Dion. At least Dion writes her own songs.. I think. I mean, it's not like she co-wrote a song with Airline execs. (oh, my bad).

Now where's my Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack?

Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK (Even Punk Gets Manufactured)

Related Posts:
And You Thought Hand Solo Was a Swindler
I Never Watch American Idol. I Promise.
Backstreet's Back!
WGAR - War by Generalissimo, Antimusic Revolution!

Comments on "Music in the Consumer Age"


Blogger Geoff Trainor said ... (29/4/05 3:43 am) : 

That is tastiest looking manufactured pop since I first saw Britney Spears


Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (29/4/05 5:14 am) : 

Wonder if it's better with age? The former, I mean. The latter, not so much.


Blogger tweedledeetweedledum said ... (2/10/05 4:08 am) : 

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Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6/1/07 11:29 pm) : 

Um Im not sure exactly what youre talkin about here. I know this was done like forever ago..but i just got to it so Im gonna say my peace. I love alexz johnson and her music. She is an actress just trying to do her job yet she has people jumping down her throat, like you, about what kind of music she is singing. It isn't her music, first of all, so how could you call her any of the things you assume she is trying to be. The music that comes from the show "Instant Star" is anything but pop whatever. It goes with the things that happen in the characters life. It has more of a alternative rock feel to it. When Alexz was writting or helping write the lyrics for the songs, I feel like, it was much better and had a more natural feel. Instant Star is just a show and i think you read way too much into this whole thing. Wait til Alexz's cd comes out. Im sure, and I do mean SURE, she'll blow you away. Because she has an amazing voice and writes pretty dam good lyrics. So, just watch out for that.


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