Saturday, November 04, 2017

Lambs Cows to the slaughter

Episode 22 of Sounding Bored sees the panel - this time consisting of host Rob and regular guests David and Amy - taking aim at a selection of sacred cows, provoking some of the best debate yet.

Most entertaining is David's demolition of The Smiths on the grounds of their "dull, bloodless" music; Morrissey's "pretentious moaning", "sub-Betjeman lyrics", misogyny and general attitude/personality; and the avarice of Morrissey and Marr. I like The Smiths, but his criticism generally struck a chord, even if Rob debunked the suggestion that they were apolitical. The game of Morrissey or Partridge? was an unexpected treat too.

Amy's pick was Britney Spears, as an artist without much in the way of talent or personality given too much credit for reviving/revolutionising US pop in the late 1990s (she was essentially merely one of the fronts for the Max Martin sound), and particularly as someone who was manipulated into using sexuality in a troubling way (the Catholic schoolgirl persona of 'Baby One More Time' has "the whiff of Operation Yewtree about it").

Rob, meanwhile, praises Radiohead before offering a few caveats: their sniffy superfans, their ineffective embrace of electronica (compared to their source material and influences), the lack of songs on recent albums, Thom Yorke's voice. His comments have some merit, but I'd argue that the likes of Kid A and Amnesiac are a triumph as a gateway into electronica for those who had hitherto loved the meat-and-potatoes (albeit finest meat-and-potatoes) indie rock of The Bends. Amy complains of the fact that they now seem to have "carte blanche" to do what they want and persist with their noodlings - I'd argue (and indeed have done in the past) that they've earned that right, but not the right for anything they do to be greeted with unanimous acclaim (King Of Limbs, I'm looking at you...).

Also discussed are Justin Timberlake's scheduled appearance at the Superbowl, the latest in the Martin Shkreli/Wu Tang Clan beef and Roy Orbison's forthcoming tour as a hologram, while the panel conclude by reviewing Beautiful Trauma, the new album from Pink - who, they suggest, has stood still while everyone else has moved on, yet is now perversely very much of the moment and reaping the rewards.

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