Road Trips are a delicate creature, especially with friends you have never road tripped with before. There’s so many questions to consider
a) are people talkers? are they sleepers?
b) is there a small bladder person? are we stopping often or going for broke?
c) who rides shotgun? what are their duties?
d) are there any personal topics that are off guard in conversation?
Of all the questions to ask, the most important one is obviously
e) who is in charge of music?
Most of the time when I’m on a road trip, it’s usually in my former roommates car in which the music selection was up to me. However, on this trip, I was on a trip with three other friends and this question was unclear. It didn’t matter, as we all forgot to bring an aux cable to plug our respective musical devices into. We were at the mercy of the radio.
As a non driver and infrequent car passenger, this technology has long been lost on me, thrown to the wayside with other seemingly obsolete technologies (VCRs, Gameboys, Discmans). Without an auxiliary cable for our ipods, it became our only source of music for the five hour journey.
Let me tell you something you may already know: the radio sucks.
However, as we have learned in previous adventures, every bad opportunity is an opportunity to write and that opportunity rose like Bruce Wayne as we approached Kingston. We luckily landed on FLY FM 98.3 and the E-Talk Top 20 Countdown.
I naturally decide to write down my thoughts as each song came on, and here it is.
20. Some Pink Song
Looking this up now, this song is apparently called Blow Me (One Last Kiss). At the time of listening, I thought it just sounded like Katy Perry’s Fireworks, only with Pink. For my books, Pink has been one of the most consistently mediocre pop stars of our era. She has always hovered in the second tier of stars – at first she was behind the likes of Christina Aguilera and Britney, now she’s behind the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna. I think her insistence on trying to pretend like she has personal issues/demons is what holds her back. Look at the lyrics of this song “Just when it can’t get worse, I’ve had a shit day / Have you had a shit day? / we’ve had a shit day” who do you think this targets? High school losers who’ve had shit days. The popular kids in high school don’t have shit days, and certainly wouldn’t identify with these lyrics and that is who all the losers in high school aspire to, so they’ll always be slightly embarrassed about listening to this track/Pink even if they really like her. That’s probably why she’s never broken through the ceiling.
19. Some band – Mariana’s Trench
I’m not even going bother looking up this song or band, I think they are Canadian and they sound emo. The music is deceptive, as it sounds like Katy Perry’s Fireworks with a male voice. I think every electro-pop tune with an anthemic chorus sounds like Katy Perry’s Fireworks though. What’s the deal with musical artist turning geographic locations into their band names? Flo Rida, Mariana’s Trench.. I can’t name anymore actually, but it’s dumb.
18. Rihanna – Where Have You Been?
I wrote “Sounds like Rihanna with a less skillful producer than Calvin Harris” However, I looked this up and Calvin Harris co-produced this track, so not his best work. I’ll actually put all the blame on Dr. Luke. Take a look at his discography and you will understand why. I don’t think anyone has benefited from good producers more then Rihanna in the past ten years, but to her credit she picks the right tracks to sing. However, seeing as how she only seems to spend time instagramming herself in a bikini these days, I’m sure the people at whatever record label she is on have already created a machine to replicate her voice and produce new albums.
Flashback! K’Naan – Waving Flags
This track is the perfect example of why it would suck to have your song tied to some large event. Now everyone thinks about the Olympics/World Cup (forgot what it was) anytime this song is played. That might be okay you think, but you know what this makes this song sound? Dated. Not good for longevity, great songs are timeless however, this song is associated with 2010. Not timeless. I actually don’t like this track anyway, as it’s one of those rare songs that sound good in the first minute and then gets exponentially more annoying with each passing minute until you are ready to impale yourself with a flag by the time the last saccharine chorus ends.
17. Alanis Morrisette – Guardian
I didn’t even know she was making music, but this song sounds a bit like Hands Clean. It’s still kind of catchy but let’s face it, she’ll never recapture You Oughta Know. Don’t feel sorry for her though, that album sold 33 million copies. To put it into perspective, Katy Perry’s album sold 7 million.
16. Some Hip Hop Track
At the time I wrote “Sounds like crappy Roll Deep. I’m guessing it’s Pit Bull since I associate him with mediocre club level hip hop tracks”. I was correct.
15. inoffensive pop song with a catchy chorus
I’m guessing Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez. Never did found out because Tanya Kim and Ben Mulroney’s heads were both stuck up some celeb’s ass and they forgot to say what song this was. Apparently this was Karmin.
14. Another inoffensive Euro flavor pop track
This seems like a trend, pop songs with euro flavored beats. The singer’s voice seems to be drowned out by the beat for a majority of the songs. Apparently this was Hedley.
13. Heartbreak Coverup – Jesse LaBelle
When the announcer first said, I thought it was a Heartbreak cover song by Jesse and Belle. Not sure what to think about this track, but I can’t get over the lazy drum machine in the background. I think this is for teenagers to listen in their bedrooms for some reason . the use of the word “alcohol” makes the song seem more deep then it is.
12. Kelly Clarkson
Still trying to top her hit single from eons ago. Not gonna happen. I will say she is the master of self affirming pop hits, no one gets more mileage out of the whole “this is me, I am flawed, accept me for who I am, rawr” pop tracks then Kelly Clarkson does.
At about that time, we lost reception. So, that’s it.
Overall, as one would expect, the songs fell into three categories
a) club tracks that are primed for dance floor/remixes
b) sappy songs for teens to emote to
c) songs for unpopular kids to feel good about themselves
so basically, same as it always was.