One of the nice things about a favorite pop song is that it's an unconditional truce on judgment and musical snobbery. You like the song because you just do and there need not be any further criticism.Rollins' list: "This Magic Moment" (Drifters version), "Tracks of My Tears" (Stevie Wonder/Miracles), "I Only Have Eyes for You" (circa 1934; Flamingoes 1959), "Cupid" (Sam Cooke, "One of the greatest voices ever committed to tape"), "Isn't She Lovely" (Stevie Wonder).
That said, a pop song can be evaluated by several criteria. Composition, arrangement, lyrics, melody, the singer, at least. But then, there's that indefinable thing that either escapes words or at least cannot be captured by your humble scribe here. There are songs that have the power to move you, over and over again. It is quite often difficult to pin down the exact reason, and that's what makes the pop songs you like have such an intoxicating effect.
The pop genre has some of the brightest lights in music under its umbrella. It is not a genre I spend much time in, as my taste in music has veered toward the room-clearing "You're on your own, son," variety over the last several years (see last week's column on outsider music). However, now and then, when I am in a somewhat less combative and furious state, I have time for the pop. I am not softening with age. I am calcifying.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
at 10:11 AM