Belfast Telegraph

Very sexy ... but the music would drive you Gaga

By Gail Walker

True, he sounds like a man with a show to promote but ‘legendary' producer Mike Stock, of Stock Aitken Waterman fame — the trio that brought us iconic 80s singers like Kylie, Jason and Rick — has a point about today's pop music being little more than ‘soft porn'.

Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Britney: it's hard to imagine them with their clothes on, isn't it?

But while we’ve every right to be worried about the effect on ‘the kids' and the ‘sexualising of society' blah blah blah, an equally pressing concern is, to quote the old standard, is that all there is?

A boring, inelegant, relentlessly grinding (in all senses of the word) 24/7 lapdance where the only points of interest are trivial details. Is the next popstrel topless? Or bottomless? Cavorting with men? Or women? Covered in baby oil? In a bikini? Basque? Let's put her in a cage ... Is that all there is? The odd re-arranging of the imaginative furniture of a Loaded or Nuts reader?

Music — which, let’s remind ourselves, used to be a profound emotional experience — is rapidly being reduced to audio wallpaper for the latest candidate for stardom to shake her sculpted booty to.

In the old days (God be with 'em) whatever your pop poison — pop, heavy metal, punk, soul, electro — the listener (yes, you) brought your imagination to table. Bowie and Lady Gaga both dress up and play with alter egos but only one has vaguely interesting stories to tell.

Whether it was some (often misheard) ‘profound' lyric or just the idea that only you really understood the importance of some group, you were, at some level, involved. Now all the hard work is done for you. It’s all laid out for your consumption.

Just such a pity that it turns out to be the predictable daydreams of a seedy dirty old man.

And, really, is that all there is?

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