Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Best Pop Song with "Pop" Or "Music" In The Title

I confess to two minor problems.

First, when I started this site I sort of thought of it as a site where there would be nominations in actual categories, like "Best Hamburger," or "Best Movie." And I've sort of gotten away from that because of fun with other categories. So in the future I'll try to put up some nominations for more 'regular' categories, although it would not hurt for one of the 20,000,000 people who view this site daily* to go ahead and nominate something, anything. Until then, I will continue to be the Ultimate Arbiter of What Is The Best.

The second minor problem is that sometimes I want to rethink my nominations or can't make up my mind, and like having a kid or voting for Bill Clinton one time, you can't take some things back. Also, it doesn't make sense for me to nominate two different things for "The Best Of" something because I have to think one or the other is the best, right? (I plan to never throw that logic at my pending twin boys.)

This is all brought about because on the drive into the office this morning I pulled one of my old cassette tapes out of the box in the garage, since our second car has a cassette deck and I didn't want to go through the trouble of bringing the iPod and its transmitter along. (How lazy is that, right? So I pulled out "Pop Goes The World" by Men Without Hats, and it was revelatory. I first heard the song "Pop Goes the World" on a two-day trip to visit a friend in Fort Knox at his graduation from basic training, a trip that involved so little sleep I hallucinated towards the end of it. And I bought the album the minute I got back to my dorm room. And I loved it and I've loved it since then. And I loved it this morning and thought "Why didn't I nominate this for Best Album?" (Short answer: because I'd forgotten it.) (Thought: An album that slips your mind probably is not the Best ever, right? Maybe, maybe not. I forget a lot of things.)

So I'm driving in and listening to that little tinkly piano beat behind the drum machines on the title track, and I still know all the words to the song and this song is GREAT, and I decided that rather than create the logical problem of my thinking both Graceland and Pop Goes The World could be the Best Album, I'd create a new category. And one that has some meritorious potential nominees itself. Because it's not just "Pop Goes the World" the song that could go in here. I gave consideration to "Pop Muzik" by M, and "Music That You Can Dance To" by Sparks, two great songs, but "Pop Goes The World" ultimately beats them for its catchiness, for the way the "Intro" (which I count as part of the song) is so overbearing and then goes into music-box-like piano, for the silliness of the little girl announcing the song, and for the lyrics, which tell the brief but enthralling story of Johnny and Jenny and their crazy dream. Oh, and the video is a masterpiece. It really is. Elvis and a drumming snowman and the baby on the Casio.

*Dark hits. For an explanation of this new Internet statistic, go to Thinking the Lions. But don't doubt the veracity of that count just because it cannot be proven.

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