Shakira: Not sure about this - in a list yes, but an overview? Open to explanation! I’d be keen not to use her as a handwave at all “Latin Pop” - better just to admit my total ignorance there I think.
As I say, may just be my personal obsession, but at least in the US she seems to have been a catalyzing factor in the way the Britney generation of female pop stars began experimenting with their personas ca. 02-06. Something about how the magpie eclecticism of her music (tango! surf-rock! electro! and that’s just one song!) was prelude to Brit going Middle Eastern, Xtina going 40s, Pink going hard rock, etc. And then she provided reggaeton with its mainstream-crashing, perhaps even its shark-jumping, moment at the tail end of that.
Of course I don’t know how much influence she actually had. This is all from the sidelines.
As previously threatened, I’m attempting a Popular rip-off (because apparently I feel that my current level of commitment to writing about music is inadequate) focused on the Billboard Hot Latin charts. The rough draft is here, but it probably won’t go live for another few months.
Thoughts? Objections? Anything?
“If I was reading a big essay on pop in the 00s and it failed to mention ________ I would feel minded to complain.”
And ________ stands for?
I already answered (Outkast, Timbo, Kanye, internet, AutoTune), but it struck me driving home that the one that would really piss me off if left out — rather than just seeming like an unconscionable gap — was Shakira.
But that may just be the private obsession talking.
“it’s not just a disparity in opinions, it’s…this really extreme disparity in basic assumptions about her place in pop culture. It’s what she’s perceived to stand for as well as her actual material. On the one hand, people dismissing her, her voice, her diva eccentricities as totally worthless; on the other, people who consider her the defining voice and greatest pop star of the past couple of decades.”
— Lex on Mariah C
Isn’t that true of every major pop star? I think Br. pop lovers tend to ignore the disdain for, say, Britney or Madonna or Kylie, etc. in a way that they haven’t for Mariah, probably because, as Tom notes, she doesn’t have much chart traction in the UK.
For Americans (OK, for me), the maundering on about how Real Pop Music died in the 80s, or the 70s, or the 60s, by people who fancy themselves devotees of pop music, forms a kind of omnipresent backdrop to all discourse on modern pop.
In fact “this is dumb because tweens like it” and “tweens are dumb for liking this” form a self-reinforcing feedback loop.
You can substitute “tweens” for “hipsters”, “rockists”, “the masses” etc and the argument remains a poor one. But the loop’s so common there must be a generic name for it - any ideas?
I don’t suppose the Vicious Circle Jerk is catchy enough.