Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bring back the boys!

Yes, it's time for a rant!!

You may think that what I'm going to say is a bit strange, given that I'm female myself, but here goes....

I'm sick of female singers - bring back the boys!

If you've been listening to the radio over the last few months and looking at the chart rundown it can't have escaped your notice that the mainstream music scene at the moment is dominated by female acts of varying quality, and male singers can't get a look in.

Don't get me wrong - there are some new female acts I do like, most of them are of course European, and of the British contingent VV Brown and Little Boots to name two, but they haven't really had the massive airplay/overexposure of the usual suspects....

Category A: Landfill R'N'B. Start the conveyor belt.
Beyonce, Ciara, Shontelle, Rihanna, Keri Hilson, and too many others to mention.

Category B: Eye candy (a.k.a. why can't we have a girl band which looks normal/slightly overweight/not dressed like slappers for once?)
The Saturdays, Girls Aloud (the latter IMHO are now past their sell-by date, but at their peak they were great)

Category C: Post-Winehouse
Arguably the worst category of all: Duffy, and worst of all Pixie Lott. What would my mama do? Like, who gives a ****?

Category D: Ooh, aren't I quirky and don't the critics just love me? (a.k.a. this year's PJ Harvey)
Florence and the Machine. Previous winner still doing the rounds: Lily Allen. (Although credit to her for being opinionated, and "The Fear" is a very good record indeed)

Category E: Rock chicks (a.k.a. radio programmers think they're sooo edgy)
Pink (I liked her once, but I can't listen to her anymore cause she's played to death); Kelly Clarkson (my life would suck if I hear this any more...); Katy Perry.

Category F: 80s revivalists
La Roux = nails down a blackboard. We've heard it all before, and better....

You'll have noticed I've left this year's most-played act Lady GaGa off my list. Strange as it may seem, I like her in a bizarre way, even though I probably shouldn't. "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" are good pop records which I think will have some longevity. The fact that they are played 17 times a day, every day, and I never tire of them, must mean something.

Yet another female fronted act, Cascada, has topped the British charts for the last two weeks with "Evacuate The Dancefloor", which is a significant departure from their usual chavvy-dance into GaGa territory.

But it will all change tomorrow, as X Factor runners-up, boy band JLS, are tipped for no. 1 with "Beat Again". OK so it's more of the same landfill r'n'b which is polluting our singles charts and radio playlists, but I thought I'd mention the significance of this anyway. Firstly they're male. Secondly, they're a boy band, which is very significant indeed, since recent years have seen tough times for boy bands in the British charts, so this might just be the start of something!

What concerns me most is the lack of decent male popstars/talented male singer-songwriters who are being overlooked in this country. The only thing giving me hope is that pop music goes in cycles, so hopefully this year's thing will soon be last year's thing and we can bring the boys back to the airwaves and the charts once more.


Rachel said...

Can't remember if I've mentioned him before- have you heard of Charlie Winston? He's British and big in France at the minute,but no one I know in the UK has ever heard of him.Someone at work in Paris introduced me to Like a Hobo (which I think is actually his only single so far),and I quite like it.It's a shame he's unknown over here,he's rather refreshing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for voicing this opinion.
I feel exactly the same way, and the problem of lack of real male vocalists is the same in North America too.
Nowadays, you're only allowed to be a lousy rapper if you're male.
This is also incredibly frustrating for me, because I am a male vocalist...influenced by REAL vocalists, like Luther Vandross, James Ingram, all those great jazz singers (male and female), not the crappy artists of today. Most of today's so-called artists seem to think they can "fool" the public into thinking they are talented by shovelling endless amounts of hype and self-congratulatory promotion.

EuropeCrazy said...

Rachel - sorry I forgot to post a reply - I had previously read about Charlie Winston being massive in France, and since that time I've seen a few internet articles about him. Yes he is a nice refreshing change to about 99% of the singers around at the moment but sadly the musical climate in this country at the moment means that there's very little chance of him repeating his French success in his home country :(

Anonymous - I absolutely agree with everything you said. When you think of the classic soul vocalists of the past, the current r'n'b 'superstars' don't even come close. It's all about the hype these days, and the talent rarely matches the hype. Good luck with all your musical efforts, I'm sure they're better than most of what we have to suffer these days ;)