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    Publisher: Popjustice - 100% Solid Pop Music
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    Popjustice is an internet pop thing that sometimes crosses over into real life. Popjustice started life in the year 2000 and took its first steps to becoming what you see today at the end of 2002 with the arrival of the front page blog – The Briefing. Our first Briefing post was very upset about the lack of success experienced by S Club Juniors’ cover of ‘Puppy Love’. Eleven years later that cover is rightly seen as a classic of our times, and Popjustice continues its mission to give pop precisely the level of respect it deserves. Sometimes it deserves very little. Popjustice is about loving pop and shouting it from the rooftops. If anyone tells you their favourite pop tune is a guilty pleasure tell them to fuck off. Guilty pleasures have no place on Popjustice. Some of the people who come to Popjustice don’t really like pop music and just like the way we write about it. Others don’t care for the words and just like the pop we feature. Some people like both and if you’re one of them HELLO TO YOU. Popjustice is here for everyone who knows that pop music can be at its most important when it’s being stupid and at its most stupid when it’s trying to be important. We love it when people make pop look easy, but we don’t like it when they look like they’re not trying. We know that terrible popstars can make brilliant pop songs and, yes, brilliant popstars can make terrible pop songs. We like popstars to be honest and we like popstars to make it all up. We like popstars to make it all up as they go along, and we like popstars to have a plan. At Popjustice we know that a pop song doesn’t have to sell to be brilliant, and a pop song doesn’t have to flop to be awful. We know it is possible to critique a popstar without hating them, to praise the same popstar without calling for their public execution. We love popstars who take pop too seriously and popstars who treat the whole thing like a series of happy accidents. We love Lady Gaga for being closely involved with her career to a degree that would send most of her peers insane, but we also love Britney for being a Britney sort of popstar. We don’t have much patience with people who criticise Lady Gaga for not dancing like Britney or Britney for not writing like Lady Gaga, because we know that the trick with pop is to define your own terms then succeed or fail against those, not to measure your worth against your contemporaries. While we’re on the topic, Lady Gaga thinks her songs are brilliant because she wrote them. We think they’re brilliant because they’re brilliant. She thinks her shows are sold out because she saved the gays. We think they’re sold out because she’s a good popstar (and her songs are brilliant). We don’t really want to read people banging on about how Lady Gaga is of interest simply because she is ‘a phenomenon’ or ‘a fascinating example of the modern popstar’ or any of that other fence-sitting bellendery you might find in your average broadsheet profile written by and for people who aren’t really interested in the matter at hand. In this specific instance Lady Gaga is of interest firstly because of the amazing pop tunes she appeared with – any old twat can wear a funny hat and demand the world’s attention but it’s ‘Just Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’ that made anyone pay attention. Music doesn’t always come first, obviously, but you can fuck off if you’re saying it’s irrelevant. Well, it’s never irrelevant to Popjustice anyway. Lady Gaga isn’t popular simply because she’s ‘interesting’ – she’s popular and she’s interesting because she makes brilliant pop music, and knows how to sell it. We try as much as possible to step back from fan-on-fan hysteria built on the unnecessary pitting of one (usually female) artist against another. We won’t deny that many of our favourite artists, from Abba, The Magnetic Fields and Pet Shop Boys to Take That, Example and Robyn have all got well stuck in (music biz term) when it comes to songwriting, and if you think about it like that you start to think about how great it is to hear a track when you know there’s a strong emotional connection between the performer and the song itself. And then you think about about all the great songs that people have sung without even having a clue who wrote them, let alone what they’re about, and suddenly none of that really matters. Wailing about The Wanted not writing their best songs is a bit like complaining that a carrot is not a balloon, but while we don’t really mind if people write their songs or not, we don’t like it when they don’t but say they do, or when they don’t even bother to think about the songs they’re singing. Will we ever use that dreaded phrase, that last refuge of the alternative twat, “but they don’t even write their own material”? No, but we might occasionally come close: it gets our goat when the cred brigade conveniently ignores, say, the fact that The Artist Adele is only partially responsible for writing her biggest hits. We know pop music is not easy to get right. That’s why we get excited by the triumphs, find ourselves amazed by the successes, are made upset by the failures and get angry with anyone who undervalues the genre and its fans so much that they exploit pop by try to get away with what they know is rubbish. It’s impossible to sustain any belief in the concept of The Record Buying Public being ‘right’ when they like a song you consider good, then ‘wrong’ when they like something awful, so it simply makes no sense to feel somehow vindicated when a great song gets to Number One, if – as is usually the case – 80% of its sales are to people who also buy awful music. It makes no sense at all. For this reason we feel a thrill when one of our favourite songs hits Number One and a wave of sadness when another favourite song misses the Top 40, but we try our best to ignore chart position-based distraction when we think about other areas of pop. Life is a lot easier – and there’s a lot more to concentrate on – when you learn to stop worrying about Beyoncé’s latest chart position. Guilty pleasures, ‘so bad it’s good’, ‘alright for a pop song’, ‘screaming fans love it’: these are all phrases people use to distance themselves from pop. Popjustice believes that you shouldn’t grow out of pop music the moment you hit puberty and you shouldn’t grow back into pop music the moment you discover irony. We also believe that pop music is not a children’s genre, so we despair at out of touch knob-jockeys (MIKE STOCK) who criticise popstars for making videos for (or aiming themselves at) adults. Pop music is often – usually, in fact – enjoyed by kids, but most of the good stuff is not made for them. In fact we reckon some of the worst pop music is made specifically for children, or for gays, or for housewives, or for students, or for straight thirtysomethings; for any demographic patronisingly targeted by songwriters, producers and major label marketing departments. If your first consideration when writing a song is to think about demographics, we’re sorry but you are a dick. Similarly, if you’re only writing a song for your existing fanbase you are on very thin ice indeed. We know what we like. Popstars who say “pop just means popular” don’t really get it. And forget singing, writing, dancing or any of the other stuff: ‘getting it’ is one of the most important abilities of the modern popstar. It can’t be taught so it can’t be learned. You either get it or you don’t. It’s not about being well read, it’s not about whether you’re bright or not. Artists who, in the history of Popjustice, have ‘got it’ include Lily Allen, Marina & The Diamonds, Shakira, Nicola Roberts, Calvin Harris, Robbie Williams, Sia, Sky Ferreira, The Sound Of Arrows and Adele. People who don’t get it include Britney Spears, Leona Lewis, Cher Lloyd and Duffy. The most dangerous sort of popstar is one who thinks they get it when they don’t. In this category you will find Jessie J. If your favourite popstar doesn’t get it that doesn’t matter, they can still be amazing. You can be a fan of The Saturdays without liking everything they’ve done. In fact, we’d say you’re not a true fan of any act if you’re so blinkered that you praise even their rubbish. You are enabling popstar shit. So you can look at all the Saturdays songs in your iTunes library, you can go ‘this one’s great, that one’s great, I love that one, the rest is shit’ but even though you’ve done that you can still say you like The Saturdays.
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