The Education of Pop Pony

Posted on July 25, 2011


The Pop Pony is me; I’ve been grazing in the pop-pastures for more than 2 decades now. I thought I was pretty happy, but circumstances have propelled me to get off my ass, up into my saddle, and canter full-speed into the great unknown.

But enough horse-speak; I’ve run out of suitable imagery.

The reason why this… review (reflection? random thought-collection?) has come into being is simply because I have recently come into ownership of a large, large collection of excitingly unfamiliar music. 80Gigs of potentially mindblowing, life-changing, habit-forming portals of transcendence. This magical package came with strict MUST OPEN instructions.

So I figured it was up to me to make the best use of someone else’s hours of determined, rabid disrespect for intellectual property rights, and thus I decided – after years and years of billboard hits worship – it was about time I dipped a tentative, shaking toe into the world of non-manufactured pop. I don’t even know if everything in my treasure box is legitimately indie or alternative or non-mainstream of whatever the hell one calls it. Some stuff could well be disgustingly commercial to those people in “the” “know”. Well I sure haven’t heard of some 95% of the stuff in there – wait, who am I kidding, make that 98%. And those that I have heard of, I have done by name only. I did find one album that I actually own in the entire collection. No, I am kidding myself again – The Greatest Hits of The Cure wasn’t in there afterall, although some of the others were, and I could at least say I’d be excited to review those.

In this vein, I have resolved to listen to, and think about, and finally write something on, the entire collection of beats and hits. I will write how I feel about each album, going about the enterprise by random choosing, not knowing much beyond whatever I find on wikipedia about the bands/ singers/ motley crews, not knowing what the people in “the” “know” consider good, or bad music. It’s all going to be from a pop pony’s perspective. And I’ll at least be honest about how I feel about all of it – painfully, uncool-ly so.

Before I embark on my journey I thought it would be useful for me to document my music listening style. A random click-through/ glance-through of the songs I have downloaded and listen to regularly (yeah, I was a tracks-person, not an albums-person) reveals:

  • a number of K-pop/ K-alterna songs, all of which had been popularised by hit K-drama series
  • light – lite – jazzy, bossa nova-ish girl-from-ipanema types
  • a couple of travis/ coldplay tracks
  • a couple of Libertines and The Magic Numbers (the least embarrassing of my collection)
  • an embarrassing number of Michael Buble
  • some oldies in the Beach Boys style
  • too many Black Eyed Peas – also an unforgiveable number
  • several radio-friendly hip-hop tunes: Jay Z, Kanye, Snoop Dogg et. al.
  • A few Britneys
  • Some Madonnas
  • a mishmash playlist of ‘hits’ by Matchbox 20, Gorillaz, Danity Kane, TLC, Leona Lewis, Alicia Keys

So, there it is. Also, I realise that I have a bad habit of listening to the same tracks over. And. Over. And . Over. Opportunity cost, bay-beh. Perhaps this goes to explain why I have not only been a pop pony, but an alarmingly blinkered one.

I’m gonna do this for a few months and then see what my music player list looks like. And I’ll be as painfully, unabridgedly honest as I can be. Music fans may gag in disgust at my uneducated attempts to describe the melodies that speaketh to their exalted souls, but please, remember this is the pop pony’s first foray into an unknown meadow.

Best get on with that review, then!

Posted in: Say what?