One of these days in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future, when irony is dead, and the sheep at Pitchfork have been rounded up and deported to the federal detention center in Williamsburg with the rest of the thrift-store set, The Great Pop Song will rise again. And I’m not talking about the Great Pop Song like effing Pet Sounds, which, frankly, if I read one more word about, I’ll make Virginia Tech look like a freaking sitcom. No, I’m talking about a Great Pop Song that doesn’t need the gentle condescencion of indie douches who need to out-counter-intuit each other. Yes, I said out-counter-intuit, and I did so without irony.
I will make no apologies for any of those songs, even though I admit I’m surprised that those are my most listened to. “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” is simply a beautiful, soulful, joyous song. Sure, I think a couple dudes in Chicago wound up killing themselves a few years after that song came out, but that’s because they were probably too busy playing the music instead of listening to it. There is no fucking with that vamp at the end. It’s big, beautiful brassy mayhem. Oh yes, there was magic in the studio that day, my friends. It’s a Great Pop Song, and it will continue to be a Great Pop Song long after the next 80 bands hailed as the new Television/VU/Joy Division/Strokes sink like stones. (Yeah, that’s right, the Strokes – critics said they belonged in such rarified air, remember? And where’s Julian Casablancas now? Oh wait, the Strokes are still around? Never mind.)
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And “Gimmee Some Water”? That thing’s a pure shot of adrenaline. I’d much rather listen to it right now than try to defend it to a bunch of savages, anyway. So I’m just going to leave you with a wonderful effing Zen koan from my number three, a thick helping of superb pop craftsmanship and studio wizardry that’s like a silver bullet to all the lo-fi Jacks&Megs out there: “No, they never taught us what was real/iron and coke/chromium steel/and we’re waiting here in Allentown.” Fuck yeah. That’s making me stronger every day. – Craig Malisow