29 September 2008

"boyfriend" || alphabeat || 2008

Hooray for well-crafted European pop music!

I'm sad that I haven't stumbled across Alphabeat before now. They've apparently been making records in Denmark for a few years now, but I just came across "Boyfriend" about a month ago. It took the song a few spins to stick with me, but now I'm addicted.

Definitely a throwback to mid-'80s pop music (no complaints from me), "Boyfriend" almost sounds like it was written by a modern girl-pop group in a "write an '80s song" contest.

When the song started, I was digging the groove of the music, and then I was thrown off-kilter by the singer's vocals. They were warbly, just like all modern female pop singers, but not warbly enough to make me turn off the song. (Warbly girl vocals almost always make me immediately shut off a song during the first listen.) The song is also in a minor key, which gives it a very moden touch.

The Europeans are masters of melodic pop music. I'm absolutely exhausted with American pop, because it's all spawned from R&B music, which I've had enough of, and the vocals all suck. Europe seems to put more emphasis on vocal ability, but more importantly they spotlight producers and bands who know how to write quality pop music. That's why Europop doesn't suck.

One final point I'd like to say about modern USA pop vs. modern Europop: If you hear a pop single by a European group and then go buy the album, you're likely to find an album filled with quality songs. This doesn't seem to hold true with modern USA pop albums. For an example, compare Alphabeat's album alongside Madonna's latest Hard Candy. I can get through MAYBE two songs on Hard Candy, but I can find something redeemable about every song on this album.