If there’s one major aspect of the rise of hipster irony (which seems to be, basically – so bad/ridiculous/awkward it’s good!) that I appreciate, it’s what it’s done for cheesy music.
“Africa” by Toto, for example, is now widely played and appreciated by countless 20-somethings. Go ahead and cringe, but let’s face it: you liked it once upon a time, too, if you don’t (secretly) still. I even bet that this mention of it will make you want to listen to it in the not too distant future. You scoff now, but soon enough, that refrain will taunt you. “I bless the rains down in Aaaafrica / Gonna take some time to do the things we never haaaaaaaaad… ” And let’s not forget Hall & Oates, who I’ve legitimately liked – and been unashamed of liking – for quite some time now. The past couple years have been kind to the H2O fanbase. One fan comes out of the woodwork, and dozens follow.
Well, here’s my suggestion for the next ironic hipster anthem: Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.”
Try and fight me on this if you must, but first, think of that opening. The keyboard. Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum. The quick drum beat. Lou Gramm’s defiant talk-sing, more coldly stating the facts than singing about them. It’s got you. By the time it hits the “ooh, ooh”s and “ahhh,” you’re a sucker, despite your best intentions.
And you know what? That’s okay. It’s a fun song. Sure, maybe it weakens under a critical standpoint, or a cultural/social influence standpoint, but sometimes a song just needs to be a song.
Foreigner: “Cold As Ice” (download)
Listen to it. Even if you know every single word, note, nuance, and feel like you can’t hear it one more time, listen to it. And don’t worry if you find yourself enjoying it, maybe even wanting to listen to it twice in a row. I do. Every time.
Jan 21, 2008
i must concede
Jan 22, 2008
I’m not a 20-something, so I can’t speak to the guilty pleasures of songs like “Cold As Ice,” but to me a good song is a good song no matter what era it was recorded. 🙂
Jan 22, 2008
By the way…Great pic!
Billy F says:
Feb 2, 2008
I disagree with the idea of promoting ironic-hipster-music in the first place.
With that, Africa is awesome. So are Hall and Oates.
Sadly, I disagree completely with Cold As Ice.
Feb 12, 2008
Er, I’m a thirtysomething, and will guiltily admit that I’m on board the cheesewagon. Hall & Oates’ H2O was the second album I ever bought (first was Billy Joel’s Glass Houses) and I believe I can still do the whole “Private Eyes” schtick, complete with handclaps. Then I heard Never Mind the Bollocks and that shite went out the window. So thank goodness for so-called hipster irony, which has allowed me to enjoy all that all over again, albeit in a very different way.
Finally, may I posit another candidate: Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which last week I found myself belting out while doing 90 mph on Interstate 15, heading for Baker, CA. It goes on and on and on and on…
Feb 12, 2008
“Don’t Stop Believin'” was reignited thanks to countless college happy hours and also the Sopranos finale, so you’re covered 🙂