I've got a real sweet tooth. Friday night, for example, I ate 10 Rocky bars - Hardcore. I'm generally the same with my music. A good hook gets me addicted, whether it be a vocal ad-lib or a slab of big synth chords in my face, even the odd keyboard solo. Yes, I can take a lot of the sweet stuff. Pop music might be sickly to some, but I just pile on the syrup.
But in the last couple of months I've been wondering (hell, I've been wondering for the past year), exactly where pop music can go from here. Any artist that tries for commercial success by following current trends, i.e. flaccid urband beats, squelchy electronic basslines and nintendo synths, is happy to retreat 2009's footsteps rather than progress. Even recent enjoyable examples such as Kelly Rowland's Guetta banger "Commander" and Katy Perry's giddy Tik Tok ripoff "California Gurls" seem like lucky strikes rather than inspired and creative songwriting. Although I fear I am his sole supporter amongst critics, I really thought Owl City could pull pop music into a new, happy-go-lucky, blissfully innocent phase in 2010, but now he's failed to make the impact I'd hoped for, I don't really know where to turn.
Or at least I didn't. The lack of interesting pop hits (and the downright offensive; JLS's "The Club is Alive" nearly gave me a hernia) drove me into the unwelcoming arms of less commercial music - The kind I would previously pick and mix my way through, selecting the soft, fuzzy marshmellow stuff over all that was fizzy, sour and chewy.
But it seemed that the music heralded by the likes of NME, Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound was suddenly sweeter than ever. In fact, in comparison to the dull, tasteless likes of Timbaland and Christina Aguilera (whose "Bionic" is in a league of its own for worst record of the year), this indie and alternative music was finally offering the right blend of sweet and bitter. I guess I was sick of satisfying my sweet tooth - Any more sugar and it would undoubtedly rot.
So band by band, my iPod was transformed. Gone was Gaga, no longer bonkers for Dizzee, and no more flashbacks to Calvin Harris. Instead, along came The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, whose nihilistic attitude and razor sharp guitars were undercut by an irrestistable sweetness in the melodies, a combination well represented by their elaborate name.