In the short time that I’ve been a part-time music blogger, I’ve noticed that my taste in music has been subjected to more peer scrutiny than before. Still, as someone who has musical ADHD, I need the occasional dose of good ol’ Top 40s pop music in my ever-expanding musical repertoire. So when I’m not blasting Arcade Fire’s Funeral or basking in the deftly layered melodies of Trentemøller, I’m surreptitiously listening to…
5. Miley Cyrus – “Party In The USA”
Given that Miley Cyrus was, at the time, known more for her duck-faced self-portraits in the shower than her musical chops, I wasn’t really expecting to like this song, but dammit, I do. This tangentially patriotic track is absurdly catchy and anyone not living under a rock knows the chorus by heart (even if they don’t want to admit it). For extra LOLs, check out Girl Talk’s mash-up of “Party In The USA,” which includes the vocal track from the anger-laden “Ante Up” by M.O.P.
4. 3OH!3 ft. Ke$ha – “My First Kiss”
I’m sure it’s all part of the public persona their record labels have concocted for them, but the guys of 3OH!3 kind of seem like douchebags and Ke$ha doesn’t exactly reek of class herself. Still, their sometimes sleazy tunes have some seriously infectious hooks. The chorus of “My First Kiss” gets stuck in my head for days, and I’m not going to lie, I kind of hate myself for enjoying it (damn those “Ooooooooooooooooo”s). It seems to be a recipe for success since both acts have enjoyed their fair share of fame for their music and the antics that accompany it.
3. Black Eyed Peas – “Rock That Body”
To me, the inclusion of a sexpot frontwoman was the ultimate sign of the Black Eyed Peas selling out. Okay, they understandably wanted to make more money with commercially viable pop, but that didn’t mean I had to like them. Then “Rock That Body” was dropped. Far and away their most electronic single to date, it stood for everything I disliked about their current direction, but still, I was hooked. I began to wonder if maybe the Black Eyed Peas had grown on me until their 2011 Superbowl show happened. Oh well. Can’t win them all.
2. Taylor Swift – “Love Story”
In an era of oversexualized, scantily clad superstars, it’s refreshing to hear something achingly innocent by a fresh-faced pop star. I spent many nights of my senior year in college blasting this with my roommates and singing along at the top of my lungs. Videos of this exist. I’ve met my fair share of twentysomething hipster men who have admitted to secretly liking Taylor Swift, a true testament to her appeal.
1. Britney Spears – “Toxic”
Although I had grown up listening to …Baby One More Time, come high school I was eager to distance myself from the pop songs that defined my childhood. Produced by Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (currently two-thirds of Miike Snow), “Toxic” lulled me back to the pop princess’ addictive melodies, though I would never have admitted it at the time. I covertly listened to this song night and day while externally vocalizing my love for lostprophets and Yellowcard. Oh, high school.