Pop Talk: Fairy floss Apocalypse

Pop Talk: Fairy floss Apocalypse

With Gawker prophesying over Lady Gaga's new release "Judas", Emma Plant contemplates what the pop world is trying to tell us.

Apocalypse now! Tis the song theme leaving popstars' lips of late. On one end of the pop culture spectrum, fashion is dictating the current trend is brogues. On the musical end, it’s brooding eschatology notions (ironically from the likes of very fairy floss superstars who also sing about bubblegum).

Why the recent darkness? The corner street preacher says, "It’s a sign of the times". Do not be afraid, though, instead heed the advice that our popstars are prophesising.

Britney sings "Till the world ends", and the mega star has certainly quashed any rumours her style may have evolved – phew.

On that note, it’s comforting to see Spears bust out the mesh onesie. No Britney clip is complete without it. In fact, in "Till the world ends", all the Britney semiotics are reassuringly present: blonde extension-y hair, black cobweb lashes, a tough leather number, brick-a-brack dance moves, abandoned warehouse set, the absence of pants, lighting issues, and, of course, said onesie. Britney’s people know how to brand.

As her audience, we can also identify these symbols in many other genre-similar songs; think Christina Aguilera’s "Dirty", Madonna’s "4 minutes", Lady Gaga’s "Just Dance", Beyonce’s "Crazy in Love" – as tired as it may be, there is a formula, and evidently we folks are lapping it up.

Amidst all the imagery lies Britney’s heartfelt advice re End Times: "Come on people, let's just keep dancing and gyrating until the world ends" – makes sense, no?

Unmistakingly, this is a tight, Top 40, dance floor guarantee (much like Gaga’s latest). The pre-release publicity has ensured that it will be received as a global hit even before it reaches YouTube. Without marketing and the Britney brand platform, would this song have legs next to some of the other hefty offerings of late? Or is this a ‘chicken and egg’ type of question? Pop stars beget hype which in turn begets pop stars?

With similar (sorry, Britney, but actually far more) hype, Katy Perry has also released "Extra Terrestrial" (E.T), which steps over the threshold to a whole new level of Perry. One gets the feeling big schmoozey producers know that if they can make their audience confused/dazed/stunned, the default explanation will be "Genius!". Or, at the very least, "Wowser!". However, if you do choose to tune into the lyrics, you may be left with a broody and lusty Katy Perry hangover.

“You're not like the others, futuristic lover… Infect me with your loving, fill me with your poison.”

It fills a girl’s heart with hope.

And let’s not forget Kanye West’s cameo, either.

“Imma’ disrobe you, then I’m gonna probe you…You see I abducted you, so I will tell you what to do.”


A tad aggressive, we can only hope this song does not become a teenage duet (girls can sing Perry’s part and boys, you take Kanye’s lead).

Emma @ Girl With a Satchel


Cherry said...

This is a really thought provoking post, thanks for sharing it.

gypsy said...

Pop music like this really disgusts me. I had no idea about Lady Gaga's "Judas" until just now, and I am honestly feeling so sick. I'm glad I only listen to Christian music now, it's far more better. Unlike today's mainstream pop which leaves me feeling yuck. Great post.