Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Why "Sweet Escape" is a cool song...

Caitrin and I were on our way to the YMCA when "Sweet Escape" came onto the radio for like the hundredth time in two days. Sick of it, I blurted, "I can't figure out why this song has become sooo huge! It's catchy, but really. Is it that catchy?"

To which Caitrin replied:

"Come on Mom....
It's easy to sing along to,
Akon does those "woo-hoos" that make everyone join in,
it has a fast part where if you learn the lyrics you feel really proud of yourself for being able to sing along without goofing up,
it uses bad grammar,
and, hello.... GWEN STEFANI!!!"

Uh, I knew that....


Ampersand said...

so funny! J and I hear that ALL the time on the ride to the barn and J can actually sing those fast parts. We feel letdown if we don't hear it.

I have to agree with C as to why it is a great pop song. Not great music, but a great pop song. I love singing the woo-hoo's :).

And, ummm Julie, it's Akon. And he's hot!

julieunplugged said...

LOL - I knew I should look up how to spell Akon. I have only ever heard it said, not seen it written. :)

Yes, the woo-hoos are irresistible and apparently so is bad grammar (in our house, that's a bit like smoking weed which would probably be less shocking than a split infinitive).

Ampersand said...

Wow, I just wiki'd Akon. What a name:

Akon (IPA pronunciation: /ˈeɪ.kɑn/)[1] (born Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam on April 30, 1973 or October 14, 1981) is a Senegalese-American hip hop and R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer.

julieunplugged said...

LOL - I'm more interested in the two radically different birthdates!!

What a great long name. I approve of the shortened version. ;)

Ampersand said...

in our house, that's a bit like smoking weed which would probably be less shocking than a split infinitive

LOL!! Neither would be shocking in our house -- well from some more than others ;).

Ampersand said...

yeah what's up with those birth dates?!?

did you catch this part of his name?

"Bouga Time"

julieunplugged said...

I wonder how that's pronounced. Prophetic name for his future in music! (Someone is going to think I have a ton of interest in this topic and then they'll open the comments and see it's just you and me treating a blog like AIM again.) [g]

Ampersand said...

Yes, soon you'll be on the first page of google hits for Akon!


It really is a wonderful story about Caitrin, and I did not mean to digress so much!! Those mother-daughter times are treasures aren't they?

Dave said...

Interesting choice of a song to deconstruct... "Sweet Escape" actually peaked at #2 back in February, is currently at #16 and will be lower, most likely, when the new chart comes out tomorrow morning. Akon is opening for Gwen on her current tour, though he's really been the hottest guy on the charts in recent months. I blogged on Akon last November when I discussed the "real" lyrics of his #1 hit "I Wanna Love You." He's turned out to be quite the hitmaker since then.

I'm not too clear on who will be #1 tomorrow. Maroon 5 took the top spot last week after giving it up to T-Pain, who's "Buy You a Drank (Shawty Snappin')" briefly put a hip-hop song on top of the charts again. But I'm not sure that "Makes Me Wonder" is going to have a long stay at the peak. If tradition holds, Jordin Sparks will hit #1 as soon as her American Idol single is released... maybe it is and we'll see "This Is My Now" take it's place alongside the other AI alumni who have had a one-week run atop the Hot 100 ever since Kelly Clarkson had her "Moment Like This."

julieunplugged said...

Dave I had no idea you tracked the billboard charts! And I would NEVER have guessed that Maroon 5's latest song would go #1. I think it's awful.

I don't think all of the Idols have had #1's with their winning songs. We'll see if Jordan does. I was on one site after the final show that had a poll for which idol's CD you'd buy. It was a big reality TV blog and the show had ended only minutes before I checked the poll. Already, Melinda Doolittle and Blake Lewis had more than double the votes of Jordan. They were at almost 700 a piece whereas Jordan only had 300.

I thought that was really fascinating.

I think Blake has the most creative and commercial chances. Jordan strikes me as too young to be huge. Melinda has a following in our age bracket and we spend money for CDs rather than stealing them. :)

Anyway.... blah, blah, blah. :)


Dave said...

Actually, every American Idol HAS had a #1 single upon it's official release - except one! I track these things! Clay Aiken, who was the runner up, beat out Rueben Studdard when their singles were released back in season 2. Even Fantasia had a #1 with "I Believe" and same story with Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud" last year. Of course, Kelly and Carrie each reached the pinnacle with ease. Most of the time, they only have one week at the top because the songs really aren't that great, but the sales surge is enough to vault them over everyone else. I think Jordin will be able to hold serve here...

Maroon 5 has the unusual distinction of being #1 for two weeks, then dropping to #2, then regaining #1 again. That doesn't happen very often these days.

They dropped to #3 this week though. Two new songs shot to the top after they became available as digital downloads: Rihanna's "Umbrella" (feat. Jay-Z) and Shop Boyz "Party Like a Rock Star" rank 1-2 respectively. I haven't heard either of them, that I'm aware of, but will remedy that situation later today!

Dave said...

Oh and yeah, of course I track the Billboard Hot 100! I have mp3s of every #1 song dating back to 1955 and quite a few before that (even though the Hot 100 itself wasn't created until 1957.)

My iTunes collection is a veritable museum of pop cultcha!

julieunplugged said...

Dave that is utterly impressive! Do you store all these songs on an external hard drive? I can't imagine having that many digital copies of songs and keeping them on my computer (or you have mega-memory!).

I will forever now trust your exert insider knowledge (gnostic?) about #1s on the Billboard Hot 100. You've persuaded me.


Dave said...

I have two hard-drives in my computer but I'm thinking that an external dedicated to music would be a good idea.

I enjoy listening to strings of old #1 songs in a row (I also have most of the #2 and #3's as well) - they provide a unique time capsule and also a revealing mirror of where our society was at when those songs (and their lyrical messages/attitudes) were at the center of the zeitgeist.

Rebecca C said...

Dave, you never cease to amaze me. ;-)

(Who has never heard the song in question because, well, this is a modern country [think Garth Brooks if you can deal with it] part of the world. I have never heard a public radio set to pop here.)

Dave said...

Rebecca, I didn't know that I had even amazed you once! :o)

I am not entirely unfamiliar with modern country but I have to admit, my tastes don't veer that direction very often. I've been to a couple Kenny Chesney concerts though, as a worker, I guess that counts for something. I'm impressed by his prodigious crowd-pleasing abilities. I think he is Garth Brooks' most successful disciple along those lines.

The radios may not be set to pop, but what are the kids listening to when the grown-ups aren't around? ;o)

julieunplugged said...

So Dave you must know that Bruce Springsteen never did have a #1 (apart from "Blinded by the Light" which he wrote, but didn't record). Prince beat his biggest hit out ("Dancing in the Dark"). I think that's why I get so bugged when a song like Maroon 5's makes it to #1 so easily. I just don't get it. (Actually I do. They were on American Idol the week it came on the charts, so we know what a juggernaut that show is.)

Amazing to think of how much you love and are devoted to all kinds of music.

Rebecca said...

Dave, I long ago dug Pomoxian out of the Yahoo groups by using (I think!) J.D. Crossan as a search term. I rarely comment but often read there. I regularly read Julie's blog and sometimes get over to yours so I have had adequate opportunity be amazed by both your ability to interact fruitfully with almost anyone and the range of your interests.

Now that I've embarrassed you. . . .

I took the opportunity to ask my (very untypical)children what was on their top play lists this week and what music their friends listen to. Names included:

11yo son: the early Beatles and the Stones. And some songs he couldn't remember the artist for. And Scarbourgh Fair.

16yo daughter: Johnny Lang, Roy Orbison, the Ballad of Tam Lin, Simon and Garfunkel. She has a Beatles collection and some names you find on the country charts but those are not playing right now I guess.

Their friends: like 'comedy songs' (???) 'all kinds of music', Roy Orbison (where did Roy come from?!?) and 'everyone I know likes Simon and Garfunkel.'

Musical notes from the outer edge.


Dave said...

Yes, I knew that Springsteen never reached #1 on the pop charts. Neither did Bob Dylan (he hit #2 with "Like a Rolling Stone," beat out by the Beatles' "Help!") One of your other favorites, Sting, only made it to #1 when he teamed up with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart to sing "All For Love," hardly the most distinguished moment of his career. No shame in not making it to Hot 100 #1 in an otherwise amazing career!

#1's are determined by a peculiar logic of their own. So many of the songs on the list are out and out DRECK but they still have something significant to say simply on account of the fact that they assumed the throne of 'biggest pop song of the moment' even if that moment was fairly brief and ultimately forgettable!