Is there something to be said for stupid songs? If you’re Redfoo or SkyBlu of LMFAO – or, for that matter, any of the scores of record label folk employed to keep them happy and production – the likelihood is that you have a fair investment in the value of tracks with key lyrics like ‘‘ and albums with sensational titles like ‘Sorry For Party Rocking’. Perhaps unfairly, LMFAO is targeted by this blog in particular as they so readily lend themselves to caustic reproach. As relatives of Motown heavyweight Berry Gordy, it’s often hard to tell if the duo are a deliberate parody act or if they actually take themselves seriously at all. Whatever the case, synth-heavy anthems that popularised the ‘shuffle’ (apparently pioneered in the late 80s Melbourne underground rave scene) with nonsensical verses to boot have swept the globe up in a frenzy of self-congratulation as geezers the world over proclaim, ‘I’m sexy and I know it!’ Much of the spite coming out of the music industry and targeting the two LA boys must be driven by the same sort of sentiment I often get visiting modern art galleries: ‘I could easily do that!’
And yet, the crossover potential for stupid songs remains pretty limited. There is a magic threshold line which probably exists in the collective minds of superproducer Max Martin, CEO of Epic Records LA Reid and notorious Idol judge Simon Cowell and determines whether or not a dumb song becomes a hit. You could easily toil away for years at producing massive, thumping beats, choruses with single, repeated words (or better yet, melodious whistles) and radical effects like high-pass filters and looped vocals and get nowhere. Alternatively, you could fortuitously trip over that threshold line by doing exactly the same thing and find yourself celebrated by people in clubs across the world who are just hanging out for that effect, drop, chorus to kick in. The pop world is a fickle one and the dumb pop world – where you can sink or swim based on the catchiness of that word you selected – is worse still. While I’d like to think there is some sort of elusive criteria which will guarantee success and that those acts who chart do so through sheer aptitude, I don’t know that I can.
Where Icona Pop, Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt out of Stockholm (where else?), fit on this spectrum of stupidity is something I’m still trying to discern. There is no doubting that with this track the pair, who also feature to jingle-riffic effect on Chiddy Bang’s latest radio single, are charting LMFAO territory. What with the chorus emphatically answering ‘I love it!’ to a question that was never really posed, the hints of mid-90s (self-referenced) British girl power on the sing-along verse and the absurdly aggressive threat of ‘throwing your shit into a bag and pushing it down the stairs’, it’s hard to countenance that the girls call home the very country which we so deeply revere here at OAD for their outstanding smorgasbord of musical offerings. And yet there is something in the generically-named ‘I Love It’ which pushes it beyond the bounds of mere stupidity into something else – 2’42″ of calculated, abandoned idiocy. Big, brash and quite potentially very irritating, it is also serious amounts of fun. I’ll keep working on that formula. For now: proof of dim done right.
Icona Pop – I Love It