music / Columns

411 Fact or Fiction Music 01.04.13: The Miserable

January 4, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

New 411 Music Fact or Fiction Banner

Welcome to another edition of Fact or Fiction: Music. I’m your host, Joseph Lee.

This week we have Jeremy Thomas taking on Robert Cooper.

Round 1
1) PSY is capable of making another hit after Gangnam Style. Robert Cooper: FACT.

The key to this question is that you never specified where in the world the hit would be in. While I’m not quite sure if he’ll be able to match “Gangam Style”s’ success, because which is near impossible, but I could see him getting maybe a hit or two stateside. I’ve heard he’s already fairly successful in South Korea, and I have a feeling that he’s going to become a superstar there, because his music is not seen as as much of a novelty there, because you know, they actually speak Korean. The dude has some talent in him, for sure, and I guess time will tell whether or not he has staying power or not.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT.

Is he capable of it? Sure, why not? No one-hit wonder is guaranteed only to be a one-hit wonder…well, maybe Rebecca Black but she’s the exception that proves the rule. I think that it will be incredibly difficult for PSY to capitalize on his success because of the nature by which “Gangnam Style” came to be a hit. Really, the best comparison to make for PSY is Los del Río, the Latin Pop duo who had “Macarena” in 1995. Both were foreign acts who released a song focusing on a new dance that took the world by storm. Los Del Rio never had another hit, but then they decided to team up with groups like MC Hammer and Baha Men after to try and capitalize while PSY is talking about working with major current stars. (Remember, in 1995 MC Hammer was already well into his downward spiral.) Is he likely to have another mainstream Billboard hit? I don’t particularly think so, but I don’t think it is outside the realm of possibility.

Score Card: 1 for 1
Round 2
2) Green Day’s plan to release an album trilogy was a success, all things considered.
Robert Cooper: FACT.

I really want to say fiction, but I can’t because the fact is that financially, all three albums sold pretty well. They were all Top 15 albums (2,9, and 13), and while none of them were seen as classics, they were apparently decent (I’m not much for them, so I haven’t heard a single track off of any of the albums), so I guess that 3 decent albums in a year is commercially successful as well. I really hope this doesn’t start a trend, though. Kind of like when the last movie in the Harry Potter film franchise split into 2 movies, Twilight did it, and now everyone is. It makes more money, but it makes for a lot of filler and really dulls down what could have been 1 great album, rather than 3 okay ones.

Jeremy Thomas: FICTION.

It’s actually closer than I would have thought at first, but I have to disagree. Green Day would have been far better served to cut out all the filler and release one album…maybe a double-LP if they were really feeling ambitious. I thought there were some very good tracks between the three albums but not enough to make me actually give the albums themselves great ratings. Audiences clearly cared less and less too, as they had diminishing returns in terms of sales. Plus, if they had stuck to one album they wouldn’t have had to shift everything around suddenly in the wake of Billie Joe’s meltdown. They should stick to single LPs from now on.

Score Card: 1 for 2
Round 3
3) You’re glad Flo Rida has started work on his next album so soon. Robert Cooper: FICTION.

I have no reason to be glad, I see the dude as your run of the mill, club banger song guy. His music has my total apathy. I’m don’t like it very much, but I don’t have to hear it, so there is that. I actually think him jumping back in so fast is a bad thing, because, as I said, I see the dude as generic as is, and the fact that he didn’t take any extra time to come up with anything new doesn’t help his status in my mind.

Jeremy Thomas: FACT.

Why not? I liked Wild Ones more than I expected; it was better than it had any right to be. I don’t imagine that it takes him an incredibly long time to come up with lyrics (how hard can it be to find another shallow metaphor for oral sex, after all?), so recharging his creative batteries probably didn’t take a long time. I’m fine with him going back into the studio in order to throw out some more hip-pop for the masses to enjoy…and if I like it, then that much the better. Any good song from him is a welcome surprise.

Score Card: 1 for 3


Round 4
4) Taylor Swift would have been a bad choice for Les Miserables.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT.

You need two things in order to play Eponine: singing talent and acting skill. Taylor arguably has the singing talent to pull off the role, but acting? Yeah, not so much. She couldn’t make a basic role like her cheerleader in Valentine’s Day worth anything, so I seriously doubt that at this point she would have the chops to carry off Eponine. And besides that, Samantha Barks was an excellent choice above most other options, having played the role before on Broadway. I like Taylor well enough as a lightweight pop star, but she needs to stick with what she’s good at: writing songs about her breakups. Taking on Les Mis would have been fighting well outside her weight class.

Robert Cooper: FACT.

Total fact, I’ve yet to see the movie, but I’ve heard that it was a great movie and beautifully done. While I feel that Taylor Swift could do the singing parts a decent service, I really don’t feel that her acting is near good enough to pull off a movie like that, she’s a singer, after all. It wouldn’t feel right either,because I really couldn’t see her in the movie, unless she’s singing about a bad romance and how her boyfriend was a jerk, and blah blah blah.

Score Card: 2 for 4
Round 5
5) You’d like to see Jason Newsted return to Metallica.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT.

God, yes. All due respect to Robert Trujilo, but Newsted is (aside from the late Cliff Burton) THE Metallica bassist to me. I’m certainly not trying to say that Trujilo sucks, but the band just doesn’t seem the same without Newsted’s bass work and backing vocals. Newsted has said that he would come only back for a set term for the right amount of money, and I can respect that; he is doing just fine on his own and he is happy with his own projects (his new band, Newsted, releases an EP next week). But purely as a fan, I would be ecstatic to see him come back.

Robert Cooper: FACT.

Why the hell not? I think Robert Trujillo is a fine bassist in his own right, though he still looks really odd beside the rest of the band. I think Jason Newsted still has plenty to offer the band, and he’s also a pretty good bassist. I’ve read in interviews about how he still loves the guys and that he doesn’t feel bad about the way he was treated back in the day, and actually gets annoyed when people are all like, “Poor Jason, he was mistreated”. I think they could make a good record with him, I wont say great, because I feel like Metallica isn’t really capable of that anymore, though I’d love for them to prove me wrong, with or without Newsted.

Score Card: 3 for 5
Round 6
6) You would watch the upcoming Lady Gaga documentary.
Jeremy Thomas: FACT.

You can love Gaga or you can hate Gaga, but you have to respect the fact that she always brings something interesting to the table. There are some who would watch the documentary just to see Gaga be completely pretentious, and I won’t deny that there’s a little bit of that in my reasons for wanting to see it. But by and large, I am just interested in seeing what makes her tick and how she goes about deciding what she does. I imagine it being something akin to Madonna’s Truth or Dare, which I didn’t particularly enjoy but was a hell of a watch anyway to see what Madonna is really like behind the scenes (and to see Warren Beatty looking embarrassed at how out of touch he was). Whether it drives my respect for Gaga up or down, it will likely be entertaining, more so than Justin Bieber or Katy Perry’s 3D tour films.

Robert Cooper: FICTION.

I’m sure it’d be interesting, but just like the Katy Perry documentary that made her look like a real person, rather than the large canned robot that I sometimes think she is, I wont be watching this willingly. Gaga is a very talented woman and has a lot to say, I just don’t really see myself sitting down and watching whatever it is. Though, I wonder Lady Gaga’s doc will give off as manufactured a feel as Katy Perrys’. I feel like a lot of these pop star documentaries are legit documentaries with sugarcoats of good PR all over them? I guess time will tell.

Score Card: 3 for 6

Anything you agree with? Disagree with? Sound off in the comment section.

article topics

Joseph Lee
comments powered by Disqus