Jan 30, 2007


I can't remember how long it's been since I had a favorite song I wanted to hear over and over--the iPod has so scrambled my sense of what music I own, even when I only recently bought it. M Ward's Transfiguration of Vincent and Beirut's debut album are two I got for the holidays, and I've still only heard bits and pieces of them. The last song I remember continually reloading on my iPod was Elvis Costello's "Almost Ideal Eyes," from the orchestral record My Flame Burns Blue released about a year ago.

I've got a new one, and it's embarrassingly obvious: Lily Allen's "Smile," the sunniest kiss-off song since the heyday of the Smiths. It reminds me a bit of why I couldn't stop playing Cibo Matto's genius second record, Stereotype A: It's got a brilliant, insanely catchy bubblegum chorus over a big, stomping beat. To my ears the effect is something like Pet Sounds meets beatbox, and it's an aesthetic I find utterly disarming. It sounds like what I think of, literally, as "pop" music. (Much less endearing is Ms. Allen's reductively jokey video.)

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