Friday, 18 September 2009

How Roux'd

We live in a fast moving world of instant gratification. News pages are updated by the minute, we download albums before they're even released, and sites like Twitter allows us to describe our ablutions in real-time.

The world of celebrity is equally instantaneous. For instance, 16 year-old pop tart Miley Cyrus is already putting the finishing touches to her seventh album, whilst other stars are having their autobiographies ghost-written before they even lose their milk teeth. But the most worrying example of fame's quickening pace, is the fact that some artists, whose careers have all the established maturity of skimmed milk, feel comfortable critiquing their fellow performers.

Current flavour-of-the-month (and owner of the most worrying quiff outside of a Flock of Seagulls tribute act) La Roux took an unnecessary pop at Taylor Swift this week, despite the fact that her debut album is still listed under 'New Releases' on iTunes.

Speaking to Radio 1, the humourless eighties-throwback weighed in with her thoughts on the Kanye West debacle, saying "I think you should never go and ruin someone's moment like that, whether you feel they deserve it or not." Which is all well and good, but then she decided to continue with her theme:

"I do think people should stand up more against rubbish music and people should say, 'No, sorry this isn't that good'. It's not. Taylor Swift's music isn't good, it's manufactured princess pop, we've got enough of it, let's have something else."

Unfortunately, no-one in the studio bothered to point out that such a critique was rich coming from someone whose entire 'sound' could have been fished out of Vince Clarke's garbage, circa 1983.

If Elly Jackson (La Roux's actual name) knew what she was talking about, she might have picked up on the fact that Taylor is actually an accomplished country singer-songwriter. She might also have discovered that in January of this year, Taylor became the first country artist to sell over 2 million downloads of three different songs, all of which were self-penned. When it comes to musical tastes, notions of good and bad become redundant.

The great thing about music, is that it's a broad enough field to offer something for everyone. It's like a hypothetical question with no right or wrong answers. So the moment anyone, especially an artist, closes themselves off to other genres, or criticises them as inferior, they show a lack of respect for the artform they claim to love.

She may only be 19, but Taylor Swift has shown commendable maturity and grace this week. It's just a shame that her pasty-faced (and infinitely more 'worthy') critic is incapable of doing the same.

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