For the rest of your life
every time you hear music
it will either only be
ABBA or The Black Eyed Peas.
You CANNOT stop listening to music.
WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?
Choosing bands for YOU MUST CHOOSE! is not as easy as it might seem. Sure, it’s not hard to think up old bands/musicians that people either love or hate to violent degrees, but the tricky part is trying to come up with their modern day alternatives. Now, ABBA is a band whose success is undeniable–at the beginning of the 21st century they actually rejected a billion dollar offer for an international reunion tour–but for many folks the mere mention of their name is enough to cause steams of pop-culture rage to whistle out of their face holes.
The main reason for this being their distinctive sound, which was so aggressively middle-of-the-road that at certain points it actually felt daring and radical–an experiment in pure, unadulterated pop aimed straight at the happy centre in the brain. For those prone to reject any music made by folks who clearly wanted people to like them, ABBA was the apotheosis of uncool and just being in the vicinity of their music meant losing a piece of your precious credibility.
Who then represents the present day equivalent of this phenomenon? Well, after much thought and consideration, the answer seems clear. Though The Black Eyed Peas started out as a critically acclaimed alternative rap trio in the early 90s, their career trajectory took a sudden and unexpected turn into ABBA-ville with 2003’s Elephunk, which marked the introduction of Stacey “Fergie” Ferguson into their line-up. That album transformed them from critical darlings into pop-culture phenoms and they have been riding that same formula for the following decade–with frequently lamentable results.
I actually bought Elephunk when it came out and I still consider it a fine example of classic pop craftmanship, but despite this my choice between these two bands is a no-brainer–ABBA, definitely ABBA. Sure their songs have that weird 70s Euro-aura that makes you feel like you’re in a low-rent Spanish disco with a bunch of 65 year-old grandmas who’ve drank too much wine and want to party a little harder than you’re comfortable with, but I can forgive this because of one simple fact–they did not record and release the single worst single in the history of recorded sound. Show me the absolute worst ABBA song and I will hold it to my heart and smile, if it means never ever again having to hear:
Now I KNOW I’m right about this, but you’re free to disagree.