If there’s one major aspect of the rise of hipster irony (the only rule of which seems to be, basically, “so bad/ridiculous/awkward it’s good”) that I appreciate, it’s what it’s done for cheesy music.
Toto’s “Africa,” for example, is now widely played and appreciated by countless twentysomethings. Go ahead and cringe, but let’s face it: you liked it once upon a time, too, if you don’t (secretly) still. I even bet that this mention of it will make you want to listen again in the not-too-distant future. You scoff now, but soon enough, that refrain will taunt you. “I bless the rains down in Aaaafrica / Gonna take some time to do the things we never haaaaaaaaad… ” And let’s not forget Hall & Oates, who I’ve legitimately liked — unabashedly — for quite some time now. The past couple of years have been kind to the H2O fanbase. One fan comes out of the woodwork, and dozens follow.
Well, here’s my suggestion for the next ironic hipster anthem: Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.”
Try and fight me on this if you must, but first, think of that opening. The keyboard. Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum. The quick drumbeat. Lou Gramm’s defiant talk-sing, more coldly stating the facts than singing about them. It’s got you. By the time it hits the “ooh, ooh”s and “ahhh,” you’re a sucker, despite your best intentions.
And you know what? That’s okay. It’s a fun song. Sure, maybe it weakens under a critical view, or from a cultural/social influence standpoint, but sometimes a song just needs to be a song.
Listen to it. Even if you know every single word, note, nuance, and feel like you can’t hear it one more time, listen to it. And don’t worry if you find yourself enjoying it, maybe even wanting to listen to it twice in a row. I do. Every time.