Brit-pop’s OK … no, really

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By Michelle Osborne

I know this will hurt a bit, but I’m going to bring up a subject that is as sensitive as castration — Brit-pop.

Keep reading, metal freaks. Brit-pop has emerged onto the North American scene over the past few years, spawning bans such as Oasis, Blur and Pulp. But since its inception, Brit-pop has been slagged in every direction for being uncreative, unoriginal and shallow.

This music, grown from years of listening to bands like The Beatles, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones (heard of them?) and cultivated in some of the best underground clubs in the world to get a sound unlike any other in this so-called great land of ours, is considered unoriginal?

Lyrics describing the problems of youth, such as violence, drugs, sex and independence, and music that is audible, as opposed to the North American musical traits of heavy bass and screech guitar, is deemed shallow.

Fact is, if you are going to criticize Brit-po, get a leg to stand on. If nothing else, Brit-pop is a genre of music. Just like grunge, just like hip hop.

Big deal if its size and popularity are growing. Nobody bitches about Alanis joining a bandwagon of carbon-copy alternative (or should we call it mainstream) acts, just five years after her own little stint at pop music. Oh yeah, what an artists! Totally committed to her work. At least you won’t ever see Radiohead with a dozen background dancers and a synthesizer.

And so what if they have a snooty accent, call their friends “lads,” trash hotel rooms and wear authentic ‘70s clothing that is too small for their bodies? Is that so different from speaking broken English, calling your friends “brothas,” trashing hotel rooms and wearing clothes three sizes too big?

Granted, there have been a few bad Brit-pop apples: East 17, Take That, Spice Girls. But let those who have not sinned cast the first stone: Snow, West End Girls, Roch Voisine.

So for all you elitist music lovers, there is talent beyond The Tragically Hip. Grit your teeth and listen for once — you might be surprised.

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