77. Chewing Gum – Annie
Because the UK marketing campaign hasn’t been scheduled until the spring of 2005 (the US campaign being presumably non-existent), this Norwegian bubblegum popstrel finds herself in the strange position of being lionised (sometimes at considerable length) by the ILM/Stylus/Pitchfork/music-blog intelligentsia, whilst remaining almost entirely unknown by her actual target audience, the public at large. Strange, because this is stuff to be whistled in the street, not picked to bits by the cognoscenti; and for out-and-out pop music to work truly as pop music, it does actually have to be, you know, popular. Meaning that I would probably have placed this a lot higher had I experienced it collectively; as a bona fide hit rather than a private thrill.
(Aside, for the minority who might possibly care: perhaps this is where I should register my main difference with the prevailing ILM/music-blog mindset, which tends to focus too much on the private, individual enjoyment of music, at the expense of acknowledging it as a shared, collective experience. One of these days, when I’m feeling brave enough, I’ll start a “Taking Sides: Individualism vs Collectivism” thread on ILM, and see where it leads. )
Gosh, where was I? With digressions like these, we’ll be here all year. Anyway, Chewing Gum is the very essence of breezy jauntiness (or jaunty breeziness, whichever you like the sound of best; I’ve been bashing these pieces out under the steadily accumulating influence of a massive hangover, and I’m fast losing any remaining powers of linguistic judgement), and conjures up images of a video in which we might find flaxen-haired Annie, all wholesomeness and freckles, swinging down the street, steadily being joined as she goes by an amusing cross-section of the general public (window cleaners, lollipop ladies, that sort of thing), all swinging behind her in perfect step. Or maybe that’s just me.