Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The #9 Thing That Just Needs To Go Away

About a month ago I spewed out a mishmash of whining I called "Things that just need to go away." I figured I'd go back and turn this into an ongoing feature. After all, what's the use of having a blog if you can't use it to bitch about trivial crap? Right?

Now, these are things that I don't necessarily hate. They have just run their course and they need to politely go away. You're done. It's over. You had your time. But it's time to leave.

So, if you'll indulge me, I now happily continue the list of things that just need to go away.

#9 - Commercials with chirpy, happy indie music that features cutesy poo female vocals.

Let me illustrate what exactly I'm talking about.

Wow. Toyota is really laying it on thick here. It's pretty clear, they aren't trying to appeal to anyone outside of their loyal customer base with this sucker. No F150 driving good old boy is going to be sold on the virtues of a hybrid with babies dressed like bumble bees and flowers that bloom as the Prius drives by. That A Capella female chorus is so pleasant and yet so unnerving. It's hard to put my finger on why exactly I dislike it. It features nice voices singing a pretty little tune
in perfect harmony. It's relentlessly upbeat. And as much as it irritates me, it beats most music featured in commercials. For one thing, it isn't by the Black Eyed Peas. That's a huge plus right there. Sure it's cheesy, but that's not why I don't like it. I like lots of cheesy music.

But for some reason, this song makes my skin crawl.

I think this kind of music is a little like drinking Tampico fruit punch. You know the stuff. Sold in one gallon milk jugs for a buck and enjoyed at little league soccer halftimes all across our great land. And it tastes good. Which is to say it tastes as good as sugar and red die can taste. But there's no depth to it. It's so damn sweet that after half a cup, your throat starts to sting and you have the shakes. Such is our happy female glee chorus. Upon first gulp, it's enjoyable. And you think you really like it. But after a thirty second ad, your done with it for the rest of the week. But it's not done with you. You can't make it through an episode of "Community" without being assaulted by its ferocious sprightliness three or four times. Soon, its chipper enthusiasm breaks down your resistance causing your brains to melt and drip out of your ear and onto your couch cushion.

Now this wouldn't be a big deal if this kind of hipster, sing songy, music box schlock was limited to Prius ads. But these damn things are everywhere. Target. Amazon. Motorola. Apple (of course). Even Lagoon has jumped on this trend. I couldn't find the commercial, but picture that song played over slow motion shots of smiling children on Jet Star II. (By the way. That girl is a poster child for the "Utah girl" look.) Lagoon?! The place synonymous among all Utahns with
rat tails from Magna, the smell of axle grease, fat women wearing tank tops and the biggest carp on the planet? (I said carp.) There is a beer can floating in the moat around the Tidal Wave that has been there since the 70's. It's a pull top for hell sakes! They stopped making those before I was born. And I'm old! But when I went to Lagoon this summer, there it was, bobbing up and down amongst those mutant carp underneath the fake pirate ship.

But I guess Lagoon gets to be all hip and cool too.

I blame this all on Juno. In fact, my feelings about this music are identical to how I feel about that movie. It's appeal is obvious but limited. And when it overstays its welcome, it turns annoying fast. Now that I think of it, there are two other commercials that feature remixed Juno songs that totally fit this category. So let's throw those on the heap. This thing and this thing also need to go the hell away.

Now don't dismiss this criticism as some kind of chauvinist display of testosterone on my part. Some sort of "if it ain't Metallica, it sucks!" kind of thing. I have quite a love of happy, poppy music. Again, I don't hate these particular songs. But I have a very low tolerance for it. I am, however, all for that childish sounding, bouncy piano. Check out this song by The Zombies circa 1968. A Rose For Emily. Love that song. You want one with a female vocalist? How about More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley? That's a damn fine song. So it isn't that I reject all happy, girly music out right.

But I stand by statement that these damn commercials need to just go the hell away.

1 comment:

Gregg said...

If you are talking good ones, dont forget After Hours by Velvet Underground!