It’s funny how some people have to dress pop up to allow themselves to take it seriously. Allow me to make a few statements which should provoke some unfollows on Twitter and ensure a few people don’t visit this site again. Robbie Williams‘ ‘Candy‘ is a tremendous little tune, ticking all of the classic pop boxes and bearing multiple listens. The return of Girls Aloud is a wonderful thing and ‘Every Now And Then‘ is right up there with the berserker pop they so fabulously churned out in the past. Even ‘Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me‘ works, despite its genuinely hilarious ‘basin/face in’ rhyme. Most people who are keen on their music had early exposure to such pop via chart countdowns and daytime radio and will have a few embarrassing early purchases loitering in the past. And yet, it would seem plenty lose this love of a straight up pop nugget as they age. It’s all very odd.
And, however you might like to dress it up with artwork that looks like some sort of emo album or with kooky tales of Grimes‘ creator Claire Boucher, ‘Visions‘ is a pretty fantastic pop record. The clearest evidence for the prosecution is side two’s opener, ‘Be A Body’, which is a compilation staple for me and a great first toe in the waters of this upbeat muddle. Synthy, soulful and prone to the odd unconventional beat, the album is an unrelenting burst of ideas.
You’ll have seen by now the critical hysteria brought on by ‘Visions‘ and it’s pretty much all deserved. Indeed, you probably don’t need me to tell you why you need to listen to it as it has been talked about everywhere by this point. The BBC Music review memorably described ‘Eight’ as a “terrifying Cocteau Twins-go-dubstep number” and if that doesn’t sell you on a record, nothing will. In short, I know you already like it, much as I do and I’m fairly certain I like it for the same schizophrenic pop tendencies that always make Xenomania‘s work with the aforementioned Girls Aloud so enjoyable. And that’s fine by me.