Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Miike Snow asks is crossover appeal a Bad Thing?

About 8 years or so ago there was a band out of Australia by the name of DIRTY VEGAS. By all accounts they were a respectable little band with a nice mix of pop music and dashes of electronica in their early work. Not terribly groundbreaking but entertaining in it's own way. Then through some luck and effective product placement the band hit it big with the single "Days Go By". Now this was just at the dawn of the electronic as RnB movement so the sound was still fresh and auto tune had not killed singing entirely.

Why am I recounting a tale of a one hit wonder band to you now? Because as I was cruising through my various music collections I came across MIIKE SNOW. This Swedish three piece makes highly disposable pop music that has enough sneaky hooks to be something that is a good soundtrack to doing mundane work. Here's where the question about crossover appeal gets asked. The band has also, under another moniker, worked for the likes of BRITNEY SPEARS and other pop luminaries trying to dirty up their sound. Do we punish these lads for their association. Is their own music tempered by their collaborations and brushes with the mainstream. Can we even separate the two things and more importantly, should we?

While watching a recent episode of the wonderful TV show "Chuck", I was struck by the song playing in the background. I knew it sounded familiar so I went on-line and found the name of the particular Miike Snow song. "Silvia" has a catchy piano line and builds tension very nicely over the course of the six minutes it's around. Will I remember it in a month when I have moved on to other things. I doubt it. Just like it took me about 15 minutes to remember Dirty Vegas, I'm sure the same will happen when another sugar coated, pop infection comes along to remind me of Miike Snow. But even a little bit of their original thoughts influence the greater pop collective then I think we are all better off...

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