SHEENA BARNETT: Taking a bullet for Britney

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine called my taste in music “questionable.”
I think I’d rather somebody call me stupid, ugly or lazy before they attack my taste in music, but later I understood why she said what she said.
She said my taste is questionable because I listen to the likes of Britney Spears, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, George Michael and Madonna.
What can I say? I love pop music – there, I said it.
I took to my personal blog and wrote a really long defense.
I went on and on about how comforting it is to hear a song you know and love. I talked about how you always need a little sugar in a world full of vegetables.
I wrote this long tirade, taking bullet after bullet for my favorite singers.
Then, said friend and I went on a road trip together two weeks ago, and along the way, I realized I didn’t have to defend myself. The three of us on the trip all have different tastes in music, and that is OK. We settled on an oldies station that, for the most part, pacified all of us.
But as I’ve said thousands of times before, I like what I like. Still, I felt as though I should offer up some kind of defense to my friend, and this is what I told her: Music is about feeling, no? Or it should be, anyway.
There’s not much of that on the radio today, unless you count sexy robots as a feeling – but that’s just it – most, if not all, of the major pop hits are about sex, love and being a girl. As cheap as these songs are, they’re the equivalent of an IV: The minute you’re hooked into one, the effect is immediate – you suddenly feel ultra-feminine, ultra-cool, ultra-glam.
In that same vein (no pun intended), it’s a means of simple escape. No, I really don’t like Lady GaGa or her music very much at all, but would I pinch a baby to live her life for all of five minutes? You bet. If, in listening to the four minutes that are “Poker Face,” I can forget I’m a pudgy chick with a bad Southern accent, a penchant for vampires and little social life, then that’s four minutes well spent.
I also love that it’s lowest-common denominator music. For the most part, everyone has heard the songs. They may not like them, but they at least know the gist of them. I know better than to bring up politics or religion in mixed company, so let’s talk about how much we love that “Single Ladies” video or that New Kids on the Block is coming to Memphis.
And yeah, that’s kind of it. If I had to give any more defense, it would just be that pop music is fun. Plain and simple, turn-off-your-brain fun.
I don’t listen to a whole lot of pop, really, but I won’t ever be the person who acts holier than thou when it comes on the radio or MTV. I’ll be the one turning it up and singing along, drifting off to a world where everybody wears glitter eye shadow and dances all night long.
What can I say? I like what I like.

Contact Daily Journal writer Sheena Barnett at 678-1580 or Also read her entertainment blog, Scene Now, at

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