Thursday, April 2, 2009

In defense of Female Teen Pop

Dyer’s article “In Defense of Disco” has some very good points. Generations can be a little heavy handed on different eras of music. I grew up thinking that almost all 80’s music sucked. But that was just because it was the consensus of my age group when I was young. Today some of the most listened to songs on my iPod are “Walk like an Egyptian,” “I run,” and “Sweet Child of Mine.” So times and opinions change, and people grow to appreciate things they once criticized.

So the music I am going to defend is the girl/teen pop movement that started around 1994 and lasted until at least 2003. Artist I am going to be talking about in particular are The Spice Girls and Brittney Spears. The fame may be short lived but it does not make their achievements any less important. I don’t see a valid argument for them not being cool either.

The Spice Girls came across America like a mad rush and they were gone just about as fast. They were some of the first all-girl vocal groups to counter the main boy bands at the time like N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. They hit a wide audience of girls because they were advertised as a very diverse group. Each of the members was clearly defined in personality, so almost every small girl could relate. There song “Wannabe” hit number one in 31 countries. They were the most successful band out of Brittan since the Beatles. The group broke up in 2000 but they had a comeback tour in 2007 which ended prematurely in 2008. Their movie Spice World was a big hit all over the world. This band may come under a lot of criticism but no one can say that they had no musical value.

Britney Spears has been criticized and been called talentless multiple times. Many people doubt her musical talents and that she ever was cool. I am here to tell you that she must have been cool to sell 32 million albums in the US alone and is estimated to have sold 82 million worldwide. Spears is ranked as the eighth best selling female recording artist in the United States. Her first big start was as the opening act for N’Sync and The Backstreet Boys. She topped the charts in 1998 with “Baby One More Time.” She is still very prevalent today with her new album Circus. Her songs are not as popular as they once were, but she is still a very popular figure in pop culture.

The girl/teen pop movement that happened around 2000 was as valid as Disco, Emo, or Punk. Each of them hold their own context and have an entire culture about them. I was not a fan of this movement, but I can appreciate all the things that came from their contributions to music. Brittney brought back Madonna and led the way for such artist as Lady Gaga and Pink. I have listened to Brittney’s new album and find it decent. I think that the girl/teen pop movement made great contributions to music.


  1. I think you have a very valid point in saying that Brittney led the way for Madonna's comeback and for Lady Gaga and Pink. However, do you think it was really her music talent that made her cool or was it the sex appeal that she so gradually introduced?

  2. I think that at first she was a new pop sensation riding on the band wagon of the teen pop. Then as she devolped she was folling in the footsteps of Madona and Blondie. I think that her sex appeal came later.

  3. Zrake is only half right I think, in that I think it was only later that anyone was willing to admit that Brittney Spears was sexy in any way. She was always an easy sell to dads with tween daughters because she was so hot.

    How do you defend against the idea that so much of the music you listed as female teen pop is produced by an industry that is out to actively create music for the masses?

  4. If people like music then what does it matter who decides to make it? If a song is good it is good.

  5. Do you think there is/will be a generation that has the same general feeling towards this type of music as our generation has typically had towards 80's music? Why does it seem that we believe, at first, the music right before our generation really is not that cool?

  6. One of my close friends did his thesis on how pop culture has become (pop) religion, and speaks to how universal musical experiences are. I'm not exactly sure what he would say about Britney Spears, but I would say that you're absolutely right that it means something when they became so popular and omnipresent, and to ignore it and dismiss it is to completely missed the importance of what happened.

    Good entry!