My Chemical Romance - 'Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)'
Sometimes you've got to say something ridiculous that you only partly mean in order to get to the truth of how you feel.
Gerard Way knows this very well. He likes to cram MCR songs with overly-dramatic, preposterous ideas, borne out of desperate revenge or terrible fury, as a redemptive, cleansing fire for his soul. He doesn't feel like that all the time, and he knows that you don't either. His songs are there for the moments that you do.
They're also there because overstating the case is a lot of fun. We all do it, truth be told. Only the other day, I was listening to some new song or other, a bit bored, and because I was bored, I got a bit annoyed with the song, for not being more interesting. Then I decided that the reason it wasn't interesting enough was because it wasn't fast enough. Tempo isn't the only compelling thing about good music, obviously, but it definitely helps to grab the attention. And this song was just deliberately getting on my nerves by dragging its heels.
Having hit upon this revelation, I rushed to the twittersphere and declared:
"Today I'm exploring a new code for listening to new stuff on the internet: TSDL: Too slow, didn't listen."
The responses were fittingly slow in coming, and slightly confused. People wondering if I meant that the download speed of the song was irritating me. They empathised with the lack of high-quality broadband. They commiserated with stories of stuttery videos and long waits for file downloads.
Seeking to explain further, I added this:
"It's not that I don't LIKE slow songs, it's just I don't think they're pop music's job. I'm in the Little Richard/Girls Aloud camp on this."
Now, I don't really mean this statement. Not fully. I mean most of it, in the sense that the pop music I love the best has velocity to it, it lifts and pushes, it grabs the neck and waistband in great big meaty bouncer's mitts and lobs you towards the sky.
But you can't just throw a rule like that out there without getting a few pained exceptions. People were quick to point out that there are some astonishing slow pop songs - 'Back For Good' being the most commonly mentioned - and any examination of what pop's primary job might be that left those out would be a hugely flawed one.
But I certainly mean it enough to be able to say that this head-spinning rant of a song, raw rock meat sugared with all of the candy in the pop shop, and spiced up with revolutionary rhetoric, is MY KIND OF THING.
(Here's the video. It's Rad Max.)
It is dumb and clever and sardonic and heartfelt and fun and serious and witty and stoopid and enormous and daffy and amazing and amazing and amazing and amazing. It's a shot of caffeine, to the face, using a baseball bat. Even the TITLE is brilliant (what with the brackets and all).
That's basically all I want from a pop song, Giddy, plus thrills. Hell, I don't even need the feeling to last forever.
Rock Music Mayhem says: "The track just oozes a new-found confidence, thus empowering a band that used to wallow in darkness and self-pity to break free of their 'emo' shackles and become what they set out to be from the start - a pure rock and roll band."
The Singles Jukebox says: "It scans as punk but feels more like something off the Grease 2 soundtrack."