Diana Vickers - 'Once'
Music is a messy place, don't you think? There aren't too many cast-iron certainties, and the ones which do seem to exist only do so by common agreement, rather than as a rule of law which can be applied to every situation.
Here's an example: suppose you hear a song by an artist you don't know, and it does something marvellous to your insides. And then afterwards you find out it's by someone you've never approved of in the past. Then you hear/read/see an interview with them and they're just as annoying as they always were. Where does that leave you with regard to that marvellous feeling? Confused? In denial? Guilty?
Similarly, there are artists whose work should be right up your street. People you love, love them. Other acts cover their songs. They come across brilliantly in the press, and are pretty hot too. It's all good. Except their music leaves you as it finds you, unchanged and a bit frustrated.
Don't be afraid, this happens to everyone.
(Here's the video. That's not a real llamaskin coat.)
Now, apparently there's a bit of this sort of confusion around young Diana here, because she was the indie one on the X Factor, but she writes her own stuff, and there's guitars involved.
This is clearly button-pushing of the worst kind. How dare someone off the X Factor attempt to do things which are the sole preserve of experienced indie-rockers? How dare indie people attempt to go on the X Factor? How dare manufactured pop attempt to steal the holy guitar from the hands of real musicians? How dare reality attempt to make music in the first place? Hmm? HMM?
The thing is, all the musical reference points here are pop. She's got a touch of the Sophie Ellis Bextor's to her voice in the verses, and a Shakira sob or two in the chorus. Oh sure, there are guitars, but they're really just there to beef things up a bit, it's hardly a triumph of genre-splicing, or, for that matter proof positive that what we have here is a genuine artist whose music cannot be moulded by The Man.
But it's also not proof that she's just some reality TV pop puppet with no clue and a clever marketing team. Just a girl with a quacky voice and a sweet little pop song with a remarkably over-emo chorus.
If you like it, great, if you don't, it's not because of the politics of the situation, it's because the music didn't reach you.