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So the song of the Noughties was…

So, the Great British Public have spoken. Well, some of them anyway. Channel 4’s mania for list shows at this time of year was given a fillip by it being the end of the decade and all and they brought us the Top 100 songs of the preceding ten years. And the winner? The one voted for by the people on the streets, the soundtrack to this most fractious of decades, this history-packed era?

‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol. No, really.Now, credit it where it is due. When told of this, Gary Lightbody replied with a shocked ‘fuck off’, a reaction doubtless mirrored in most viewers homes across the country. While his U2-lite anthems have obviously found a market – and a very lucrative one at that – Lightbody has always seemed a decent sort and well aware of the actual artistic value of the Snow Patrol catalogue. If it seems like by-the-book overwrought emotional rock, well, that’s because that’s what it is. People obviously like it.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, per se. It does what it says on the tin, a sort of surface gravitas which soon dissipates when you focus on it. It’s the type of music which makes people cry when they are drunk. The world needs it.

But the song of the decade….come come. Is this the decade we became one big collective bedwetter? ‘Chasing Cars’ is a song which zips along with all the energy of used battery. It is soft and dull and easy. You can’t dance to it, though you can hug and go ‘yermafugginbestmate’ to it. It is almost understated in its boorishness, but boorish it is. It’s ‘Dry Yer Eyes Mate’ by the Streets all over again.

It is fascinating to think of what cultural anthropologists will make of the fact that in an era when anyone, anywhere can download practically all recorded music ever made with the click of a mouse that such modern easy-listening became so huge. Have we simply lost our desire to forage? Do we want our music quick, instant, easy to enjoy and then file? Do we need our rock to be safe, to allow us to pretend that there has been some massive emotional hit but not actually have to go to the trouble of experiencing it?

Snow Patrol seem a nice bunch of lads and have made a nice bunch of music. But really, if that was the best we could come up with in an era where we had it all at our fingertips…..well, a slow death is a death nonetheless. Accepting mediocrity is one thing, but celebrating it is quite another. The truly sad thing is that the people who would heap opprobrium on James Blunt and his signature tune ‘You’re Beautiful’ would rush to eulogise ‘Chasing Cars’, despite it very much being a member of the same family.

Guys….it’s like we’re not even trying.


4 Responses

  1. Saw that. Him going “Fuck off” three times made me laugh out loud. I think they sound like an anaesthetised Idlewild incidentally. Although Roddy Woomble looks like Shaggy out of Scooby Doo.

  2. I couldn’t believe it was number 1. Especially since there were some cracking good tunes in the top 20 far more worthy. What a lot of pish, c4 ought to be chastised severely. Or shot.

  3. I actually thought it was the other one that was the song they were talking about…never heard this one to me knowledge. But probably did in Asda.

  4. You lucky bastard! You’ve only got the song of the flaming decade to look forward to!

    It’s piss, don’t get your hopes up!

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