post brought to you by: dyson
‘Toxic’ may be the best example of the perfect pop song I have seen in this decade. New pop music comes and goes and I rarely tap into Top 40 radio. But this song was able to stretch past those Top 40 boundaries and reach all music lovers (snobs and jazzheads alike).
What is so special about this song? Britney has had a career full of singles that people can’t really ignore. They’re catchy pop tunes performed by an attractive woman-girl-lady-female (pick one, I always get it wrong). But ‘Toxic’ has something special. It has every element of a great pop song wrapped into a bundle even a stork would hang on to. (odd reference, I know…)
I remember exactly when this song came out. I was a young man studying at the Berklee College of Music. I was surrounded by jazz cats and was partially one myself. But we all heard this song and couldn’t help keep it a secret that we all loved it. It was brilliant. We were all intelligent enough musicians to realize the genius of the song and embrace it.
But I feel we weren’t alone. The world took a simultaneous double-take. Here was this blonde haired pop star who we all wanted to shun. But what did she do? She gave us a solid masterpiece of a track that will hopefully go down in history.
It’s perfect from start to finish. You couldn’t ask for a better pop song. But the recording geek in me takes additional notice to the ride cymbal that comes in at the hook. It. Is. Perfect. So subtle but adds so much to the tune. Who would notice it? Maybe a handful of Britney listeners. But I did. And I have every bit of respect for the production after I heard that. It wasn’t forced in my face, it wasn’t boosted to say “Hey! Listen to ME!” It added this subtle element to the hook that really ended up driving it home for me.
I could break this song down bit by bit to tell you why it’s the perfect pop tune. But I feel I’ve run out of time. You either love it or hate it. But in my eyes, pop music doesn’t get much better than this.