Abstract Art in Commercial Pop

Sometimes, pop songs harbor hidden layers of beauty. Take, for example the 1997 song “Never Ever” from All Saints. When listening to it superficially for the first time, you may be tempted to rashly put it off as an innocuous commercial pop song without any ambition to revolutionize the genre. However, when you pay more attention, you realize: The song radically separates the content of its lyrics from the form of their presentation. Have you ever before heard anyone else sound so happy, when saying “Never ever have I ever felt so sad – The way I’m feeling, yeah, you got me feeling really bad!”?

Have a week like you’ve never ever had before,

Eric

PS: In addition to highlighting the distinction between the sad content of the lyrics and the good mood of the singers by adding a skip to the line “But I’ll know never to make the same mistakes again” and a bounce to the final lines “Uuh, you can write it in a letter babe, ’cause I really need to know”, you may have also noted a hint of religiosity in the music. That may have to do with the fact that the song not only harbors hidden radically innovative artistic expression, but also is based upon the song “Amazing Grace” – also that is hidden rather well: enjoy uncovering the links while listening!

PPS: All Saints appear to have been well-aware of the polarity contained in their piece. As singer Shaznay Lewis wisely remarked (while “in tears over the success” of the song): “I never believed that so much good could come out of it”

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