Pop genius

Over the last six months I’ve become a half-hearted gym junkie having joined the evil cult next door to work. I still hate gyms, but the desire to live longer has helped me overcome my distaste. Why, for example, do they assume men only like to do weights and women prefer cardio, thus putting all the exercise bikes etc on the quite obviously designated chick floor?

They even segregate the music, playing more girlie stuff on one floor and slightly more masculine fare upstairs with the weights and rowing machines (no Barnesy, though). Which means when I’m on the exercise bike I have to listen to an ever-repeating small assortment of R’n’B and pop unless I remember to bring the iPod.

Which is all a very long-winded and lame explanation of why I’ve heard (about a million times) and seen the video clip of The Veronicas‘ masterpiece 4Ever. You have to feel sorry for those nice folks trying to pitch abstinence to teenage girls when they’re up against the full force of the Warner marketing department, an incredibly catchy tune (more of which later) and lyrics like:

Come on baby we aint gonna live forever
Let me show you all the things that we could do
You know I wanna be together
And I wanna spend the night with you
With you
Come with me tonight
We could make the night last forever

I suppose it’s possible the song is talking about something other than sex. Suicide, for instance. Getting a tattoo? Marriage? Buying a house? Amputation of limbs? All “things we could do” to “make the night last forever”, I suppose.

And while the sisters Origliasso are talented songwriters, according to this sycophantic bio, something about 4ever made me think it was beyond the capabilities of even two precocious teenage girls like Lisa and Jess. And I was right.

The Veronicas, or at least their management, fully aware on which side of the Pacific their bread is likely to be more heavily buttered, have stripped themselves (not literally, though the editors of Ralph and FHM are doubtless salivating at the prospect) of anything noticeably Aussie and bought themselves a likely #1 US hit.

Would it shock you to discover the same songwriter has provided similar services to the pop A-list including Army of Lovers, Ace of Base, Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi, 5ive, Nick Carter, N’Sync and Westlife? Has provided Kelly Clarkson with her biggest hit, Since u been gone? (That one’s hardly a shocker. Including the highly original use of SMS-speak, 4ever is practically the same song.) And has re-launched the career of A-ha with Analogue and shot Britney Spears to international superbogandom with the ABBA-styled . . . Baby One More Time?

So take a bow, cos you deserve some respect for a fair proportion of the best written and most successful pop songs of the last decade, Max Martin. How do you do it?

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