Tris McCall Pop Music Abstract 2004

Musician, critic and polymath Tris McCall’s annual review of pop singles is now available. Two samples:

Franz Ferdinand — “This Fire”
Just a big, dumb rock song. Franz Ferdinand wins points from brainy types because they’re fey and vaguely identifiable as college students, but when you take the album and shake it, the only idea that falls out is that the frontman would like to have sex with his male acquaintances. Yeah, yeah, I hear that from everybody these days. The band you are looking for is Interpol.

Nas — “Bridging The Gap”
It is tough to stay hardcore when all you rhyme about is your mommy and daddy. But there are many who have followed this story from its first days at the BBQ in Queensbridge, and for us, the Jones family saga is our Michener novel in street verse. “Dance”, from God’s Son, might have been a little extreme for those harboring excessive Oedipal fear. Instead of killing his pops, though, Nasir Jones has giftwrapped a ridiculously hot track for him to sing and blow on — an act of generosity exceptional even for rap’s biggest-hearted star. There are probably cynics out there who can remain unmoved when Nas breaks rhythm to holler “I love you, pops!” over his father’s life story. But that’s not me.