I suppose it’s not a woman thing. Pop music in general is crap today, even more conservative than classical. Let’s see, you’ve got your bubblegum bimbo pop - Jessica Simpson, Britney, and their imitators - your dumb-ass rap, your fifth-generation Sex Pistols wannabes. Shrug. It all seems spent the way “How Much is That Doggie in the Window” pop was in the 1950s - on the brink, ready to collapse, over.
Still, I can’t help but feel that this exhaustion has particularly hurt female artists. Sure, at 42 I’m stuck in the 1980s. But think about it: where is today’s Kate Bush, Pretenders, Siouxsie and the Banshees? These days the guys can still come up with something to tingle the spine; Coldplay can deliver a great single, ditto Timberlake and Radiohead. But where is the bold, gifted, visionary female pop artist? Melissa Etheridge? Please. I came across an old Siouxsie and the Banshees song on YouTube, and was lifted out of my chair. It isn’t marginally better than Janet Jackson and Christina and Madonna; it towers over them. There is nothing contrived or processed about it. You know you are getting the absolutely unique, individual statement of an artist who put her soul and intellect into this wonderful piece of music. As much grief as punk, which spawned Siouxsie, got for letting anyone and their sister get up on stage and play, they did in fact get up on stage and play. They did not have beats piped to them via a Mac then hire a rapper to fill in the holes. They played. They learned chords. They wrote songs. Siouxsie wrote some of the best. Where is her successor?