We had no idea this list existed, but we love that it does: last.fm, a social music site that lets people share what they’re listening to, keeps track of what songs users delete from their profiles so others don’t know they listened to them. Y’know, this can be easily solved by just using two programs to play music, only one of which is hooked up to last.fm–not that we’re talking from experience or anything–but apparently people don’t do this. Apparently, people also like to listen to Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Rihanna and other pop stars. They listen to them a lot! But they don’t want anybody to know.
There are two things telling about this list, which Buzzfeed has helpfully compiled into one page. One, that everybody on it is a pop artist, broadly speaking. Taylor Swift mostly qualifies, Adele qualifies by now, and the rest are the likes of Katy Perry, Paramore, Britney Spears and (especially) Lady Gaga. This shouldn’t be news. After all, lots of people are adamant in thinking all pop music is fake and autotuned, which is clearly always evil and purposeless, and not worth listening to and unilaterally terrible. Thinking it has a spectrum of quality just like any other genre, or that Auto-Tune can be used to accomplish certain vocal effects that the unadorned voice cannot, or even just that pop songs can be fun listens, is still an unpopular opinion. Or, rather, it’s not unpopular–it’s just unpopular to admit it. Clearly some people like these songs–user-generated tags include “so fucking fabulous,” “fucking genius,” “addictive,” “dance all night” and “epic.” Maybe, just maybe, they have a point.
(Before you object that maybe people are deleting these songs because they were just used for party playlists, not regular listening, note that a) party listening is no less valid than, say, meditating alone in your bedroom with expensive headphones, and b) not all of these songs are singles–quite a few Gaga album tracks show up, for instance, and the likes of those aren’t exactly dance-floor fillers.)
The other telling thing is that these are all female pop artists. Yes, literally every song on this list of 50 is by a female vocalist. On the one hand, female artists are dominating pop right now, so it’s no surprise that they’d lead the numbers. On the other hand, come on, dudes (last.fm doesn’t break the stats down by gender, but common sense.) It’s OK to like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. In fact, you clearly do, because last.fm has proof that you are listening to them, and it’s not like you all got Lady Gaga-rolled en masse. (Rick Astley did not make the list.) The only way it’ll be less of a stigma to listen to pop artists, and female pop artists specifically, is if you stop making it that way.
And for the record, “Bad Romance”–No. 1 on the list–is a great song.