It’s generally newsworthy, or at least curiosity-worthy, whenever public figures reveal their fandoms or anti-fandoms. Obama’s got an eclectic 2012 playlist. British prime minister David Cameron is a veteran of the hate-listen. And Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has been in turmoil for more than a year thanks to the Arab Spring uprising, is quite the pop fan, according to emails leaked by activists.
There’s meatier political stuff in there, of course, but as a music site, we’re more interested in comparing our tastes with his. Because imagine: at the very moment you were listening to your favorite song, there’s a chance he was too! It’s serendipity! It’s something you probably don’t want to think about too closely! But since you already are now that we’ve mentioned it, here are some of the tracks that could’ve happened with:
THE BOMBASTIC: Power ballads get pretty substantial representation here, whether it’s Blake Shelton’s Christian-rock slab o’ inspiration “God Gave Me You,” which Assad sent to his wife, or Leona Lewis’s Nine Inch Nails cover “Hurt.”
THE BRASH: Only one song reported really qualifies here, but it’s brash enough for ten: Chris Brown’s fuck-off comeback “Look At Me Now.” (This post contains no editorializing.)
THE SEXY: It’s not too surprising that al-Assad’s a fan of LMFAO; they did, after all, manage to score two No. 1 hits in the U.S. and abroad, because dance-pop is an easy export. What’s noteworthy is that he downloaded both “Sexy and I Know It” and Right Said Fred before them. That’s so sexy, it hurts.