It's a pretty damning indictment of the state of popular music when Steps reuniting is cause for such huge celebration.
I've nothing against Steps and thought they were enjoyable toss the first time around. Little Lisa Scott-Lee was always fun when I saw her clubbing and a mate went to school with Lee Latchford Evans, so their 100 per cent-manufactured cartoon pop escaped any real savaging from me. But - as everyone from the band right down to their most ardent fan knew - they were a silly joke.
And yet they look set to join the growing trend of used-up groups reuniting to great acclaim: Boyzone, Take That, The Stone Roses and soon Girls Aloud to name the big hitters. And I'm pretty sure I can tell you why we are so shriekingly desperate to see those bands from yesteryear come back - because almost all the music inflicted on the masses these days is utterly without merit.
It is so bad that music channels or commercial radio can no longer be enjoyed by many of us.
Songs about "busting another bottle" or "keeping going till the morning" and not being able to "party like we party" abound.
The music now is just a selection of rave presets we used to listen to in the 90s along with beats so weak they wouldn't challenge clock radio speakers. David Guetta is everywhere, ruining everything he touches. Kanye West has decided to become a singer. Cher Lloyd is...oh balls to her. Matt Cardle is...nah, balls to him too.
It's all vocoders and autotune with one word repeated instead of a chorus. The really great shame of it is the big players' (TV/radio/labels) inability and reluctance to really try anything new. If it's not on X Factor or got a huge team behind it with loads of money to spend, they won't back it.
No wonder bands from way back when are having a field day. Even the return of Steps is like offering a glass of water to a man lost in the desert. Can you imagine that happening when rock 'n' roll emerged? When the punk scene got going? Even the intrinsically repetitive dance music scene has always remained progressive.
Pop used to have Michael Jackson, Prince, A-Ha, Jodeci, All Saints, Duran Duran, Whitney Houston and so many more. Now we have Rihanna, Katy Perry and NeYo. For the first time our popular music has become so dire, we're actually travelling backwards in search of something worth listening to. In great big Steps...
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