I suppose this counts as a “guilty pleasure,” though I am not usually prone to use that category. I find myself utterly enchanted by FannyPack, and their album So Stylistic. FannyPack is two (white, I think) twenty-something guys, Manhattan producers/hipsters, who write and perform the music, and three teenage girls (well, they range from 15 to 21) from Brooklyn, fashionably interracial (well, one’s white, one’s half-Puerto Rican, half-Thai, and one’s half-black, half-Indian according to band publicity) who rap in New York accents that are welcome to the ears of this exile. I don’t know if the girls write their own lyrics, or if the words are written for them by the two guys.
There’s something disturbingly pedophiliac about how these underage (or barely of age) girls are ultra-sexualized and made out to be innocent at the same time. Everything about the group seems calculated to play to some middle-aged fantasy (“middle-aged” meaning anybody older than the band members) of what urban teen girls are like.
The lyrics are stuff like: “Parties, movies, candy, toys,/ Clothes, shopping, music, boys,/ Flowers, beaches, Mom and Dad,/ These here things make me glad.” Though there’s also the song about the “Cameltoe,” and the one about sneaking into clubs with fake IDs. One song talks about hating school, another about the importance of good grades.
The music is bouncy, perky, and entirely synthetic party music: snaking synthesizer lines above beats borrowed from salsa, disco, Miami 1980s electro, and lite funk.
This music is so ostentatiously lightweight and “fun”, so unorganic, so stylized, so pre-calculated, so phony even (or especially) in the gestures it makes toward high-school-confidential street authenticity, that I can’t help myself: I love it. It’s airily, mindlessly pleasurable and adorable in a way that makes Britney, Christina, and even Beyonce seem utterly strained and clumsy in comparison. Basically, FannyPack is to these other post-teens-singing-for-pre-teens as Mozart is to Mahler, or as the Sex Pistols are to Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
It seems to me that this is what pop music always ought to be like. The weird part of it is, that although FannyPack was certainly being groomed by Tommy Boy Records for superstardom, the CD was apparently a big flop. Almost nobody bought the album. Is there no justice in the world?

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