Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I am not cool

This is probably not news to anyone - least of all me - but my taste in music is decidedly uncool. What has prompted this post is that I have just received incontrovertible, statistical proof of my utter lack of coolness.

Last.Fm - the web service that remembers the songs you've been listening to and compiles them into a big list for everyone to laugh at - has put together a chart of the songs people most frequently deleted from their profiles in June. In other words, these are songs that people do listen to, but they're too ashamed to admit it.

It looks like this:

[the full list is here]

To me, this looks like a pretty good playlist for the drive into work. In fact, it made me hunt down my Paramore CD and put Misery Business on at full blast. Oh dear.

Music technology blog Music Machinery has done some analysis of the full charts and worked out the least popular / cool artists of all. Here's what they found:

Lady GaGa
Britney Spears
Katy Perry
Taylor Swift
Avril Lavigne
Alexander Rybak
Black Eyed Peas
Kings of Leon
My Chemical Romance
Linkin Park
Miley Cyrus
Jason Mraz
Metro Station
Leona Lewis
Green Day
Amy Whinehouse
Nelly Furtado

Of course, there must be some correlation between an act's popularity and the frequency of their tracks being deleted -- You're not going to end up on this list if no-one's listening to you in the first place (hello, Bryan Adams).

I'd also suggest there's an inherent bias from the fact that the most over-cultivated Last.FM accounts are maintained by men - who are deleting the tracks their wives, girlfriends, sons or daughters have played on their PC. That would explain why the two most obvious genres in this list are "pop for ladies", "disney teenyboppers" and "emo shit".

Personally, though, I'm not going to lose any sleep over this revelation. Nor am I popping into HMV tomorrow to pick up that Neil Young Box Set. What would you rather be: In with the in crowd, or a fan of the music everyone secretly likes?

All this list really proves is that no-one grows out of pop music, no matter what they say when they go to University.

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