Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mariah Carey: Do we really need the hashtag?

Look, everyone: Putting a hashtag in your song title just smacks of #desperation. You might as well project the words "I have limited confidence in the artistic merit of this record" on the moon.

There's a reason why Radiohead never released a single called AOL KEYWORD: CREEP in the 1990s, and it's not because Thom Yorke's fear of computers had him convinced his teasmaid was sentient and hacking the Pentagon for nuclear launch codes (although that also happened).

It will come as no surprise to learn that will.i.am started the trend for hashtag titles with his recent single #thatpower, a song which has wreaked havoc my obsessively-alphabetized iTunes library. I can forgive Will, because he's 98% robot, but now it's spreading...

The latest culprit is Mariah Carey, whose new single is cumbersomely called #Beautiful. It arrives a couple of months after her "comeback", Triumphant, flopped spectacularly in the US, so I guess the hashtag can only help. Indeed, #Beautiful was trending on Twitter last night after its radio premiere - although I'd argue that was inevitable, given that the song is an almighty return to form in the guise of a sexy, throwback duet with R&B crooner Miguel.

Perhaps Mariah could retrofit some of her other songs so they can appear up-to-date with the latest trends in technology. We have a few suggestions:
:: Vision Of Lolz
:: <3Brkr
:: All I Want For Christmas is YouTube
:: Shake It #FF
:: (You've Got Me Feeling) Emoticons


PS: Caitlin Moran wrote a ranty column in this weekend's Times about the proliferation of hashtags on TV. My favourite is BBC One panel show Would I Lie To You, which insists on people Tweeting the word "#Wilty".

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