Shut up and Dance demonstrates what's wrong with the current state of pop music
- Written by Blair Henatyzen
The following review is more about what's wrong with the current state of pop music than it is about Victoria Duffield.
Duffield, 17, is from Vancouver, British Columbia. A couple of years back she won a talent competition with a Canadian television station called YTV. From there, she signed with Warner Music Canada and is presumably being groomed by the industry to be the next Britney Spears. Shut Up and Dance is her latest full album release. I say presumably being groomed by the industry to be the next Britney Spears because that's exactly what she is. An auto-tuned, cookie-cut, choreographed, younger version of Spears. This is in no way the fault of Duffield, and I'll come back to that.
Pop music, today, is more about entertainment than it is originality. To entertain, you don't have to be original. Fill the stage with dancers, pyrotechnics, and a scantily clad 'musician' and the people will pay. It's a recipe that works. It's a recipe that's used to create entertainers. Including Duffield.
She is, in large part, in the hands of her manager, producer, and at the age of 17, probably her parents. For her, it's exciting. And there's no questioning her stage presence. But that's all it is. There's no depth. The looped beat is standard pop production and even the words Shut Up and Dance are old by pop music standards. In fact, Paula Abdul had an album of the same name 22 years ago. That was 5 years before Duffield was born.
Duffield is probably a very nice, and bright, young girl. She's likely a prom queen in wait, and has many other great things ahead of her. As she matures, though, it's my hope she chooses to take herself in a different direction. One that is unique to her, and not being the product of treading lightly in the shadows of former stars.
The album is only 8 songs and requires less than 30 minutes of your attention. In that light, it's good at one thing; respecting your time. If you're a fan of run of the mill pop music, Shut Up and Dance is for you. But, if most pop music today makes you want to curl up under the bed, in the fetal position, crying, while questioning your own sanity, you'll want to stay away from it.
This kind of release is the reason iTunes, like Walmart, should have a discount bin.
Blair Henatyzen is a London radio announcer and can be followed on Twitter @LdnOnt_Blair.