So here's a dirty secret: one of my longest-standing Pandora stations started with Mandy Moore's "Candy." It spews the most saccharine sugar-coated bubble-gum pop ever, and after 3 years of careful tweaking, it does exactly what I want it to.
Every once in a while I get fatigued listening to it so much, and try my hand at creating new stations. Some of the ones I've created and abandoned: Tori Amos radio, Norah Jones radio, Sheryl Crow radio, Vienna Teng radio, Black Eyed Peas radio, Zero 7 radio, Buena Vista Social Club radio, Counting Crows radio, Explosions in the Sky radio. Et cetera. The problem with Pandora is that when they try to expand the variety on a given station, the stations start bleeding together. Also, when I'm trying to focus on work, I have to listen to something upbeat -- because jazz, folk, and anything smacking of angsty indie rock-band, will put me right to sleep. It's best saved for lazy weekday evenings at home. Or yupster cocktail parties.
A couple weeks I tried a variation on my Candy radio station: Lada Gaga. It's been pretty good - nothing like electronic dance pop to keep me going. But this morning, I had a flash of brilliance and created a station using that terrible song "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo (I literally had to google "mmm whatchu say" because I had no f-ing clue what it was called or who sang it).
BINGO. Pandora immediately obliged me by offering a steady stream of truly insipid and repetitive lyrics, smooth young black male vocals, thick with synthesizers and softly driving beats. It totally amazes me that there exist so many songs that sound so alike in their stupidity, with such varied themes as 1) cheating on your 'shawty', 2) making love, 3) dancing in a club, 4) cheating on your 'shawty' by making love in a club with some other girl. So terrible but so great.
- Chris Brown, "Forever"
- Jay Sean, "Down"
- Jay-Z & Linkin Park, "Numb/Encore"
- Jesse McCartney, "Leavin'"
- Kanye West, "Stronger"
- Mario, "Let Me Love You"
- Ne-Yo, "Mad"
- T-Pain, "Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin')"
- Akon, "Beautiful
- Usher, "Love in This Club"
- Drake, "Best I Ever Had"
- ...and on
The only way this station could get more awesome is if I could design a station around early-90s R&B groups
, when R&B was actually good. Zapp & Roger anyone?