While we are quite serious indie rock nerds, my husband Victor and I also enjoy popular music, the kind that “kids these days” are listening to. Please note that many indie rock fans may enjoy popular music in private, but not all will admit to it freely. And I’m not talking about Kanye West (it’s totally okay for hip white people to like him publicly), but I’m talking about full-on pop music.
For example, last night we were driving home from Oktoberfest indulging in one of our favorite pastimes: debating whether one song is better than another. This time, it was Justin Beiber’s “Baby” versus Jesse McCartney’s “Leavin'” – songs by two tween/teen-favored artists that your average PBR-swilling hipster would never admit to liking. I was firmly on the side of “Leavin'” (after all, it was my #1 single of 2008, and McCartney doesn’t make me want to punch him in the face like Beiber does), while Victor was firmly supporting “Baby.”
We agreed that they were both great songs.
During the conversation, Victor told me that “Baby” was written by The-Dream, who is pretty much the master hitmaker these days (in addition to being sex intelligent). I wasn’t aware that the “Umbrella”-penning The-Dream was working with baby-faced Beiber. But in retrospect, it’s not really that surprising, because “Baby” is really catchy.
Upon further investigation (e.g. Wikipedia-surfing), I discovered:
- “Baby” was actually co-written by Justin Beiber, The-Dream, and Tricky Stewart*
- “Leavin'” was co-written by – you guessed it – The-Dream and Tricky Stewart!!!
Well, it’s no wonder that we would need to have a pop music smackdown between these two songs! I do find it interesting that Jesse McCartney didn’t have a hand in writing “Leavin’,” as he is a Grammy-nominated songwriter (dude, he co-wrote “Bleeding Love” – I totally loved that song).
Anyway, in the spirit of Sunday being a big sports-rivalry day, or something to that effect… here are the two songs in question (in case you haven’t heard them a billion times):
“Leavin'” – Jesse McCartney
“Baby” – Justin Beiber (try to keep from punching his face through your computer monitor)
What do you think? Do you think baby-faced Beiber wins, or does not-aging-that-gracefully McCartney take the prize? And while we’re at it, what songs are you enjoying in Top 40 Land? Here’s a link to the Billboard Hot 100 if you need a guide.
Wow. Just looking at that list makes me feel old.
*Full disclosure here: while I am familiar with The-Dream… I’m not sure who Tricky Stewart is. But I just glanced at his Wikipedia page, and he looks like a nice guy who has made a huge pile of cash producing hit songs.