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Dick Clark may not be here anymore, but I still am, and so is his eponymous New Year’s show. I enjoy watching the show for many reasons, but for the purposes of this blog, it is because it exposes me to pop music I might otherwise never listen to. I’ll be writing my thoughts on each band/artist as they perform, and I am sure everyone is tremendously excited to know what I think of them. It is 11:30pm, and here we go:

Taylor Swift. I had been led to believe that Swift was a country artist, but I think country fans have been tricked. She seems about as pop as you can get, if I’m to judge by the presumably very popular songs that were chosen for this performance.

Pitbull. Pitbull seems to have taken up the “party rock” role that LMFAO made up. That doesn’t surprise me. It would’ve surprised me if he’d tried something new – he’s being going this direction for years. At least he’s having fun.

OneRepublic. Determined to break the one-hit-wonder label, these guys have returned with a new hit. Unfortunately, it is hard to top a well put together “magic four chords” song, and I don’t believe they’ve managed it with Feel Again. It’s got the ooh’s and ah’s and the drumbeat that characterize a song that is trying hard, so I’m sure their fanbase still loves it, but that’s about it. Also, as yet another reminder that pop artists are reusing songs, the chorus reminds me of this.

Justin Bieber. I’m running out of things to say about Bieber. The record execs are doing everything right. They’ve got the collaborations, the generic tracks, Bieber has dance moves. If I had to pick a reason why his music is not as popular as he is, I think his 90’s boy band aesthetic is coming across as too dated.

Karmin. I used to think of Nicki Minaj as a black Lady Gaga, which isn’t a valid comparison. However, to say that Karmin is a white Nicki Minaj seems pretty accurate to me (or more specifically, the chick in Karmin, because it’s actually a duo). If they’re still here next year, I’ll be impressed.

Jason Aldean. He seemed like a typical country artist to me, but two things surprised me about his performance. First, he started rapping. I don’t know if this is standard in country now, but if not, “wow.” Also, I could swear that one of his band members was using a koto. If not, I’m just tripping.

Flo Rida. I don’t know if this is scary or not, but I missed the name banner for him, yet I knew it was Flo Rida anyway. He and Pitbull do basically the same thing, but I feel like Flo Rida’s songs are catchier. My initial guess at why is that Flo Rida more often makes use of a chorus singer (at least in the hits I’ve heard), which better closes the gap between rap and pop.

Brandy. Honestly, I’m going to have to hear more before I have a real opinion about her. The song was basic. She seems kind of like a “Beyonce”-type artist.

Greyson Chance. Oh boy, people. You are going to want to listen to this. His voice has dropped a bit since this song was recorded, but it sounds to me like he’s about to become the folky version of Justin Bieber, and I think they’d better get this kid selling some Beats while he’s hot.

The Wanted. My only question about this band — which reminds me of a Maroon 5 in which Adam Levine is played by five different guys — is why there aren’t more bands doing the exact same thing. It seems like a working formula.

Ellie Goulding. I like Ellie’s haircut, and I like her voice, but I don’t really like her music. As such, I generally enjoy it when people sample her, but I don’t really listen to any of her songs vanilla.

Well, it is about 2am, and I am going to bed. I’d say it’s between Greyson or Ellie on who the most interesting artist of the night was.

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