It's been a while since we complained about Glee. Frankly, we just kind of reached a point where it seemed futile to object in the face of such aggressive perkiness anymore. (That, and the show seems to be helping children and teens understand that being gay is perfectly normal, which is obviously a great thing to have happen during primetime.) However, our rage sensors went into hyperdrive this week when we heard the entirely pointless -- yet somehow still deeply aggravating -- Glee version of Icona Pop's "I Love It."
Here, have a listen:
Now, the only thing that ever made Glee's covers tolerable was that dipping into other artist's back catalogs and pop-ifying them arguably gave kids who only listened to what's on MTV and on the Billboard charts a broader idea of music in general -- and maybe even inspiration to look beyond the mainstream. So we generally don't like it when Glee covers stuff that is of the here and now. "I Love It" is at its peak of popularity currently, so why do we need a shitty, second-rate cover of it coming out at the same time?
The second point of irritation is that this feels very much like riding coattails (even more than Glee usually does.) Icona Pop was largely unknown until Lena Dunham had the good sense to use "I Love It" in a particularly awesome episode of Girls, where Hannah and Elijah do coke, go clubbing, and lose their tiny minds on the dancefloor. The scene was so utterly zeitgeist-capturing and special that it was impossible to not fall in love with the song by, at the very least, association. Observe the magic happen:
Glee covering "I Love It" is yet another example of the show seeing other people's "cool" and trying to get in on a piece of the action without actually doing anything interesting. Glee sticks close enough to the original music to make it seem like the cast is remaining faithful to the energy of the original. But in reality, all of the underlying sass and snottiness of Icona Pop's track is sucked out of the Glee version, in favor of sweet perfection and harmonized choruses. What sounded like bratty rebellion in the original sounds merely like a rehearsed cheerleader chant in the Glee version.
Nothing can take the soul out of any song quicker, or more annoyingly, than Glee. The show replaces personality with saccarine sentimentality. We're just not sure we've seen it try and get cool points so quickly -- or blatantly -- following a single's success before. This month will mark Glee's fourth year on the air. Please, for the love of God, can we stop this madness now?