Heads up ! Some proper writing ahead.
We are bandwagon jumping and have invited Obscure Music and Football (which like F&M it does as it says on the tin…) to do guest post on here. Read on Macduff:
Football songs are currently going through something of a renaissance. After being shunted for the past decade or so, possibly due to footballers taking themselves too seriously and being less willing to poke fun at themselves, football songs have become the comeback kid. No doubt due to the advent of Facebook and YouTube, footballers are now more than willing to unleash their musical credentials. But in a world where footballers are as characterless as Jamie Redknapp’s punditry, what is the modern football song like?
Unfortunately, Ryan Babel is the perfect example of how footballers have turned into attention-seeking cretins that don’t care about anyone but themselves because they’re so bloody great. It’s quite surprising for a man that sounds like he’s coughing up phlegm whilst rapping. When it comes to his lyrics, Babel is so arrogant to such proportions that it almost becomes unethical. It just shows how much football songs have changed as it’s no longer about hoping your team wins, finding love or eating sausage rolls. It’s now about how expensive your watch is, how big your car is and how rubbish everyone else is apart from yourself. Before football songs was about enjoying the situation and laughing in the face of adversity, but now it’s just full of spite and bitterness. Despite this Babel’s music seems to be very popular in the Netherlands. What do you expect in a country that sees 2Unlimited as demi-gods?
Another interesting change is how seriously music is being taken as a possible career by footballers. Before, you’d think that ‘Diamond Lights’ was conceived after a drunken bet or ‘Head Over Heels in Love’ was just a blatant-cash in. Even something like Andy Cole’s ‘Outstanding’ was not treated as a life-or-death affair. Now it seems like if footballers do not get the attention they crave or if they receive a single piece of constructive criticism, their heads will combust due to its devastating impact. It takes such an obsession on their lives, that in their deluded world, they think that it is now their major career path.
Take a look at Clint Dempsey who, under the alias Deuce (a name that is no doubt influenced by the cheesy manufactured group from the mid-1990’s), wants to be the new Pharrell Williams at whatever cost. Due to hiring the cheapest knock-off of Puff Daddy, however, his song ‘Don’t Tread’ seems to have the intensity of taking out false teeth and the terror of being happy-slapped by a midget. It’s obvious that Dempsey wants to be taken seriously here but, with lyrics describing how he is signed by Nike, his venture into music is as credible as Paul Gascoigne’s music career without even realising it.
Despite these accusations, there have been recent attempts to record football songs for charity. However, these seem to be a cynical attempt to further expose these vanity projects on the public radar rather than being a genuine attempt to raise funds and awareness for various charities.
The Players, for example – fronted by Norwegian Premier League players (i.e. obscure and/or unknown players to the average football fan) Freddy Dos Santos, Kristofer Hæstad, Raymond Kvisvik and Øyvind Svenning, along with Blackburn Rovers winger Morten Gamst Pedersen, they gathered to sing the track ‘This is For Real’ which raised funds for the charity Soccer against Crime. Fair play, until you listen to the song. As tepid as a John Major pose, it has the lyrical content that is likely to induce immediate projectile vomiting. Utterly pointless, where it feels like random members of Embrace, Orson and Westlife have instantly been turned into waxwork models.
|The Players – This Is For Real:|
Neil Danns’ effort for the Haiti fund seems even more contrived and self-satisfied than others. In a doomed attempt to show that he cares about the world, he discusses terror and poverty with the substance of the average Metro article. In addition to committing manslaughter to Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’, Danns tries to be cool and insightful by singing about 9/11 whilst using Auto-Tune and dancing in an ushanka:
Rather tragically though, Danns is the artist most convinced that he is set for music stardom as he is currently studying for a video editing and production course. You can imagine Danns spending every single second of his life thinking about Auto-Tune, given that Sheffield Wednesday duo Richard O’Donnell and Mark Beevers’ have practised the Kings Of Leon song Sex on Fire on Auto Tune with empty Coca-Cola bottles.
There are, however, two saving graces that revert to the stereotypical view of the football song….
One is Carlos Tevez’s band Piola Vago who completely understands the concept of recording a wonderfully bad football song. Recorded by musicians who are performing at five pitches higher than it should be, their musical incompetence is naturally brilliant in its own way. It is also what a football song should be; no boasting or being completely in love with themselves, just a bunch of football fanatics having a bit of fun and not taking themselves seriously with it. Whilst I’m convinced that the song ripped onto YouTube was played at completely the wrong speed, they are comedy geniuses.
Didier Drogba’s effort is equally entertaining. Whether the collaborator is called ‘Billy Billy’ or whether that is the name of the song is unknown, given that every aspect of this recording is completely incomprehensible. Utilising the modern techniques found in the Ivory Coast such as the using the horn function on the 1992 Yamaha PSR-75 electronic keyboard, it somehow sounds like a remedial class trying to play Caribbean music. As devastating as cot death, Billy Boy’s is hilariously bad with Drogba’s contribution a delight to marvel at.
Although it seems like a trivial subject to discuss, modern football songs parallel the criticisms of modern football (whether these are right or wrong is a different story). They are generally mean-spirited and soulless songs, recorded by a bunch of narcissistic show-offs who will throw their toys out of the pram if they don’t get their own way. As credible as Rio Ferdinand’s television career, it is the worst kind of music you can listen to -in the musicians’ warped world they think they are creating something groundbreaking when it is in fact the opposite. Apart from two people, that is. Thank god for Carlos Tevez and Didier Drogba.
About the author:
Chris Ledger is the writer and editor of the cult website Obscure Music and Football.