Olivia Rodrigo: Spotify follow-up is all about smoke and mirrors | Rebecca nicholson


ohlivia Rodrigo has claimed the top two positions on Spotify’s UK’s Most Listened to song list this year, with just one surprise, given its ubiquity – that the Paramore-esque Good 4 U has beaten the driver’s license, which is an affront to defenders of the correct use of apostrophes. While other streaming services are available, it was Spotify that made the year-end list; as one internet aptly noted, this is the only service to show how well it follows you. and make it look fun.

A few years ago, Netflix posted a tweet that read: “To the 53 people who watched A christmas prince every day for 18 days: who hurt you? At the time, it was controversial because it was scary and critical. Now, most of us not only ignore the big tech companies by knowing what we did and when, but we help them promote it.

Spotify’s Annual Unwrapped, a personalized animation that shows what subscribers have listened to, comes with Advent Calendars. It’s about three weeks after everyone has planted their Christmas tree.

I’ve always found the performative aspect of these lists a little unsettling, like a teenager listening to music on his phone speakers so everyone knows his love for rap with lots of swear words.

What I listen to is fundamentally mortifying: there are worse things I could do with Fat soundtrack, looping, so I could sing along at full volume and dream of an amateur production that would take a 39-year-old Rizzo (to be fair, Stockard Channing was 33 when she played it in the movie). I know, in theory, that there is no such thing as guilty pleasure, but is it worthy of shouting over Kanye’s replay of Monster to perfect Nicki Minaj’s rap?

This year, I’ve seen more memes on Spotify Unwrapped than actual lists; either everyone’s pandemic streaming was too exposed to be made public, or people were not reflected in it.

Shared accounts, hacked accounts, the radio, the record player – all mean Spotify Unwrapped is a funhouse mirror, not quite what it says it does.

And I am convinced, convinced, that he invents genres to get people to post “wtf is Chamber psych lol random”. Or maybe the only thing to unwrap is my foil hat.

Bryan Adams: Pit Stops for Pirelli

Bryan Adams: the king of the calendar. Photograph: Mark Blinch / Reuters

Rock star / photographer Bryan Adams photographed this year’s Pirelli calendar. Since 1964, the tire company has recruited star photographers and personalities, usually women, for what has become a prestigious project. The theme of this year’s episode is On the Road and it features a number of musicians, from Cher to St Vincent to Rita Ora, posed as if to “capture the life of an artist on tour”.

The calendar was notoriously rich in nudity, but the only topless snap I got to see this year was Iggy Pop.

When I was a music journalist, I spent a lot of time “on the road” and was delighted to see it reflected in Adams’ photos.

Perhaps Cher would be captured on a remote service at midnight, only to find that everything but a lonely WHSmith was closed, and it would be Monster Munch for dinner again.

Perhaps we could see Rita Ora wondering if that sticky feeling on her skin, a mixture of hot, cheap beer and drummer’s sweat, would ever go away?

It’s no spoiler to say that if this timeline was a road it would be the M6 ​​toll: clean, elitist, and full of the rich.

Ellen White: Joy Everywhere, But Scoring Is Not the Goal

Ellen Blanc
Ellen White: heroine of purpose. Photograph: Tom Flathers / Manchester City FC / Getty Images

As a newcomer to the world of football, I was shocked to find that winning 20-0 was not as pleasant as I might have imagined a few years ago. The stats involved in England’s beating against Latvia in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying game are, to use the technical term, a little silly: four hat tricks, 85.6% possession for the ‘England 31 shots on target and seven more goals than England’s previous best score. 13-0. Even manager Sarina Wiegman suggested it could be an indication of the need for pre-qualifiers. “In every country you want to develop women’s football, but I don’t think it’s a good thing that the scores are so high now,” she said.

In the midst of it all, however, it was rightfully Ellen White’s evening. The Manchester City forward tied Kelly Smith’s record 46 goals for England in the sixth minute and improved it in the ninth. (Smith sent him a congratulatory message on Twitter, “So many nations around the world are afraid to play against you,” she said.)

White finished the match with a new record of 48 goals, putting her on par with Gary Lineker and Harry Kane[Correct according to https://www.englandstats.com/player.php?pid=1207], behind only Bobby Charlton and Wayne Rooney. A cause for celebration, of course, and on the pitch there was joy, even though off the pitch White’s humility was deep. “We’re moving on and not talking about it anymore,” she said.

It’s clear now that breaking Rooney’s record is a possibility: At 32, you feel she has plenty of goals left, but don’t expect her to scream.

This article was last updated on December 4, 2021. A photo titled “Ellen White” was actually of Lauren Hemp. This has been replaced by an image of white.

Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist

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