Rihanna too Mainstream for NPR

Bob Boilen and his co-hosts shared their favorite songs of 2011 recently on NPR’s “All Songs Considered.”

I often appreciate the music on this program and I sometimes even like the commentary, although much of the time it lacks the “analysis” that a lawyer would expect. A professional music critic should find better ways of describing a song than by saying, “it just takes me to this certain place . . . “

What bothered me most about the 2011 “favorites” episode is one of the guest commentators, Stephen Thompson, really wanted to pick Rihanna’s “We Found Love” but selected a different song under duress. Apparently Bob Boilen told him to pick something different. IMHO the credibility of this program, or its hosts, or its producers, would have been enhanced if they had just gone with this pick. Yes, Rihanna is more mainstream and most of her fans are probably under 18, but that shouldn’t matter, right?  A good song is a good song.  I just feel like the All Songs Considered crew are a little more concerned about picking the obscure, hipster musicians’ work than with picking really good songs.

Maybe I was also annoyed because I just really like “We Found Love.” I can’t believe I’m defending Rihanna. That’s a little embarrassing.  Ok, I think I understand now.

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