Popgeneration.com caught on early. The site’s an on-line HQ for grassroots street teams, serving up 10 pristinely packaged, super-femmy recording artists, with plenty more en route. Devotees can spread the word about their favorites by flooding chat forums and message boards with links and information, or pimp free promo materials after local concerts. We’ve seen most of the PG girls before they’ve landed a recording deal. There’s Cheyenne Kimball, who’s about to morph from America’s Most Talented Kid (she won the NBC contest when she was 12) into a teen idol, thanks to the network of fans she’s building through Cheyenne, her MTV reality-TV show. There’s also Aly & AJ, the former a Disney Channel vet, the latter a reoccurring character on CBS drama The Guardian; Joanna, who starred on MTV’s True Life documentary series, which followed her while she worked on her album This Crazy Life; Vanessa Ann Hudgens, prim goody-goody of Disney’s High School Musical gone solo; and the Veronicas, Australian twins whose ability to write and play their own music gave Warner Bros. the bright idea to have them compose a hit for the Russian duo t.A.T.u.
Pop Generation is a reflection of just how easy it is for songwriting squads like the Matrix and mixers like Serban Ghenea to manufacture girl pop in industrial quantities and then model it all as designer exclusives. There’s always a new chick who’s just completed her studio time, boasting a curvier figure and an even sassier chorus for fans to lip-synch. Paris is on the PG roster, too — except she keeps turning tricks to set herself apart from the factory mold.
“Never be predictable . . . that way, they will never get tired of you.” That’s Rule #21 of “How To Be an Heiress,” from Confessions of an Heiress, the adult picture book Paris “authored” in 2004. Only Paris would take the high road and assume that we haven’t grown bored of her. And yet she’s right. Cue Rule #22: “If the media plays with you, play with them.”
When in a recent interview with British GQ Paris told a reporter she was taking a vow of celibacy and swearing off intercourse, she knew the ensuing scathing remarks would get her all the pre-release attention she could want for Paris. Nobody who’s seen five minutes of the notorious 1 Night in Paris would buy into her promise to stick to first base for the next year. Especially once you hear Paris, which is even more concerned with getting down and getting off than Paris is herself.
Sex is the heady, overreaching theme of the album, peer-pressured along by old-school dance pop. “Yeah, I’m hot, bitch!” she jeers on “Turn You On,” then explains that her table-dancing antics serve a greater purpose than just her lust for exhibitionism — it gives the tabloids something to write about. She might as well mess with a guy’s head while she’s at it. Why? Because it’s fun. “We can dance all night but you ain’t getting none/Take a cold shower when you get home,” she cackles. A nun’s habit might be a bit of a stretch, but at least Paris is sleeping solo one night of the week.