Saturday, August 29, 2015

How Smirnoff Ice and stilettos ruined Icona Pop's anthem, 'I Love It'

Since its appearance in a drug-fueled episode of the second season of HBO's Millennial dramedy, Girls, Icona Pop's anthem, "I Love It" has been seeping into your brain via Smirnoff Ice spots and ads for women's shoe subscription services.

How Smirnoff Ice and stilettos ruined Icona Pop's anthem, 'I Love It'

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The cast of HBO´s "Girls" starring Lena Dunham.
The cast of HBO's "Girls" starring Lena Dunham.

Since its appearance in a drug-fueled episode of the second season of HBO's Millennial dramedy, Girls, Icona Pop's anthem, "I Love It" has been seeping into your brain via Smirnoff Ice spots and ads for women's shoe subscription services.

After Jersey's favorite petulant punk band, Titus Andronicus, played an eight-minute cover of the massive hit (laced with additional post-punk lyrics like "Burning down the church / I love it."), Flavorwire's Judy Berman decided to take a look at what the single—and its commercial mutation—says about female consumerism, modern punk music, and the price of selling out.

But if it’s TV shows that drove Icona Pop’s mainstream awareness and pop-chart success, it’s TV commercials that made them ubiquitous. What do Diet Dr. Pepper, ShoedazzleThe Heat, and Smirnoff Ice have in common? “I Love It” has appeared in a high-visibility ad for each of these (along with a few other) products in the past few months, making it inconceivable that anyone who watches more than an hour of television a week remains unfamiliar with the track. Considering that the Girls audience tops out at 4.6 million and less than half that many viewers watched the first season of Snooki & JWoww, it’s likely that most people who know the song heard it on a commercial first.

And that helps to explain how it acquired the meaning Titus Andronicus seem to be attributing to it. Now that the song is so thoroughly associated with a seemingly endless number of products available for purchase, the nihilism of “I Love It” has taken on a sort of selfish, consumerist undertone. When Stickles sings, “Fighting with the cops / I love it,” it seems less of a reaction to “I don’t care / I love it” than to “Buying shoes / I love it” and “Drinking sickeningly sweet, unnaturally white-hued malt-liquor confections / I love it.” [Flavorwire]

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