366 Songs 057: Teenage Kicks

Instead of manufactured teen pop feeling, here’s some of the real thing: One of the greatest pop songs ever made, and something that feels so wonderfully pure in its simultaneous evocation and undercutting of the pop song cliche and format. To today’s ears, there’s probably nothing different or overly exciting about “Teenage Kicks,” but I still find the guitar solo after the second go-around thrilling (I also love that the song is actually so short, they do it twice and the whole thing is still under three minutes!), Fergal Sharkey’s weird American accent impressed over his genuine Irish one, or the lyrics that are simultaneously distillations of pop romance (“Another girl in the neighborhood/Wish she was mine, she looks so good”) and weirdly creepy (Is this song about older guys perving on teenage girls? How old were the Undertones when this was recorded, anyway?). There’s almost nothing to dislike about this song, and even if there was, it’s over so quickly that it’d be done by the time you’d realized it, anyway.