Pitchfork on Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" back when it was released in 2004:
...Elsewhere on LAMB, the Neptunes shit out a Queen pastiche called "Hollaback Girl", which has about as much club potential as a 13-year old with a milk moustache and his dad's ID.
Funny line! Oh you Pitchfork, always with the attitude. Emphasis mine, by the way. Run ahead to August 2009, when they're counting down the best songs of the decade. Uh:
180. Gwen Stefani
"Hollaback Girl" proved divisive with critics, with this publication decrying it as second-rate Queen, but this list's voters evidently have latched on to Gwen's feminine sport anthem. Stefani actually wrote "Hollaback Girl" with producer Pharrell Williams in reaction to a derogatory statement made by Courtney Love labeling Stefani a cheerleader. From the outset, it's pretty obvious that Stefani is a cheerleader, and a damn good one. The cut's Spartan beat proved wildly successful in the club, with Stefani's invocations leading legions of ladies (and dudes) in an empowering urban shout-along.
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Ha, Pitchfork's basically admitting it was wrong about the song. They like to trick people by doing that from time to time. But doesn't it seem like, despite placement in the top tracks of the decade, Pitchfork -- or at least writer Mike Orme -- still hates "Hollaback Girl?" "This list's voters evidently have latched on to Gwen's feminine sport anthem" is really the only justification they've got for ranking it so highly, and "an empowering urban shout-along" is the closest thing to critical analysis that they cough up. I'm wondering why they label Stefani, OC's biggest musical export, a "damn good" cheerleader. What's so damn good about her? Where's your evidence, tastemaking webzine!?
Anyways, the Weekly always loved this song. In 2005, Greg Stacy gave it the heavy critical treatment it deserves.
Speaking of Pitchfork's end-of-decade countdown, anyone else a little bothered they're doing it so soon? I get that this is kind of their decade -- for better or worse, they controlled the critical dialog on most of the aught's noteworthy albums -- and they want to get out ahead of everyone else. Still, seems opportunistic: They get clicks (and a Hagen Dazs sponsorship, according to the homepage banner) by making a big event out of their end-of-decade coverage now, and then they'll get clicks for their end-of-2009 yearly wrap-up, and then they'll get clicks when they have to redo their 2000s list in light of their 2009 one. All the while we, the music geeks with a like/hate relationship with the 'Fork, get list fatigue.
Actually, it's probably genius from a business stand point. B-A-N-A-N-A-S, even. Sorry.