Dream — "He Loves U Not"
Fact: I’ve always been a fan of pop music. Sometimes (more frequently than I’d like), it’s bubblegum pop. Fly-by-night boy- and girl-groups were all the rage in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and I was generally successful in staying out of the Y2K teen pop scene. Then, in September of 2000, California girl group Dream dropped “She Loves U Not,” a song about a girl stunting her man at another girl. The single climbed all the way up to number 2 on the Billboard charts (massive as it was, though, it was powerless to dethrone the reigning champion of the time, Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women, Part I”), and wormed its way into my Napster queue, though only under the cover of darkness.
I have a fair few “guilty pleasure” pop tracks here and there, but “He Loves U Not” is one of the guiltiest, and not just because it has a “U” in the title. The song is about female politics. The main character of the song is bragging to a girl how her man is so wrapped around her finger, the other girl’s womanly wiles won’t even work on him. There’s no way a man could sing this song out loud while still sounding straight (“Girl, you could pick a field full of daisies, but he’d still be my baby”).
Despite that, I still kinda like this song. The melody has a light, sing-song sound that I find quite catchy, and the pseudo-drum ‘n’ bass production fills my percussion-loving ears with glee (as opposed to Glee). Boy band pop never quite did it for me (with one exception, and you’ll read about it sooner than you think), but girl group pop generally sounds more natural and unforced, especially if executed as well as “He Loves U Not.”