"I threw your sh-t into a bag and pushed it down the stairs/ I crashed my car into the bridge/ I don't care, I love it." Sure, we all love Icona Pop's "I Love It" for its fierce hipster disco, its throbbing beats, its girlish shouts (and its Girls-ish drama). But let's be real: What really sells the song, what's made this relatively unknown Swedish pop duo burn its way up the charts, is the sheer brattiness of the thing. It's just packed to its cheeky little cheeks with an enviable amount of "F- you" that we only wish we could muster ourselves. And that gum-smacking, b-tch-slapping, snarky ennui also places "I Love It" within a pantheon of other brat-pop anthems.
A stylistic maneuver that's been around at least since The Angels taunted their unwanted suitors with "My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble," brat-pop is a strategy that allows mostly (though not always) female pop stars to at once harness the rebellious power of rock while still maintaining the hooky charm of pop. It's been a means of rebelling against the impetus for women in pop to be excessively sweet and cutesy, of smacking down haters, of touting one's own skill in a boys' club genre and, especially, of articulating a fiercely independent stance for artists ranging from Lily Allen and P!nk to Missy Elliott and Avril Lavigne (who's made an entire career out of the stuff). It also makes for some pretty fantastic get-your-girls-together-and-shout-it-out-the-car-windows jams. Try it! Or don't. Whatever. We don't even f-ing care.