Real Life Rock Top 10: August 28, 2023
1. Ryan Gosling and other Kens, “Push,” in Barbie (Warner Bros.). The 1997 Matchbox 20 sensitive power ballad redone as a beachside country tune with any number of young men strumming guitars while cooing girls hang on their every word—here, as the apex of the patriarchy coup in Barbieland, the sort of song sung to apologize to women for beating them up and promising to never do it again. Unless: the current of menace under the smile of unity makes it a match, as the filmmakers had no way of knowing it would be when the sequence was devised, for Jason Aldean’s call for lynch mobs in “Try That in a Small Town” and Oliver Anthony’s J. D. Vance stump-speech rewrite for his “Rich Men North of Richmond.” If Barbie has its finger on the zeitgeist it might be right here.