Another so-called "critic" for whom I have little regard is Ed Ward, whose historical knowledge of music is incredible (50s pop and jazz, at least) but who is aesthetically stuck in the doo-wop school of simple and once, in a review on NPR, dismissed the entirety of the 70s as a period that did nothing but bore him. He and I share nothing in common in matters of preference. The music he extolls as the ne-plus-ultra of popular culture does for me what the music I love does for him---bores me. But I don't dismiss it as forgettable and irrelevant.
Anyway, we've been down this road before, and it's a matter of understanding that there's a basic misunderstanding here. Complex is not the same as complicated and simple is not the same as simplistic. Barber's Adaggio For Strings is very simple, but it has very complex results for the careful listener. Mozart's last symphony is also relatively simple, but is nevertheless a complex work. John Cage, on the other hand, does a lot of complicated collage work that amounts to simplistic moments of dissonance that masquerade as complexity.
A lot of the music Frank dismisses as complex for the sake of complexity is simply complicated. On the other hand, a lot more of it is fairly simple that has complex consequences, which is not the same thing. The Beatles did a lot of music that was simple and yet produced complex responses. They did some that was fairly complex. They were never simplistic.
A lot of punk, however, was just simplistic, on the level of "Hey, I like that note played REAL LOUD!"
We could go on, but the point's been made. As this relates to pop culture...popular culture is the source for what later becomes "culture"---consider all the folk tunes the 19th century composers poached to create amazing pieces. Some of Brahms' best work is based on such "simple" things. So you can't ignore popular culture. But it would be worthwhile to recognize what the worthwhile aspects later become once they are incorporated into the kind of art we think of when we talk about Culture. (Tongue somewhat in cheek) consider in science fiction how Doc Smith's histrionically purple stories fed into the Star Trek mythos and the Federation then became the seedbed for Iain Banks' "Culture" stories, which are highly sophisticated, refined---dare we say, "artful"---masterpieces.
Complex is not the same as complicated, but for the simplistic they can be indistinguishable. A lot gets missed that way. A pity.