Tag Archives: pop music

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Valentine’s Day Special:
Alessandra Mussolini’s Amore

1,122 words

It’s February 14th, and love is in the air. What better way to soundtrack today’s romantic escapades than with Alessandra Mussolini — the granddaughter of Il Duce himself — and her sultry, Japanese-released city-pop record, Amore?

Released in 1982 exclusively for the Japanese market, Read more …

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Iggy & the Stooges’ Raw Power

1,563 wordsCover of Iggy and the Stooges' Raw Power.

Iggy and the Stooges released the proto-punk slammer Raw Power on this day, February 7th, in 1973. It’s a raw, aggressive record that set the tone for genres as diverse in sound and era as punk, hardcore, grunge, and metal. Raw Power is also an early example of the importance of mixing and the dangers — or benefits — of studio control being handed to musicians.  Read more …

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Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

2,210 wordsCover of Billie Eilish's "WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?"

Billie Eilish is the youngest person to ever be awarded Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, for her debut effort WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? [1] At just 18, she swept the ceremonies, earning over 60 awards in categories that ranged from Best New Artist to Best Song. Read more …

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Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats

1,224 wordsCover of the Frank Zappa album Hot Rats.

One of the first albums to be recorded on 16-track tape, Hot Rats spawned a jazz standard, a sprawling meditation on prostitution, and some of Captain Beefheart’s best vocal work outside of Trout Mask Replica. It’s mostly instrumental, but does not lack any substance, and the sounds it contains are both timeless and reflective of the late 1960s. Read more …

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Poppy’s I Disagree

1,973 wordsCover of Poppy's album, I Disagree.

Poppy, the mildly unsettling YouTube sensation-turned-bestselling pop singer, released her newest album on January 10th. It’s called I Disagree, and it’s an apt title — much of this record is a violent, abrasive eschewing of both Poppy’s previous work and the rules that govern music in general, much like the hyperpop sensibilities of breakthrough act 100 Gecs or veterans of the deconstruction genre like Grimes, Read more …

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White Rock III:
Towards an Aesthetic of Musical Softness

4,534 words

Greg Prato
The Yacht Rock Book: The Oral History of the Soft, Smooth Sounds of the 70s and 80s
London: Jawbone, 2018

“They kind of moved it away from just mellow/hippie/campfire music and into something new – something that was consciously pursuing the aesthetic of softness. Read more …

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A Dissident Remembers Jim Croce

Jim Croce

3,062 words

Jim Croce may be one of the most overlooked and underrated singer-songwriters of the rock era. This may be because his ideas often pre-date rock-‘n’-roll, and are in some ways anti-rock for eschewing themes pertaining to youth and rebellion. A cursory look at his best songs reveals that few songwriters are as adept at chronicling experiences which are uniquely and universally masculine. Read more …

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Kate Bush, the Faerie Queene

2,285 words

In springing flowre the image of thy day;
Ah see the Virgin Rose, how sweetly shee
Doth first peepe forth with bashfull modestee

— Edmund Spenser (1552-1599)

Read more …

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Dancing in the Dark:
Bruce Springsteen & the Betrayal of Blue-Collar America

2,352 words

Lights out tonight
Trouble in the heartland . . .

–“Badlands” (1978)

I was sold on Springsteen the moment I first heard the mournful wail of his harmonica as he began to sing “The River”:

Read more …

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