Last time out, we took a closer look at POWER POP in our analysis of the key genres that make up our preferred musical styles. Next, we look at POP.
“Pop”? You mean the music that dominates the radio waves and Spotify/Apple Music/Youtube streams? Ariana Grande? Justin Bieber? Katy Perry?
Well, no. When we say “pop”, we refer to what should be more accurately called “retro-pop” in this day and age. It’s pop music that is erudite and powerful and with less emphasis on overdriven guitars. And still, we do maintain, music with POP POWER!!!
Some notable examples –
A couple of 60s pioneers to consider viz. Phil Spector and the Wall of Sound, Brian Wilson’s mid-60s teenage symphonies to God and Burt Bacharach smooth easy-listening lounge hits.
On the more baroque end of the pop scale, we need to mention Love (especially the seminal Forever Changes LP), The Left Banke and The Zombies (notably, the masterpiece that was Odessey and Oracle) as excellent case studies as well.
Focusing on jazz, soul and pop, this sub-genre was spawn almost exclusively in the UK during the 80s, and included the likes of The Style Council, The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout amongst others.
Again, a sub-genre from the UK music scene in the 80s. Understandably, there is a misconception concerning the original meaning of indie pop, initially used to describe bands who were not on major labels and served a D-I-Y agenda, and thus independent (indie!).
In some respects, Indie Pop overlaps with the jangley aspects of Power Pop but invariably the music is less abrasive, more laidback, with a distinctive intellectual bent. This music takes its cues from the Velvet Underground’s eponymous third album (sans the avant garde influence of John Cale) and is often ‘lofi’ in terms of production values and is often referred to as twee pop.
Anyone casually familiar with the modern rock scene will be aware that this brand of Indie Pop has remained influential to this day. Compared to the earlier sub-genres mentioned above, Indie Pop has flourished as the sound that the millennial hipsters approve.
Next: POP ROCK!
… still there’s more …