Posts Tagged: pop music

No Pressure: Bieber, Blackness, the Cult of Perfection

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Bieber is like a prism that reflects back whatever you want to see.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #82: Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark: A Symposium

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…yet she did what she did, and in the process made the most successful album of her career.

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Album of the Week: Something to Tell You by HAIM

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Four years after releasing their impressive debut album Days Are Gone, HAIM are back with their long-awaited sophomore project, Something to Tell You, out now via Polydor. The three Angeleno sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana have kept their distinctive, classic rock sound—inherited from the cover band they fronted in the early days together with their parents—smoothed out by […]

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Album of the Week: Bravado by Kirin J. Callinan

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“With every decision I made, I picked the least-tasteful option,” Australian singer-songwriter Kirin J. Callinan told the FADER in discussing how his newest album, Bravado (Terrible Records) came to be. A wacky yet riveting  journey into the clichés of contemporary pop but with a distinguished sonic quality and production, the album features guest appearances from DeMarco, […]

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Album of the Week: Allison Crutchfield’s Tourist in This Town

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Allison Crutchfield has been making music her whole life: with her twin sister Katie first, then in bands like P.S. Eliot, Bad Banana, and Swearin’, founded with her former partner. Now, Crutchfield has just released her first solo album, Tourist in This Town, via Merge Records. In her own words, “[i]t’s a record about change—change of scenery, of partner, […]

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: 69 Love Songs

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Everywhere people are shoving things into the ground—time capsules not to be opened until the year 2100, the more optimistic postmarked for 3000—letters to the future in the language of the now.

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Southern Girl: Beyoncé, Badu, and Southern Black Womanhood

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None of the imagery of Lemonade is foreign to those of us who grew up in the South or who have Southern roots.

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It Takes A Village

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…to make a Selena Gomez album. According to an article that appeared in New York Magazine‘s October 5th issue, no less than thirty-eight people worked on the star’s latest album, Revival, including Gomez herself—a pretty impressive number of contributors for a solo album. The article charts out a who’s who of Revival track-by-track in what becomes […]

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Revenge Writing

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After about two years of writing essays, I learned about something I will hereby in these pages name the Passive-Aggressive Writer’s Conundrum: People, particularly non-writers, are an optimistic, delusional bunch. If you mention people in an unflattering way without naming them, they will never recognize themselves in your story— even if you name actual details […]

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Song of the Day: “Never Over You”

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Critics have described indie singer-songwriter Natalie Prass variously as “stunning,” “sublime,” “charmingly delicate,” and also, bizarrely, as a Disney princess. The Nashville-based former Berklee College of Music student offers up a heady melange of influences on her acclaimed new eponymous album. Natalie Prass is undeniably a pop record, but on “Never Over You,” she flirts with […]

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