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 Princess Stomper

Pop vs Rock

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Sophie Ellis-Bextor lips sexy

By Princess Stomper

Rock music is ‘better’ than pop music? There’s no fucking difference!

Before they switched off Pandora in the UK, I found its deliberately anti-genre stance interesting because it would place frivolous ‘pop’ songs next to ‘credible’ artists. It’s probably stretching it to call any of these ‘rock’, but they’re of the type admired by people who don’t generally buy records by Beyonce, etc.

Stripped of the genre tag, note for note, there’s really not much difference between the songs. Wallace Wylie pointed out what’s wrong with the package of pop. If you take that away, you’ve got some great music that the middle-aged chin-strokers would probably like if they just started thinking of it as music. For example:

Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Magic

vs

Depeche Mode – World In My Eyes

You could probably have stuck ‘Magic’ on Violator and nobody would have noticed the difference, beyond thinking Dave Gahan’s voice was a little higher pitched than usual.

Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

vs

Europe – The Final Countdown

Do you think she actually sat down and thought, “I’ll write a song that sounds like Europe”?

(continues overleaf)

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2 Responses to Pop vs Rock

  1. Erika January 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Princess, I agree. A couple things become clear to me over the course of the “pop” discussion, one being that “pop” is viewed differently by different groups.

    It would never occur to me to contrast “pop” with “credible” art. Concepts of “authenticity” and “credibility” seem very subjective to me. At first, when Wallace spoke of “pop,” what came into my head was blatantly, crassly commercial music, music that is all about the bottom line, nothing more. The I realized that others were talking about it, oh, more like the wikipedia definition of pop. Eclectic, hooks, professionalism, etc.

    When I came down on the side of rock against pop, that was me drawing a line and saying that rock (by which I meant a rawer, more underground music) was preferable to pop because (in my mind) rock did not make the same demands on superficial things like appearance and earning potential as pop does. In my mind, anyway, rock won’t write you off for being a misfit or loser. This is obviously my own fantasy. My own definition of rock, and my own definition of pop; definitions which have almost NOTHING at all to do with the way the music SOUNDS, and which may have nothing to do with anyone else’s definitions either.

  2. Princess Stomper January 19, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Agreed. Some of the time, pop is less complex and challenging than rock – but then there’s the Wall of Sound, etc

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