Is there more to pop than barely-controlled hysteria? 

Well, yes, there’s camp humour, slush and schmaltz, futile protest and naff polemics but also, sometimes – just sometimes – a sense of style totally lacking in so-called ‘serious’ music. Yes, ‘serious’ music – the epitome of that gentrified spirit of seriousness which is often the misapplied intellectualization of mental conflicts, or merely light entertainment for toffs.

 It is pop’s sense of style that can be liberating.


I’ve heard it said that popular music is trivial because, typically, popular vocalists only ever sing torch songs about love – well, we mean sex, actually.

There is nothing trivial or ephemeral about this.

One might also make the point that pop songs are rarely ‘about’ anything other than love or sex because most people are really not interested in anything else. People do not think that anything else is worth singing about; the rest is just window-dressing – how very sensible!

Rather like the stylised, courtly music of olden times, much of the language of pop, expressed in street-level slang or tabloid lingo, is highly formalised and conforms to genre conventions. The predominant mode of pop is The Groove, because dance means sex.

So, pop is not really ‘about’ anything at all – you just gotta do it!



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