Symphony No.2: Is categorizing songs as “Pop” is setting many artists back?

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Unfortunately,Popular music today has negative connotations.Every time the genre “Pop” or “Popular music” is mentioned it is  overridden by the following negative clichés:

“Musicians don’t even write their own songs!”
“Too Much Auto-tune”
“Can they even play any instruments?”
“Lost faith in humanity!!”

This is not limited to people of all ages,young people are often devastated to find their favorite song by a favorable artist has reached the top twenty charts.Take Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence” for example,surely it should be placed under the “Sadcore,, trip hop,blues,chamber pop” category,invented specially for Miss Del Rey.Due to all the negative connotations associated with Pop has many avoid listening to anything labelled as Pop to avoid criticism and the good old “listen to real music”cliché,perhaps there should be a “Real Music” genre on ITunes,so that the regular consumer can invest in some.

However pop music is popular for a reason.The basic format which is easy to replicate so that it can be covered,remixed and tampered with.The repeated choruses and catchy hooks which make them easier to learn and remember.Pop music contains influences from a wide range of genres,therefore there is plenty of access to variety.One could have a wide range of genres from listening to top 40 music alone despite the believe that everything is electronica infused.

One could argue that classifying all songs as Pop,sets back many musicians,it disallows them the opportunity to be among artists similar to them and be directly linked to a genre.For example First Aid Kit’s album “Stay Gold” has been placed in the pop category on several music sharing outlets due to the success of their singles.surely they would access more fans in the “Alternative” genre section as the success of one song does not automatically mean that a regular pop consumer will enjoy the whole album.Also,not all the songs on the album follow the “verse-chorus” structure.

A thing that should be acknowledged when arguing over the categorization of music is that,the regular consumer does not have the time to browse through 50 odd genres,music genre is simplified to make things easier.If “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Goulding in  were to be categorized as “Neo-Folk Indie Electronica”,How difficult would it be to access today? Especially among the influx of singles and albums being released in today’s fast paced music industry.

Symphony no.1: Kasabian’s 48:13

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High energy,profound bass and labyrinthine layers of sound is what comes to mind on first consumption of this album
On browsing the review section of iTunes in curiosity,I scrolled through reviews titled as “Pants” “Terrible” and even “Dross”.Many complained of Kasabian “changing” and some described it as Kasabian’s best album yet. My mind flickered through all these states as the duration of 48:13 passed, 48:13 left me in a state of contention as to whether this album is one to enjoy,as it is not far from previous works.

The introduction “(shiva)” warns the listener the distorted electronic and orchestal sounds that will be used during the album,the interludes are used to mark transition in sounds throughout the album,”(levitation)” introduces the use of neo-psychedelia and “(mortis)” introduces the use of abstract electronic melodies.

Pizzorno keeps within the band’s  conventional mould of zany lyrical content and cross genre exploration,”stevie” “doomsday” and”explodes” accurately depict this ideal. The album relies heavily on the typical pop structure of verse-chorus-bridge.Heavy instrumentation and rhythmic patterns are used to make tracks alluring.An interesting,sample is used to conclude the track “glass”,it is unclear what message was trying to be conveyed through the use of this.The album closes with the two downtempo tracks “s.p.s” and “bow” weaning the listener away from the consistent pop song structure used in the album.

Overall,If you’re looking for an upbeat Alternative Rock album with heavy electronic influence,this album is perfect.If you’re looking for a heavily experimental Kasabian record that differs from their previous work,this is not the ideal one.

Tracks to Download:

bumblebee:  an upbeat guitar riddled track which sounds a bit like a sequel to “Vlad the Impaler” from their Empire album,it’s hard not to bob your head to the chanted chorus and rousing vocals

treat: a funky polyphonic texture with trumpets,trombones,deep bass and electric guitar which sounds like the offspring of Franz Ferdinand and Soft Cell.the swinging nature of the vocals in the chorus allows the use of repetition to be positive and dancey.

clouds: a piece heavily influenced by psychedelia,with heavy synthesizer and a repetitive reference to intoxication.