How Billie Eilish’s 2019 album changed the world forever

Billie Eilish’s discography spans multiple hit singles and three albums, the first of which was an EP. The first LP, or full-length album, was called WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? It was released in March 2019, and it is nothing less than extraordinary. WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP … Cover art … Continue reading How Billie Eilish’s 2019 album changed the world forever

Why Sabrina Carpenter is the next pop star

This post follows my review of Sabrina’s latest excellent album, ‘emails I can’t send’. I have a theory about music, as a balance between art and technique. I don’t think many people strike that balance. Those who do tend not to stand out from the crowd of extremes. There is a third type of pop … Continue reading Why Sabrina Carpenter is the next pop star

Principia Musica: The art of politics

I have some claims I would like to defend. These are claims I cannot possibly defend in one blog post. But here are some, which I will elaborate at a future date, subject to revision. Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, writing at the birth of commercial society in the musical eighteenth century. I. Class conflict … Continue reading Principia Musica: The art of politics

How Billie Eilish turned popular music upside down

Several recent biopics have shown how much popular music owes to rock influences, from Elvis Presley to Freddie Mercury. But popular music also emerges from the genres of jazz, soul, and, more recently, hip hop. According to actress Elizabeth Taylor, the ‘King of Pop, Rock and Soul’ was Michael Jackson. As Forbes recently noted: ‘Perhaps … Continue reading How Billie Eilish turned popular music upside down

The evolution of music and the importance of balance

Music, as I’ve recently argued on this blog, swings from one extreme to another. On the one hand, there are the technicians, who think music can be learned through meticulous practice. The chief virtue of technicians is the demand for perfection. On the other hand, there are the artists, who think music comes from innate … Continue reading The evolution of music and the importance of balance

Why Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘emails i can’t send’ is a breath of fresh air for pop music

‘We bonded over Black Eyed Peas and complicated exits. […] I got death threats filling up semi trucks.’ I could end the review right there, but honestly, never mind. There is more to unpack than two ingenious lyrics on this tango for two of a pop album. The music video promo for the bravely balanced … Continue reading Why Sabrina Carpenter’s ‘emails i can’t send’ is a breath of fresh air for pop music

The moral mystery of Kendrick Lamar

The name Kendrick Lamar goes hand-in-hand with some of the most prominent names in hip hop: Eminem, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, Nas. But we know who most of these people are, right? Kanye West is an eclectic genius, pioneer of hip hop production, and all-round mastermind of modern music, with his fair share of … Continue reading The moral mystery of Kendrick Lamar

The end of music history? ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and the inimitable genius of Kanye West

2010 was a big year for popular music. Katy Perry released ‘California Girls’ with Snoop Dogg as a feature rapper, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé released the music video to ‘Telephone’, and the Black Eyed Peas released their sixth studio album ‘The Beginning’, after releasing their fifth album ‘The E.N.D.’ (Energy Never Dies) under the same … Continue reading The end of music history? ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and the inimitable genius of Kanye West

The true musical genius of Taylor Swift

A lot of things are said about clear musical geniuses, like Kanye West, Jacob Collier, and Billie Eilish, including on this blog. But I would like to consider a less obvious choice for contender with established greats like Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, and J. S. Bach. This contender, usually seen as a pretender, is nonetheless … Continue reading The true musical genius of Taylor Swift