‘First Time’ and the albums

You were swift with your blade You lacked hesitation Your eyes were like oceans I fell till I drowned - First Time by Edmund Wilson As you may know, dear reader, my views on history and politics as expressed on this blog converge in a strange location or destination: music. And it is music that … Continue reading ‘First Time’ and the albums

My February prophecy of the evolution of the crisis with Russia and China, and my hopes for the future of music and politics

In February on the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I wrote a piece which prophesied the recent turn towards more American antagonism towards China and more suspicion of the strategy of aggression towards Russia fuelled by Nato’s expansion. Now prominent academics are speaking out — using the language I used at the time, namely … Continue reading My February prophecy of the evolution of the crisis with Russia and China, and my hopes for the future of music and politics

Blackpink’s Born Pink — baroque/hip hop fusion is born

For someone who previewed their own upcoming album Born in March this year, with a live medley From Bach To Born, I could reasonably claim to be unsurprised by Blackpink’s album Born Pink. It is everything I have been saying about pop music for a while, but I didn’t know the future would come this … Continue reading Blackpink’s Born Pink — baroque/hip hop fusion is born

Lisa is a western pop star

The title of this article may seem confusing. Lisa is a member of K-Pop group Blackpink and a solo artist in her own right. Her Thai origins and Korean audience in Blackpink mask the global reach of her music, and the distinctively ‘western’ appeal of her solo style and songs ‘Lalisa’ and ‘Money’. Lisa’s debut … Continue reading Lisa is a western pop star

Rings of Power Episode 3: Postmodern high fantasy comes of age

Critics of Rings of Power accuse it of woke idealism in comparison to the earthy realism of House of the Dragon. ‘No one kneels in Numenor,’ the third episode opens. The iron throne demands that we kneel. There are, it seems to me, five ages of fantasy: 1. The classical age (Homer’s Odyssey, the Iliad), … Continue reading Rings of Power Episode 3: Postmodern high fantasy comes of age

The medieval mysteries of ‘Attack of the Clones’

‘Impossible to see, the future is,’ notes Yoda in political discussions with the Chancellor of the Republic, reasoning, ‘the dark side clouds everything’ — an ironic admission in front of the secret Sith lord who had already seized the reigns of democratic power. The Chancellor’s next steps involved translating political power into military might — … Continue reading The medieval mysteries of ‘Attack of the Clones’

Calvin Harris’s ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’: A voyage into the future

Charlie Puth and Calvin Harris and Shenseea’s ‘Obsessed’ is remarkable, because three things are happening simultaneously: 1. Charlie Puth is doing his classic jazz-inflected vocal production magic, 2. Calvin Harris is employing his distinctive discopop sonic skills that dominated the 2010s club scene, and 3. Shenseea is rapping well — sulkily, smoothly, and skilfully. Calvin … Continue reading Calvin Harris’s ‘Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2’: A voyage into the future

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