Stuck in the middle: A class analysis of J. Cole’s ‘G.O.M.D.’ music video

Is hip hop just a euphemism for a new religion The soul music of the slaves that the youth is missing? — Kanye West, ‘Gorgeous’, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy ‘Middle Child.’ This is one of J. Cole’s song titles, but it applies to the music video to ‘G.O.M.D.’ in an economic rather than a … Continue reading Stuck in the middle: A class analysis of J. Cole’s ‘G.O.M.D.’ music video

A message for 2023: Stop imitating past greats, I want something new

I am getting tired. I hear the same music again and again and again. The charts are driving me crazy. Because I like this kind of music. In the shadow of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and The Fame Monster, the 2010s saw the reinvention of music through R&B (Anti) and alternative pop music (WHEN … Continue reading A message for 2023: Stop imitating past greats, I want something new

Pop Album of 2022: ‘emails i can’t send’ by Sabrina Carpenter

I mean, as they say in Chicago, he had it coming. — Sabrina Carpenter, ‘emails i can’t send’ song outro It’s that time of year. Musical round-up of 2022 … So, the pop album (LP) of the year — drumroll — is: emails i can’t send by Sabrina Carpenter. An astonishing record in many ways, … Continue reading Pop Album of 2022: ‘emails i can’t send’ by Sabrina Carpenter

From technique to artistry: The theory of music in ‘Whiplash’

Tropes of ‘music theory’ are as oft trotted out as are their counterparts in the department of ‘practice makes perfect’. But in the philosophy of Mozart’s time, Immanuel Kant already bridged these polar opposites of musical weather reports: the faculty of judgement, specifically concerned with aesthetic concepts of beauty and the sublime, bridged between abstract … Continue reading From technique to artistry: The theory of music in ‘Whiplash’

Drake just released an alright album? Well, um, no …

Drake releases too many albums that are too long. Or maybe he is just an artist seeing what works. I mean, maybe. Let’s see. The album cover to Donda by Ye, a cover which is much preferable to Drake’s recent choice in artwork across his albums in the 2020s. Her Loss opens with Drake declaring, … Continue reading Drake just released an alright album? Well, um, no …

reputation by Taylor Swift is pop perfection — so why is Midnights so terrible?

The answer is, I think, the pandemic and the folklore / evermore duo of lyrical complexity that Taylor Swift innovated. It seemed this was the peak of her career. But really it was the beginning of the end. Let me explain. Before Blackpink: Taylor’s prophetic ‘reputation’ era. reputation was made in notoriety. Taylor had been … Continue reading reputation by Taylor Swift is pop perfection — so why is Midnights so terrible?

Crown by Eric Gales: Blues but for the grace of Bach

‘Is this the beginning or the end of time?’ — Jimi Hendrix. Eric Gales is back with a blues record to compete with contentions to foundation of a new genre of music, along the lines of Bach’s foundation of classical music in the baroque period. The opening track of Gales’ record ‘Death of Me’ echoes … Continue reading Crown by Eric Gales: Blues but for the grace of Bach

Blackpink in Dallas, Texas: Dancing in the Moonlight — a Comprehensive Concert Review

What a show. Blackpink’s solid and surprising debut to 20,000 fans at the KSPO Dome in Seoul, South Korea, has been matched by an extremely competent and at times riveting performance to thousands more fans at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The opening ‘How You Like That’ is a perfect way to introduce … Continue reading Blackpink in Dallas, Texas: Dancing in the Moonlight — a Comprehensive Concert Review

Lil Simz, 90s hip hop, Lauryn Hill, and where Nas, Jay-Z and Eminem went

First published on 14 August 2022. Something is missing in contemporary popular music. Male pop stars have left the scene, or are leaving it rapidly, while most male rappers who aren’t direct descendants of the Kanye/Kendrick golden age of hop hop are returning either to 50 Cent’s brand of earth-bound hip hop (the UK’s Aitch) … Continue reading Lil Simz, 90s hip hop, Lauryn Hill, and where Nas, Jay-Z and Eminem went

Clare Fischer’s Baroque Jazz: A Clash Brought To Life

When baroque music came on the scene in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, music was leaving its medieval phase of homophony, or music with one line of melody and harmony (without systematic rhythmical structure). The baroque polyphony followed the rise of complexity in Renaissance, culminating in bridging composers like Monteverdi. When Bach entered … Continue reading Clare Fischer’s Baroque Jazz: A Clash Brought To Life