Music since the year 2000 has gone through three phases, which can be bracketed by the most prominent popular song at the turn of each decade. 1. … Baby One More Time by Britney Spears (1999) 2. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (2009) 3. bad guy by Billie Eilish (2019) While the first and second … Continue reading Donda, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers, and the sonic revolution of the 2020s
‘Kitchen Song’ by Tessa Violet: A neat synthesis of musical skill and heartfelt lyrics
Tessa Violet’s musical evolution is remarkable. Beginning with love-drained acoustic ballad ‘Not Over You’, Violet has since gravitated to electropop statements of hunger for power on ‘Breakdown’ and ‘Yes Mom’. The return to the old Tessa Violet on ‘Kitchen Song’ is intriguing, as it poses the question of where in the dialectic of love and … Continue reading ‘Kitchen Song’ by Tessa Violet: A neat synthesis of musical skill and heartfelt lyrics
Rihanna’s Anti and the Lost Technical Artistry of the 2010s
The 2000s laid the technical foundations for a new musical moment in human history. The 2010s opened with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West, hosting rising stars Nicki Minaj and Rihanna as well as old greats like Jay-Z and indie act Bon Iver. This marked an artistic culmination of modern music akin to … Continue reading Rihanna’s Anti and the Lost Technical Artistry of the 2010s
DJ Khaled’s remix of Use This Gospel, featuring Eminem: A musical review
Jesus Is King by Kanye West is a remarkable album. ‘Closed On Sunday’ stands out as a striking statement for a music artist: ‘Stand up for my home / Even if I take this walk alone.’ — Kanye, Closed On Sunday Echoing the JIK follow-up Donda, which drew on the urban rock sounds of Yeezus, … Continue reading DJ Khaled’s remix of Use This Gospel, featuring Eminem: A musical review
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
Voices of Capital II: In the shadow of coronavirus
This week on Voices of Capital: The Economist deepens its new-found love of crisis spending, The Financial Times contemplates debt and capital markets, and The Wall Street Journal gets hyped about vaccines and stocks. Welcome to Voices of Capital, Volume II. Voices of Capital–in the shadow of coronavirus (to be specific: SARS-CoV-2). In the Economist this … Continue reading Voices of Capital II: In the shadow of coronavirus
Voices of Capital I: Welcome!
Welcome to this series of essays on three ‘voices of capital’: The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal. What do I mean my ‘voices of capital’? To answer that question, let’s get more specific. By capital, I mean the interests, or the needs, of two social entities: The market system (capitalism); and The … Continue reading Voices of Capital I: Welcome!
On power: Tech, the state, and class
Power comes in many forms. Productive power is a relationship between society and nature, whereby people transform nature through technologies (or ‘forces of production’, as Marx called them). Social power is a relationship between people, involving both coercion (the use of threats and rewards, most often to maximise power over production) and legitimation (the use … Continue reading On power: Tech, the state, and class