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Music

A Re-Examination of U2's 'Songs of Innocence'

With the publicity surrounding its Apple-sponsored release now a thing of the past, let's examine U2's conversation-starting Songs of Innocence for what it actually is.

Recent
Music

Remembering GWAR's Dave Brockie: Scumdog of the Universe, Artist, Hero

Dave Brockie forced GWAR fans to take absurdity very seriously. He gave hope to kids all over the world, suggesting that creativity, humor, and heavy metal might be infinitely more powerful than the stultifying, small-minded idiocy that they saw all around them.

Music

SINGLE REVIEW: iamamiwhoami's "Hunting for Pearls"

Everyone's favorite avant-garde pop weirdo is at it again, and with the recent videos taking on a more aquatic vibe, the music, thankfully, remains as top-quality as ever.

Music

SINGLE REVIEW: Coldplay's "Midnight"

Coldplay have been teasing out new material on soundtracks and the like, but this new fairly ominous track is unlike anything they've ever done before -- and it's the best thing that could ever happen to them.

Music

From R. Kelly to 'Reflektor': The Rise and Fall of the Disco Revival

There are plenty of popular musical trends swirling around in 2013, but perhaps none more unexpected or wonderful as the disco revival. From R. Kelly's Write Me Back to Arcade Fire's Reflektor, the new-disco trend has grabbed hold of R&B, pop, dance music, and indie rock, but why?

Music

Arctic Monkeys' Predictable Renovation

With the release of Arctic Monkeys’ fifth album, AM, we can now definitely confirm that they are a brand new band. What happened to those teenagers that represented youth and were once the voice of a generation? Have they changed that much since then?

Music

Lady Gaga's Round of "Applause" (single review)

As Gaga and Perry go toe-to-leopard-print-toe, it's obvious which diva comes out on top. Shame then that neither track are indicative of either artist's actual strengths ...

Music

The Sound of Silence: On Rolling Stone's 'Bomber' Cover

Joseph Fisher examines the controversy over Rolling Stone's Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cover issue, as well as the lack of response from the indie music publishing world.

Music

God and Man on 'Modern Vampires of the City'

The biggest surprise of Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City is that it's a deeply God-haunted album, with Ezra Koenig posing some questions that don't have answers.

Film

Trap Music and Old-School Britney: The Use of Music in 'Spring Breakers'

Harmony Korine’s film plays games with both the audience’s and the character’s perception of reality, fantasy, and familiarity. The various ways the music is employed throughout the film helps confuse, disorient, or ground us, and the play between diegetic and non-diegetic music brings us in and out of the characters’ perspective.

Music

The Money Shot: Should Musicians Watch More Porn?

The music industry seems to be aggressively reactive, either spurning technology with a kind of evangelical vehemence or taking far too long to figure out how to use technology to the advantage of all involved. Is it possible that the music business could learn something from the porn business?

Music

Finding Grace in Beautiful Places

I use music as a viable source of empowerment: it is capable of conjuring up words and concepts that are oblique, or pretentious, or all-too-easily invoked, expedient for folks who ardently need a way to articulate the feeling they either can’t quite explain or desperately wish to get in touch with.

Music

How Long Must We Sing This Song?: Your Technology Is Destroying My Music

Really, do we need another article posted on the Internet that ponders the paradigm-shifting possibilities posed by that very same Internet? Right now, I’m just not sure that we do.

Music

No Future: Punk's 2012 Nostalgia Trip

At the Drive-In and Refused are both reuniting for high-profile (and high-paycheck) shows in 2012. What does this say about their legacy, or punk rock in general?

Music

Wallflower: Etta James and Fame

Etta James was memorialized before she died, and it illustrates a new and common plight among older artists.

Alexander Heigl
Music

Wynton's Blues

By hiring Wynton Marsalis as its new "cultural correspondent", CBS is setting jazz music back, and it's everybody's loss.

Alexander Heigl
Music

Snubbed!: Why the Cure Deserves to Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just last week--but not fellow ballot finalist the Cure. Here's why goth's flagship group deserved to join them.

Music

The Stone Roses Reunion: Fool's Gold, or What the World Is Waiting For?

Isn't this recently-reformed rock group the same band that, apparently, just lied to its disciples about the possibility of a reunion?

Music

Musical Auteurism: Recognizing Genius

An album is not an insulated document, but rather something that breathes and grows within an artist's discography. I challenge music fans to not simply find songs or albums that they like (though certainly that has a completely worthwhile place), but to find entire discographies (from acknowledged classics to forgotten albums) to grow with over time.

Zachary Williams
Music

In Defense of Good Sax

I could list several dozen songs that would be greatly lessened, if not unthinkable, without their saxophonic embellishment; so could you. In the interest of time and clarity, let's take three and call it a day.

Music

Amy Winehouse: The 27 Club and Her Place in Music History

Though the troubled UK singer seems to fit the bill for rock 'n' roll's fabled 27 Club, Amy Winehouse will almost surely face some resistance.

Chris Payne
Music

Why Shouldn't Miley Cyrus Smell Like Kurt Cobain?

Didn't Kurt Cobain perform as a teenage girl? If Nirvana did inspire an entire generation, then we really should be receiving Miley Cyrus' cover performances in a much more educated fashion than we are.

Music

Paul McCartney: An Auteur

Paul McCartney's effortless musical mastery (with no suffering artist gimmick) robs him of the serious consideration he deserves. But like literature and film's greatest auteurs, he will eventually undergo the Hitchcock / Shakespeare transformation from popular entertainer to century-defining artist.

Music

The Hypocrisy of Mother Monster. Yeah, We Mean You, Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga preaches acceptance and love. However, her music videos teach that love is only for the beautiful.

Music

Punk Rock Rapture: Rise Against and the Eschatology of 'Endgame'

There's another theme to the well-received new album from the chart-topping Chicago punk band besides cutthroat riffs and raucous drums: the end of the world.

Music

AC/DC’s Anti-iTunes Stance and the Cult of the Album

While AC/DC's still-standing refusal to make its music available on iTunes is rooted in the widely-held view of the album as a complete work, it’s important to acknowledge that LPs really aren’t the immutable documents we tend to think of them as.

Music

The Song Remains the Same or, The Agony of Influence

The complicated origins of rhymin' and stealin'... Few, if any, artists have been as controversial or better practitioners of TS Eliot's famous dictum "good poets borrow; great poets steal" than Led Zeppelin.

Music

The Ugly and Unlistenable Death Spiral of Eddie Van Halen

Has there been anything else remotely akin to the waste of potential, time, and opportunity that we’ve had the last two decades with Eddie Van Halen?

Music

Top Five Tunes That Should Be Covered by Alison Krauss and Union Station

Each of these songs, in my mind, would fit Alison Krauss and Union Station’s unique blend of bluegrass traditionalism and progressionist spirit.

Music

One Musical Moment in Time: What's Yours?

It would be interesting to hear back from PopMatters' esteemed readership about the best singular musical moments that you can remember.

Music

Gaga Studies

It’s not surprising that the intense curiosity about Lady Gaga’s music and aesthetic is being brought into undergraduate classrooms.

Victor P. Corona
Music

How Close Is Too Close? One Music Writer Considers Where to Draw the Line

Why do we write about music? Why do we try to surround ourselves with people who either share that love or are at the very least part of the reason we feel the way we do? And why, if we sincerely love when those lines cross, can't we do something about it?

Music

And Start West, Again and Again and Again...

Can we, finally, begin pondering how cultures outside of the West—outside of London and New York—conceive of terms like indie and punk?

Music

Is Indie Really the New Punk?

Indie couldn’t exist as it is without punk and, while it may lack the anarchical, rebellious fervor of punk culture, indie is still the voice of the current generation.

Jake Cleland
Music

In Defense of Weezer

Weezer fans’ disappointment with the group's recent albums may have less to do with how the band has changed than with how nerds everywhere have changed, Rivers Cuomo included.

Music

Accentuate the Positive: Why Music Critics Write So Many Favorable Reviews

The author is expected to not only justify the album’s existence, but to justify the need to write about it in the first place. Is it any wonder then that such an intensely personal (and often defensive) writing tends to veer towards positivism?

Music

Beyond the Pale: Lady Gaga's "Alejandro"

A long string of cribbed beats and run together pop references, "Alejandro" is a song truly made up of nothing, not even bothering to revel in its vacuity.

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