I don't know what's happening, but I actually like some pop music... - Page 3
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Thread: I don't know what's happening, but I actually like some pop music...

  1. #17


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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy View Post
    Listened to, I believe, the bulk of the Billie Eilish stuff yesterday. It's kinda Lorde meets Dir Antwoord. The music and overall sonic aesthetic is a dark lolita thing, but it's pretty much half the experience or less without the visual component. Not sure how organic their whole 'thing' is but it's definitely a performance art piece.
    A good litmus test for that is watching it live. It's very stripped down, quite rock & roll, high energy, she jumps around like a loon whilst her brother (and a random drummer?) handle the music, often with real instruments, in the background. So I think the songs do carry themselves quite a bit, but a big part of it, sure, it's a very performance art.

    But then they come from a family of actors, so not surprising
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  3. #18


    Join Date: Feb 2010
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    There's no shame in checking out pop music, I take a cursory glance at what is "in" about once every two months just to see what it's like structurally/compositionally.

    As for Billie Eilish, I checked out her stuff 3 weeks ago after seeing some headlines relating to Coachella. I really like some of the elements, but unfortunately it still caters to the mainstream pop elements. Stuff like "You Should See Me In a Crown" has clever syncopation on the "One by, one by,......one" part and a lot of the songs have measure counts for sections that aren't divisible by 4. I.E. standard song structure with 8 measures verse, 8 measures pre-chorus, 8 chorus. A lot of the songs like Bad Guy have irregular structures and one measure tags tacked on to sections like the chorus to keep it interesting. Lyrics are also clever too, in spots. Structurally some of them are built like grindcore songs. Linear instead of cyclic and shit like that.

    I also like her outsider "Homeschool kid with tourettes who has this grim, creepy aesthetic" thing going.

    That being said, there is still too much mainstream stuff going on. The instrumentation is standard "trap" type stuff, and as an adult I really don't care to hear underage people singing about their love life, which in spite of some clever lyrics, she has plenty of relatable "mainstream appeal lyrics". I wouldn't actually say her note choice is that unique. There are occasional parts that aren't "standard pop", like shifting up a massive interval like an octave upon hitting a new section, but melodically most of the lines are pretty in line with pop norms. I also think the way it's produced, where everything is an apathetic whisper, is kind of limiting. That's her thing, and it's cool, but having it 100% of the time is kind of limiting. It's actually funny because some of the stuff she is doing is actually more enthusiastic singing, but it's all produced to come across as a breathy whisper.

    As for your point about songs her not writing songs about what you so eloquently phrased as "literally sucking dicks", I would say take a closer look at her lyrics, "Bad Guy" has the line, "Bruises on both my knees for you". Which really unfortunately kind of destroys the appeal of the whole thing for me. Minors listening to other minors singing about risque stuff is one thing, but being in your mid 20s and getting super into it is kind of gross. She certainly has clever lyrics in parts, but it would be cooler if she just eschewed mainstream stuff completely and skipped the whole, "Songs about people hitting on you on Instagram" elements. If she were 30 it wouldn't be a problem, but I don't want to hear 16 year olds singing that kind of stuff. I'm not even going to try listen to a track titled, "Wish You Were Gay" sung by some underaged girl. I'm not the target audience for that.

  4. #19


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    As for your general point about "pop music", I think there's a difference between "composition" and "arrangement". Checking out the composition of pop songs is fine, doesn't detract from your "metal cred".

    There are plenty of pop songs where, if you were given the transcribed version on the proper staves, you couldn't tell the difference between that and a metal song. The chord movement and melody and shit like that is universal to all genres of music.

    You arrange any pop song to have metal instrumentation, or arrange it to have contrapuntal baroque chamber music instrumentation. Once you put stuff down on paper and you aren't looking at textural elements like what instruments play what, a lot of genres look pretty much the same.

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  6. #20


    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    I enjoy playing in pop cover bands, because you tend to get paid well at the end of the night

  7. #21


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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    I enjoy playing in pop cover bands, because you tend to get paid well at the end of the night
    And people dance!
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  8. #22


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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    And people dance!
    And not the slam-type, either!

  9. #23


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    This is probably something I'd need to listen to in the right frame of mind, but I'm not really feeling it. I hear her as a descendant of the Kate Bush style, and I never really got into that back in the day.

  10. #24


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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCoy View Post
    As for your point about songs her not writing songs about what you so eloquently phrased as "literally sucking dicks", I would say take a closer look at her lyrics, "Bad Guy" has the line, "Bruises on both my knees for you".
    Huh, I figured that was about taking it up the arse whilst on fours, but now you mention it, it could totally be about sucking dicks! I'm outraged!

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