With only days left until the end of 2012, the Internet is full of best-of essays and lists and embeddable Spotify playlists that reaffirm critics’ and tastemakers’ street credit and perpetuate the myth that most people writing about music actually have any kind of significant impact on the way that pop music is created, packaged, and sold. I won’t bore you with such gas. Instead, here are some fun superlatives that summarize the world of pop this year, for those of you who may not have kept up with this realm. These are undeniable touchstones — meaning that should you, as esteemed people with ears, have scruples with this list, it would behoove you to make an appointment with a qualified audiologist post-haste. Otherwise, read! Click! Dance! … Read More
With global warming, political unrest, and a cratered international economy serving as the shaky pillars of today’s world, we need pop music now more than ever. As hopeless headlines continue to paint dark horizons for us, pop is one of the few lights to shine through and inspire whimsy. Even the harshest skeptic has no choice but to relent and give into the genre. So we present Pop For Skeptics, a regular Flavorwire column committed to curating and commenting on the best ear candy from the US and around the world.
Everybody in the entire world loves Calvin Harris. It’s inarguable. To deny it is to deny the fact that “We Found Love” is now a three-word shorthand that evokes pulsating dance beats and Rihanna’s Amazonian wailing; to deny it would be to deny the ubiquity of one of the most successful pop songs in the 21st century. But with this ubiquity comes a price. In the run-up to the October 30th release of this third studio album, 18 Months, Harris faces a big ol’ fork in the road. He has been raking in collaborators by the handful, including Florence + the Machine, Ne-Yo, Ellie Goulding, and, of course Rihanna. This is the kind of creative promiscuity that invites speculation as to whether Harris will go the way of other quick-to-peak DJ-producers before him, or if he’ll find a way back to the niche where he became a darling in the first place. … Read More
That rock snobs see pop as bland and boring is one of the most mind-boggling mysteries of our time. Sure, the stereotype has some basis; historically, pop music has played it safe. It’s been the kind of entertainment that could babysit little kids while their parents watched Basic Instinct in the next room. Pop is known as the wholesome, family-friendly alternative to rock music, which has always enjoyed a tawdry reputation. Where pop exalted true love, rock exalted bed-hopping; where pop encouraged moderation, rock reveled in excess. It’s a holy binary that has existed since rock’s birth in the ’50s.
But in the past decade, it seems rock and pop have reversed roles. We could attribute the shift to the number of pop star aspirants, which has multiplied astronomically — thanks to reality TV, the death throes of the major labels, etc. A lot more people are competing for the attention of the same audience, and when traditional pop tropes failed to get attention, shock and awe have done the trick. … Read More
Foot tapping and head bobbing are as much facets of some songs as lyrics and instrumentals. But some music goes to particularly explicit lengths to serenade dance, not only compelling listeners to get up and move, but also paying homage to the act of dancing in subject matter. Below the jump, we review some of 2011′s most memorable dance songs about dancing — full-on, unmasked celebrations of bouncing, shuffling, booty shaking, and generally letting loose on the dance floor. … Read More
Since Necklush’s inception eight months ago, you can’t go on a blog or open a magazine without seeing someone rocking a piece by Stephano Diaz and Troy Mattison Hicks. (It’s like when Lanyard broke out in 2007.) Handcrafted from start to finish in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (the studio is a stone’s throw from the Pulowski Bridge) their necklaces are simple, yet unique. Each piece starts out as a hand silk-screened limited-edition print that is then shredded and sewn into loops that are eventually wrapped together to create a thick… Read More
Yay! It’s Friday! Which means it’s time for What We’re Listening To, a weekly roundup of the tracks that have been getting the repeat treatment in our office. After the jump, ten songs that Flavorpill staffers are loving right now, along with some light commentary on why we think they’re special (we hear A LOT of music ’round here). Enjoy and feel free to leave your own recent obsessions in the comments. … Read More
The colorfully-cracked out Coca Cola ad meets Labyrinth (sans David Bowie!) music video after the jump makes us excited for the summer. Because what’s more refreshing on a sunny day than drinking a Coke OUT OF THE BOTTLE and rocking out to Calvin Harris with a bunch of muppets who live in an organ on a hill? Thanks to Kanye (or one of his talented minions) for finding this one. … Read More