Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

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sloopjohnc
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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby sloopjohnc » 03 Sep 2008, 20:05

mission wrote:I have been thinking for some time about KISS. I am unabashed fan of my idea of KISS, an idea formed in about 1974 when as a 5-year-old, I badgered my mum into buying ALIVE! and sat for what may have been days looking at the impossibly cool kids in the gatefold sleeve picture.

To these ears, early - pre-disco - KISS has a pretty neat hold on a lot of the principles and shibboleths of power pop as mentioned in this (excellent) thread. I am talking of the sloppy but tight drums, the bright upfront guitar sound, the obvious Anglophile/Beatles love affair evidenced by harmonies, all members having a go at singing lead on "their" song - and so on.

We also get, as the almost sole subject matter of the songs, the self-referential celebration of "rock music" - and all that that phrase means. It's all about partying and rocking and being a rock star and partying and rocking as a rockstar. Ortega Y Gasset, in an essay about how Realism is a monstrous aberration in the history of taste, argues that the proper subject of art is art itself.

To my mind, as well as similar aesthetis sensibilities in terms of instrumentation and arrangement, "power pop" and "bubblegum rock" share this essential characteristic of art.

The excellent observations made above, about the connections of these kinds of music to memories of uncomplicated times and feelings - to youth itself - also apply.


Don't know how I missed this one.

Like Cheap Trick or Enuff 'Z' Nuff, the loud guitars throw people off from KISS being true power pop at heart.
Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:I for one wouldn't want to know what memories and deep and dark forces drive Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, or Radiohead, for certain.

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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby chick draper » 04 Feb 2009, 03:50

Well, obviously the party's over and I appear to have missed it completely, but can I just say DAAAYYYYUUUMMM!

I am simply floored! And this thread is a perfect example of what finally made me join up. This is the kind of music forum I'd like to hang out in.

I'm in love with "Power Pop" and always have been. Beyond that, humility dictates that I defer.

Just know that I'm impressed.
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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby The Write Profile » 15 Feb 2009, 08:06

I'm not sure whether this has already been covered in this (very entertaining) thread, but I was curious as to where the MC5's Back in the USA fits into the power-pop discussion, if it does at all. Obviously their debut Kick Out the Jams could be categorised as proto hard-rock without too much discussion, but their second record is a different proposition entirely. Granted, the lyrics tap into a rabble-rousing insurrectionary vein at times- not least on "High School" and "American Ruse"- but the music itself, with its bright, big chords, its taut choruses, and tumbling drum fills seem to come at another direction entirely. Indeed, what's so remarkable about the record is how much of an about-face it is from their debut, in almost every sense of the word.

Whereas Kick Out the Jams was messy, at times overwrought and often hectoring, (albeit undeniably powerful in its best moments), and with loads of bottom-end Back in the USA is concise, trebbly as all get-out, and actually very acutely observed lyrically. And if it paints an entire generation of American youths as defeated before they even had the chance to lose on themselves, at least there's the escape of two things- Cars and Girls. Which to me, sound like power-pop staples if ever there were. As its desire to have its cake and eat it too- it wants to sound like a big pop record, but it also wants to keep something in reserve from keeping it blowing over (in this case, it's the production, and to a lesser extent, the lyrical content).

That said, I'm really interested as to what our resident power-pop "experts" make of it.
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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby Quaco » 20 Feb 2009, 02:56

sloopjohnc wrote:
mission wrote:I have been thinking for some time about KISS. I am unabashed fan of my idea of KISS, an idea formed in about 1974 when as a 5-year-old, I badgered my mum into buying ALIVE! and sat for what may have been days looking at the impossibly cool kids in the gatefold sleeve picture.

To these ears, early - pre-disco - KISS has a pretty neat hold on a lot of the principles and shibboleths of power pop as mentioned in this (excellent) thread. I am talking of the sloppy but tight drums, the bright upfront guitar sound, the obvious Anglophile/Beatles love affair evidenced by harmonies, all members having a go at singing lead on "their" song - and so on.

We also get, as the almost sole subject matter of the songs, the self-referential celebration of "rock music" - and all that that phrase means. It's all about partying and rocking and being a rock star and partying and rocking as a rockstar. Ortega Y Gasset, in an essay about how Realism is a monstrous aberration in the history of taste, argues that the proper subject of art is art itself.

To my mind, as well as similar aesthetis sensibilities in terms of instrumentation and arrangement, "power pop" and "bubblegum rock" share this essential characteristic of art.

The excellent observations made above, about the connections of these kinds of music to memories of uncomplicated times and feelings - to youth itself - also apply.


Don't know how I missed this one.

Like Cheap Trick or Enuff 'Z' Nuff, the loud guitars throw people off from KISS being true power pop at heart.

For me, it wasn't even the loud guitars. I like Cheap Trick as a kid, but still didn't get KISS. It was, simply, the makeup and the fans. I assumed they were some subhuman troglodyte band. (I might like that kind of thing now, but at the time I was seriously into melodicism and all things Beatlesque.) Little did I know they were actually purveyors of glammy pop-rock. In fact, I'd venture to say that, production-wise, they rocked less than Cheap Trick.
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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby sloopjohnc » 26 Feb 2009, 16:11

Quaco wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:
mission wrote:I have been thinking for some time about KISS. I am unabashed fan of my idea of KISS, an idea formed in about 1974 when as a 5-year-old, I badgered my mum into buying ALIVE! and sat for what may have been days looking at the impossibly cool kids in the gatefold sleeve picture.

To these ears, early - pre-disco - KISS has a pretty neat hold on a lot of the principles and shibboleths of power pop as mentioned in this (excellent) thread. I am talking of the sloppy but tight drums, the bright upfront guitar sound, the obvious Anglophile/Beatles love affair evidenced by harmonies, all members having a go at singing lead on "their" song - and so on.

We also get, as the almost sole subject matter of the songs, the self-referential celebration of "rock music" - and all that that phrase means. It's all about partying and rocking and being a rock star and partying and rocking as a rockstar. Ortega Y Gasset, in an essay about how Realism is a monstrous aberration in the history of taste, argues that the proper subject of art is art itself.

To my mind, as well as similar aesthetis sensibilities in terms of instrumentation and arrangement, "power pop" and "bubblegum rock" share this essential characteristic of art.

The excellent observations made above, about the connections of these kinds of music to memories of uncomplicated times and feelings - to youth itself - also apply.


Don't know how I missed this one.

Like Cheap Trick or Enuff 'Z' Nuff, the loud guitars throw people off from KISS being true power pop at heart.

For me, it wasn't even the loud guitars. I like Cheap Trick as a kid, but still didn't get KISS. It was, simply, the makeup and the fans. I assumed they were some subhuman troglodyte band. (I might like that kind of thing now, but at the time I was seriously into melodicism and all things Beatlesque.) Little did I know they were actually purveyors of glammy pop-rock. In fact, I'd venture to say that, production-wise, they rocked less than Cheap Trick.


Way less.

Cheap Trick has some pretty "heavy" songs, like Heaven Tonight and Auf Weidershen, but because theyr'e a combo of goofballs and pretty boys, it goes down easier or people don't listen that closely.

Kiss's music comes across more dangerous than it is because of their schtick.
Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:I for one wouldn't want to know what memories and deep and dark forces drive Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, or Radiohead, for certain.

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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby Still Baron » 29 Apr 2009, 01:41

goldwax wrote:Brutal in, brutal out. :lol:


wrong thread!
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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby Count Machuki » 18 Feb 2014, 23:25

bonk
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Re: Power pop and related: define, deride, defend...

Postby Charlie O. » 18 Feb 2014, 23:44

Ow!
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