Switched on Pop
Switched on Pop
Vulture
D.O.C. (Death of the Chorus) with Emily Warren
41 minutes Posted Jan 11, 2021 at 11:48 pm.
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Show notes

Listen to Top 40 pop over the last decade and you’ll notice something weird is happening. The chorus—the emotional apotheosis of a pop song, its dizzying high, its cathartic sing-along center—is disappearing. In its place, artists from Bad Bunny to Taylor Swift are toying with new, chorus-lite song forms that introduce a new musical grammar to the sound of contemporary pop. We may not think much about pop structure when listening to our favorite songs, but this is a big deal—the last time pop experienced such a seismic shift was when the chorus first came into fashion, back in the 1960s. What does this mean for modern musicians and listeners? Emily Warren, songwriter for new-guard stars like Dua Lipa and Khalid, joins to break down why the sea change in pop form represents a new horizon of creative possibility.


Songs Discussed

Bad Bunny - Si Veo a Tu Mamá

Future & Drake - Life Is Good

Billie Holiday - Blue Moon

Beyonce - Formation

Travis Scott - Sicko Mode

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Drake - Laugh Now Cry Later (ft. Lil Durk)

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