Commentary Archive

What Makes Music Pretentious?

What exactly makes music “pretentious”? It’s “something full of pretense; an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true”. It’s an insult that’s levied against any number of bands often with little back-up or explanation. Is it the lyrics? The music? Just the very attitude of the band? Or is it a

The 13 Secrets of Taylor Swift’s Massive Success

Whether you want to or not, odds are high that you can’t go a single day without seeing or hearing something about Taylor Swift (especially now that she has kicked off her 1989 tour). With current headline-grabbing artists such as Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Britney Spears clamoring to steal everyone’s attention, how

What Killed the Video Star? MTV’s Abandonment of the Music Video

It’s an age-old complaint that MTV no longer seems to stand for its original moniker: Music Television. With a group of nostalgic music lovers longing for the days of back-to-back music videos and commentary from beloved VJ’s, MTV continues to plow forward into different programming waters. Occasionally, the network gives a slight nod to its

20 Bands We Will Regret Not Seeing Live

I’ve always wished I could have seen The Doors, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Nirvana. Unfortunately, I was born a little too late to enjoy these acts live. In an effort to appreciate what live music opportunities I currently have instead of longing for the ghost of live shows past, I thought: what modern bands

20 Songs That Ripped Off Other Songs

Is imitation truly the sincerest form of flattery? In light of this week’s ruling that Robin Thicke and Pharrell are guilty of violating Marvin Gaye’s copyright, I bring you 20 instances in which artists were accused of being copycats. Not all of the examples below made it to the courtroom, but all have sparked heated

10 Popular Songs with Discreetly Unsettling Lyrics

Admit it.  You have mindlessly sung along to songs without realizing what they were about.  It’s okay, we’ve all been there.  A few years back, I was singing along with Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” (so damn catchy!), then realized I had been singing joyfully singing the phrase, “You better outrun my gun.”  What?!

Ten Negative Reviews of Now Classic Albums

It has famously been said that, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture,” and rightfully so. Music is unwieldy, notoriously anarchic, and devilishly moody, making it an incredibly difficult topic to tackle. Rock ‘n’ roll journalists made it their calling to take on the subject, and often times they bring us the next big

Top Ten Isolated Vocal Tracks of Classic Songs

Since songs about “anacondas” and feeling “like a plastic bag” are popular right now, I would like to take you back to a simpler time. A time before Carly Rae Jepsen was asking you to call her (maybe). A time before “cake cake cake cake” implied more than a delicious, sugary birthday dessert. And especially

How Video Made The Radio Star

On August 1st 1981 MTV launched for the first time in the United States to the tune of “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles, the very first video to air on the station. The debut track acted almost like a statement of intent; music from here on in would now be a thoroughly

The Music World is Leading the Anti-Digital Backlash

The internet and our new technologies are such a colossal part of our lives its hard to remember a time when we couldn’t punch in a message on our keyboards to send to a friend thousands of miles away, or tap away on the ubiquitous touch-screen to order our weekly shopping. It’s a change of