by Shelt Garner
We’re overdue for a “new sound” in pop music. The history of pop right now goes something like this:
1955 – 1959 “American Pop Rock”
1964 – 1970 “The British Invasion”
1970-1979 “Punk, Prog and Disco”
1980 – 1983 “New Wave”
1984 – 1989 “Big Hair & Rock”
1989-2000 “Grunge & Britpop”
2001-2008 “Dance Pop Rock”
2008-Now “Adult Contemporary”
The above is not exactly perfect, but it gives you a rough back-of-the-envelope assessment of things. As you can tell, we’re overdue for a new era in pop rock. In short, we need a New Sound.
The thing is, I can hear faint element of a New Sound in this song by, of all people, Miley Cyrus. The production gives the song just a tinge of mid-80s pop rock to it. And, yet, it sounds rather modern.
I find a similar proto-New Sound in some of the more recent stuff done by Dua Lipa. In a sea of Adult Contemporary crap, anything that sounds different is noteworthy.
But there’s something missing. It needs a bit more rock to it to qualify as a “good” song to my old fart ears. All you would need to do is add a bit of THIS song.
I guess what I’m saying is, I would add a strong rock guitar and drums to this New Sound. It wouldn’t really have to be all that much, just enough for people who grew up on pop rock to sit up and take notice. I even know the producer who could do it — Butch Vig.
If he could somehow manage to rustle up a super girl group, then, well, that would rock. Or, put another way, if pop music is ever-so-subtly drifting towards a New Sound, why not give it a push and bring back the rock sensibilities of guitar and drums?