‘Rona Rock:’ I’ve Seen The Face Of Pop Rock And Its Name Is Olivia Rodrigo

by Shelt Garner

I’ve written at length about this before, but Olivia Rodrigo’s release of her album “sour” has me thinking about it again — now that the United States is getting out of the pandemic, maybe it’s time for pop rock to return.

I call this neo-pop rock, “Rona Rock.”

Let me give you some context. There are millions of old farts like me who love rock that has a beat and you can dance to. Maybe a few dozen million. And, at the moment, they are forced to listen to “classic rock.” Not a lot of new pop rock is coming out and that which is coming out is almost exclusively Miley Cyrus doing covers of old pop rock songs.

Sour is so close to being a traditional pop rock album. It still, however, lacks the edge of a true pop rock album. It’s more a POP rock album. So it seems to me that of all the popular acts out there that Rodrigo is the most likely to come out with an album produced by someone like Butch Vig of Nirvana’s “Heart Shape Box” and the band Garbage.

In fact, I would go so far as to say if Rodrigo did go that route that a lot of GenZ people would experience a significant amount of musical future shock. They wouldn’t know what hit’em.

There is another, safer, direction that Rodrigo could go that would be almost just as good — the Nelly Furtado option of teaming up with someone like Timbaland. The album they did together is one of my favorites of the Before Times when some form of pop rock still existed.

And, yet, I doubt this will happen in any way. It’s too risky for an established act to make such an abrupt break with existing musical tastes. If my dream of “Rona Rock” is going to happen, it’s going to happen because a pop rock song becomes unexpectedly popular on Tik-Tok.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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