10,848 book reviews and counting...

Switched On Pop Reviews

Switched On Pop by Nate Sloan (University of Southern California), Director of Product Management Charlie Harding (Ushahidi)

Switched on Pop

How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters

Nate Sloan (University of Southern California), Director of Product Management Charlie Harding (Ushahidi)

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Oxford University Press, USA
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 13 Dec 2019
ISBN: 9780190056650
4 stars out of 5
Emily Bootle
8 Jan 2020

"Switched On Pop makes the case that this might be “serious music” after all. "

The reason Switched On Pop works as a podcast is that listeners can experience first-hand the techniques Sloan and Harding explain, by hearing the relevant snippets of the songs. Similarly, the book is punctuated by user-friendly diagrams that use both visual analogies and fun, familiar caricatures of pop stars – Lamar’s head dotted around to show a pattern of syncopation, for example – to ground the granular explanations in something more accessible. The language itself is similarly chatty (Justin Bieber becomes “The Biebs”). And although it is consistent with the book’s intention to make pop more serious and classical less intimidating, to quip that “Rossini would likely cough up his affogato” also exposes the chasm between the two styles of criticism and the potentially jarring effect of combining them.

Reviews