The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory
“An utterly satisfying examination of the business of popular music.” —Nathaniel Rich, The Atlantic
Over the last two decades a new type of hit song has emerged, one that is almost inescapably catchy. Pop songs have always had a "hook," but today’s songs bristle with them: a hook every seven seconds is the rule. Painstakingly crafted to tweak the brain's delight in melody,...more
John Seabrook wrote that he first became interested in contemporary hits when his 10-year-old son started fiddling with the car radio. Flo Rida's "Right Round" was playing.
Was this music? The bass sounded like a recording of a massive undersea earthquake. The speakers produced sounds such
Still hate it.
But that's n ...more
"Bring the hooks in, where the bass at?"
This book opens with an Iggy Azalea lyric. I'm not sure if this fact ultimately means anything for the quality of the product as a whole, but I feel that it's worth pointing out. And after finishing The Song Machine, it seems as good an indication as any of the reading experience.
Let me attempt to explain that.
Like an Iggy Azalea track (you might recognize the above quote from "Fancy"), John Seabrook's novel is flashy and easy to slip into, but begins to ...more
Let me say first and foremost that while I love pretty much all different sorts of music, I live for good pop music in a different way. There's something exhilarating about the build-up to a good chorus, in hearing all the different melodic elements come together until you are taken over by some weird spirit to belt out a "WHOA-OH-WHOA-OH" along with the singer. I don't care if it's horrifically overproduced (well, I can care, under the ...more
Pro-tip: Seabrook has made Spotify lists of the songs he mentions throughout, which should enrich the experience even more to figure out the stylistic differences between Stargate and Dr. Luke.
Tekelleşme her yerde. Müzik piyasasını da yutmuş. Şöyle diyor kitap:
2008 yılında, raflarda bulunan 13 milyon şarkıdan 52 bini, müzik endüstrisinin gelirinin yüzde 80'ini oluşturdu. On milyon şarkının te ...more
The chapter on Dr Luke was unreadable to me, the author of this book heaps on praise for music producers but seems to lo ...more
This is a very inside-baseball peek into the current world of pop hit-making, which is exactly what I anticipated and was looking for. The book came across my radar because of the Dr. Luke/Kesha scandal, and while it does chronicle Dr. Luke's rise, it also gets into the nitty-gritty of how someone like Dr. Luke becomes a superstar in the industry, tracing all the way back to Ace of Base/Swedish hit-makers to Lou Pearlman and the Backstreet Boys and continuing on through the American I ...more
I learned why "I Want It That Way" (one of the greatest pop songs ever) has such weird and nonsensical lyrics -- because the crazy Swedes who wrote all pop music at that time (and most of it now) cared more about the sou ...more
This book is Seabrook's description of "the hit factory," his term for the behind-the-scenes group of producers/songwriters responsible for so many of contemporary Top-40 hits (and most of the money that comes from contemporary pop). The approach is journalistic and seems ...more