"It is prefaced: “What if Beethoven’s Für Elise… Had been written by Ludovico Einaudi?”... ‘Reimagining’ Beethoven in the style of Einaudi would entail a translation of Beethoven’s ‘classical’ harmonies into the more accessible language of modern film/popular music, potentially downsizing the role of melody and musical form in favour of communicating a more homogeneous ‘background’ sound." Yundi Li discusses the role TikTok and other new media play in changing dialogues of genre fusion.
"Production is not the greatest sin ‘Holy’ commits. Indeed, I actually really like the gospel piano that kicks the song off, and Justin’s opening verse (“I know a lot about sinners/guess I won’t be a saint”) and pre-chorus (“the way you hold me… feels so holy”), while nothing special, definitely fit and set the mood. Yet, this is immediately ruined by the lyric “Oh God/Running to the altar like a track-star”, which, accompanied by the muddy-too-modern pop bass farting through the timeless instrumentation preceding, wrecks the song beyond all recovery." Raman Handa reviews 'Justice', the latest offering from Justin Bieber.
"One of my favourite parts of Chinua Achebe’s masterpiece, Things Fall Apart, is a ferociously intense public wrestling scene. It buzzes with an ever-moving pulse, choreographed by the beating of drums. They rise with the intensity of the fighting, and older men 'remembered the days when they wrestled to its intoxicating rhythm.'" Jimmy Brewer explores how Kerouac, Proust and Achebe capture the experience of live music in their works.
"Is the hit single really a triumph of Korean music and the result of successful diversification of the globalised music industry? Or is it an omen of homogenised world music, blanched and pureed under Anglophone influence?" Coral Kim discusses whether BTS disprove the model of "l'exception française".
"Dawson’s lyrics aren’t poems; the music is too important to the cadence and stress of the lines for the words to retain their power without it. Still, they do pass that age-old test which can be used upon a line of verse to distinguish the animating spirit of poetry: they’re often almost impossible to gloss in prose." Oscar Jelley tries to unravel the complexities of Geordie folk singer-songwriter, Richard Dawson.
CW: Mentions of alcoholism, substance abuse. "'Little Oblivions', then, is a battle diary published long after nadir itself, with retrospective editing. The full-band sound makes it extremely listenable, and Baker’s silvery voice is snugly at home amidst metallic textures." Irene Zhang looks at Julien Baker's latest release.
"Arctic Monkeys' sentiment of local identity is perfectly surmised in the closing track ‘A Certain Romance,’; though it bemoans the towns low fashion and ‘kids who scrap with pool cues in their hands,’ it resolves into a statement of "this is our town, our culture, and we’re owning it."" Greg Halliwell looks back at what the Sheffield quartet's debut album meant to Northern music culture, 15 years' on.
"It feels almost like an Alice in Wonderland journey of sound – despite the constant growing and shrinking, we still know that we’re down the rabbit hole." Lily Kershaw looks back at André 3000's side of Outkast's 2003 double album, "The Love Below".