Power pop is a strange genre of music. It can’t evolve, lest it becomes a strange sub-genre like prog-rock or emo-opioid. Each new generation of power pop uses the exact same ingredients, give or take a keyboard; catchy ditties and equally catchy counter-melodies, complimented by busloads of Beatlesque harmonies. The only difference is the production values of its time. Yet the quest for the most contagious melody remains consistent, as if trying to perfect the formula.
Like the popular drug, heroin, power pop is not for everyone. On paper, it seems like something everyone should enjoy. It makes you feel good. It soothes the brain. It isn’t expensive. But, as encapsulated in the television series, Different Strokes: “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor”. [FACT CHECK: If there is anything to glean from Different Strokes, it is “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”. The ceiling quote is from a Paul Simon song of the same name.]
a style of pop music characterized by a strong melody line, heavy use of guitars, and simple rhythm.
I am a huge fan of the power pop. I love the infectious hooks, the tight harmonies, and the vague lyrics without being too profound. It is the ultimate ear candy. The greatest beauty is that it’s obscure enough that it doesn’t get destroyed by over exposure on the radio. Unless you’re listening to some power pop Sirius radio programming or podcast. Here are five of my favorites.