Friday, July 15

Secrets of the Pop Song.



Believe it or not, I'm not a big tv watcher. In a figurative sense, there isn't a lot that I enjoy watching. In the literal sense, I just hate sitting down in front of the television; preferring to revisit old boxsets (mostly Teachers, Spaced and Laguna Beach Series 1). However, every now and again I will catch-up on things I've missed on IPlayer or 4OD, particularly IPlayer. Whilst catching up on all the programmes I've missed - Pointless, The Apprentice and Angry Boys - it also recommend that I watch 3-part series Secrets of the Pop Song.


BBC Two explores the process of songwriting in new three-part series, Secrets Of The Pop Song, which follows the pen to paper to first public performance. 

Each episode sees songwriter, producer and musician Guy Chambers, collaborating with an artist to write a new song each week – a ballad, an anthem and a breakthrough single, with a variety of celebrated musical contributors divulging the secrets of the trade along the way.
(via guychambers.com)


I've always been a champion for (good) pop music, whether it's a guilty pleasure, nostalgia or just, well McFly. I love pop! I do however, think we've reached an odd (read: awful) point in music where everything is the same - David Guetta produced, a bit 'ravey' or featuring a Pitbull-esque rap - also known as 'In The Club Syndrome' (I might've just invented that). It's human nature, you find a formula that works so you use it over and over again until it becomes, for want of a better word, formulaic. I imagine a lot of the songs in the Top 40 charts could be layered over each other and essentially still be the same song. Those of you who listen to music outside of the charts/Top 40 are probably just thinking, so what, don't listen to the charts, but as a person who grew up listening to Top 40 - watching Top of the Pops every week, taping songs off the radio and making up dance routines - I find it sort of sad. 


What I love about Secrets of a Pop Song (which is separated into three parts; Ballad, Breakthrough Single and Anthem)  is that it not only dissects the process of writing and producing a pop song from scratch, but it also considers the history and impact of pop music; It even addresses the whole issue of 'manufactured pop'. 

The first episode, Ballad, featured Rufus Wainwright, with whom Guy wrote a beautiful ballad called World War Three - the release of which I'm anxiously awaiting. I love Rufus' music and I fell in love with the piano-riff straight away, I've been humming it since I watched the episode! The second, Breakthrough Single featured Mark Ronson and Tawiah. I'm sure you've heard of Mark Ronson, but if you haven't heard of Tawiah you really should - she toured with Mark on his Version tour, has an awesome voice and you can buy her EP, In Jodi's Bedroom on Itunes. The third and final episode, Anthem, will feature Noisettes, and although I'm not a huge Noisettes fan I'm certainly looking forward to it!

The final episode of Secrets of the Pop Song is on BBC 2 tomorrow at 9.45 pm.
You can watch the previous episodes on BBC IPLayer now.

(click through to see a clip of Rufus and Guy performing World War III.)

(all images via the BBC)



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1 comment:

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