How Can We Think About Popular Music?

Another very very short segment – this time concerning the ways in which we can think about popular music analysis – more detail late!

About Paul Carr

Academic working at the University of Glamorgan
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2 Responses to How Can We Think About Popular Music?

  1. cleaton8 says:

    Hi Paul, thanks for your post.

    You mention the production and reception of music, and I wondered what you think about the emergence of album apps, and how music fans might engage with this format?

    I’m researching this at the moment and have read articles claiming, the album is dead, and singles and playlists via streaming sites are the formats of choice today. So where does that leave the album? I collected vinyl all through the 80’s and loved it because it gave me more information about the artist with images, lyrics, credits and so on.

    So, I looked further into the plight of the album and came across album apps, which prompted me to get Björk’s Biophilia. It’s fun and there is a great deal of activities, plus essays to read, but I’m not a Björk fan, so I can see the app eventually being forgotten about, and probably deleted at some point to make space on my phone.

    Other artist’s album apps are generally not as in-depth as Biophilia but there seems to be a ‘standard’ album app structure emerging, the music, images, videos, lyrics, games and then links to merch, tickets and social media sites. There are similarities to what vinyl and CD’s offer, but the instant gratification that comes with most digital music formats, and the tactile quality of physical formats complicates things when trying to understand reception.

    Best wishes,



  2. Paul Carr says:

    Thanks Anne. It is an interesting area. I too grew up on albums – a generation ahead of you – the the 70s. Like you say – the artwork is special. I am not sure if it will ever ‘die’. I have a 19 year old son who loves vinyl – and still purchases it. It is not only the art that attracts him – but also the process of putting the album on a record player and listening. The Album app is fascinating – and although I have not seen the Biophilia app – I know much of the academic content came from an academic from Sheffield Uni. I think they represent an interesting ‘bridge’ between the production of music and its reception. Your research sounds interesting – good luck with it.


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