Has anyone else read this? Really fascinating look at how modern pop mega-hits are written/produced (which is: mostly by Swedes and Nords.) Reading it made me respect the brilliance of people like Max Martin (who's written the most number 1s/top 10 hits ever), but when I listen to the actual tunes I have this sense of disappointment with how underwhelming the end product is.
Dr. Luke talks about how he and Max Martin were listening to 'Maps' by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and it kept irritating M.M. because the song keeps getting more intense up to the chorus, and then DROPS in intensity for the chorus. I thought that was really telling, because the intensity of the sentiment expressed in the lyrics of the chorus seems to me an emotional peak. But for MM, there has to be a melodic peak. There has to be a formula. (Off the back of this, they wrote 'Since You've Been Gone'.)
Other points of interest:
- The mainstream swing between'the extremes' of rap/rock and the 'doldrums' of pure pop.
- The committee approach to songwriting. One person does melody, one person does lyrics, etc.
- 'Melodic Math' - lyrics are less important for what they express than for how they fit with a perfectly balanced melody.