it’s happened more locally in Motown and SAW (Stock Aitken and Waterman) but now the hit factory mentality is global, and nearly all of today’s major recording artists aimed at the youth market are pushing the product, and its producers don’t even speak English as their first language.
They are Swedes.
If they are not Swedes, they are Korean, although K pop is still fairly limited in reach, and not fully embedded with Western culture.
This is not an attack on Swedish songwriters, but it is perhaps a requiem for homegrown, more meaningful songwriting reaching the charts, and it says something when a load of Swedish blokes can churn out hit records with their incomplete (yet sufficient ) grasp of English for the Anglophone market.
The talent these chaps have is to have turned the songwriting process into an assembly line. This began back in the nineties, which the Stockholm-based producer Denniz PoP, (Dag Krister Volle) and his Cheiron studio, who worked with Ace of Base (‘All that She Wants… is Another Baby’) and Dr Alban (‘it’s my Life’), and has since worked with Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Westlife and 5ive, before his surprise death in 1998 at the age of 35.
His successors, Shellback (Karl Johan Schuster) and Max Martin (Karl Martin Sandberg), have written songs for Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Adele, Maroon 5, P!nk, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, ‘Tay-tay’, Carly Rae Jepsen, Leona Lewis, One Direction, The Weeknd and a fuckton of other pop cunts you’ve heard on the radio. There is an Polish-American involved in these audio-crimes the form of Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) using the same sort of ‘track and hook’ process. He was accused of sexual behaviour by the American pop <del>slut</del> chanteuse ‘Ke$ha’ but she ended up paying him $, leaving her as just plain old Kesha Sebert.
Rick Beato made a video a few years ago about how pop was lyrically and compositionally simpler than it used to be. The lyric element might be down to the simplistic, purely emotive vernacular the Swedes have adopted for the American and European markets. Either way, the music in today’s charts is made like your typical Volvo; Well-engineered, reliable, child-friendly, but largely uninteresting,
Nominated by: Cuntamus Prime