Read Owen Pallett's musical analysis of pop hits

After The Daily Beast published an article by Ted Gioia bemoaning the lack of musical theory in today's music criticism, a number of other critics and artists have been responding. One such response was the classically trained Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy Owen Pallett talking about the music theory behind Daft Punk's Get Lucky and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream. Update: he's now added a third and final essay to the series, and it's on Lady Gaga's Bad Romance

You need a modicum of musical theory to get through certain parts of the essays, but they're entertaining pieces and the conclusions he draws from applying theory and a close attention to detail are interesting and well written.

“First off, we should address this song’s repetitiousness. There’s a delicious middle finger extended here, beyond the fact that the four-chord loop never alters: Pharrell’s vocal performances, and Nile’s guitar parts, are photocopied. The pre-choruses, the choruses, they are exactly identical, copy-pasted in GarageBand. It’s not even evident that Daft Punk asked its guests to do complete takes. This isn’t innovative, but it is egregious, a punkish move, sending a clear message: 'This Is Pop, Where Repetition Is King, And Our Time Is More Valuable Than Yours'."

If you'd like to hear some of his own work, check out Owen Pallett's video for The Riverbed below. 

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