After the burn out of Post-Punk bands like the Smiths and Joy Division, the British music scene was in deep need of a new mood. All that morbid musing, dear-diary drama, and incessant self-pity had left music fans catastrophically low. Ian... [more]
After the burn out of Post-Punk bands like the Smiths and Joy Division, the British music scene was in deep need of a new mood. All that morbid musing, dear-diary drama, and incessant self-pity had left music fans catastrophically low. Ian Curtis was dead. Morissey's depression gave no sign of ending anytime soon. Music had spiraled downwards, twisted too far into its own inner turmoil -- there seemed to be no exit. Something had to change.
Salvation came in the form of bands like the Verve, Oasis, Pulp, and Blur. Reviving the upbeat melodies of the Beatles, blending them with dancey synth sounds and heavy guitar, these bands gave a new shape to pop. No longer were the sounds dragged down by the weight of depression and self-deprecation -- these songs are light, fun, and and at least somewhat self-confident. Even when they complain (and they often do), they seem to have more spunk.
True, there's still a bit of the perfunctory British self-mockery here; the haze left behind by the Sex Pistols and the Smiths has not completely cleared. But there's also an optimism effused in the catchy melodic lines and boppy rhythms of Brit-Pop that rises above the layer of gloom. Imagine the early Beatles on speed. Add stage antics, an addiction to all the tropes and trappings of your basic rock 'n' roll image, and you've got a sense for what this music is about.
At some point, Brit-Pop split into two distinct forms: while bands like the Charlatans and the Space Monkeys catered to the rave scene spreading throughout London by integrating synth sounds and dance beats, Oasis stuck to a more strickly rock 'n' roll mood that's thick with guitar. But the two strands come together in their apparent mutual adoration of MTV, the land where those that tend towards grunge and those who prefer acid house are
welcomed with equal enthusiasm. No, there's no hiding the audience these guys are after: they're after the college kids. Somewhere between the hyper-stylized culture of dance clubs and the crunchiness of alternative rock lies the domain of Brit-Pop, where the heads of the world's youth bob together in blissful unison. [show less]