Tim Bray’s formulation of the current hit-making process for the pop music charts:
Here’s what hits are: Tracks made by Swedes using Pro Tools plus hooks made by topliners using booths. If you want to know what that means and how it works, you should read the book, and along the way you’ll meet some really interesting people, one or two of whom actually seem to be musicians, sort of, and many of whom are regularly on magazine covers.
Those Swedes are cool guys and I’m glad I read about them; I just wish they’d quit fucking up pop music. (post)
Distributed DJs suggests another reason why pop music today is uninspired.
According to New Order’s Bernard Sumner, grooves have become commodities, but unique melodies are still rare. See Melody’s Abstract Challenge
Artwork as Recipe discusses some issues around formulas and art.
The Sound of Sweden, from the New Yorker (post)
The Swedes have invaded Korea as well, and are the force behind the K-Pop explosion (post)