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Traveling from New York to Los Angeles, Stockholm to Korea, John Seabrook visits specialized teams composing songs in digital labs with novel techniques, and he traces the growth of these contagious hits from their origins in early '90s Sweden to their ubiquity on today's charts. Featuring the stories of artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rihanna as well as expert songsmiths like Max Martin, Ester Dean, and Dr. Luke, The Song Machine will change the way you listen to music.
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By tru britty on 10-08-15
Want your music canned or in a box?
This is a lively history of pop music since 1989. If you think Katy Perry is great or you hate the Backstreet Boys, you will find out why in this book.
Or so the featured music producers like Denniz PoP and Max Martin would like you to think. This is a story about that segment of pop music where the artist is usually a pretty girl or boy whose sound and look are a creation of the producer and his team.
This is a story about songwriting simplified to a formula, where words are units of melody and melody is married to the beat.
The writer looks at sound factories in Sweden, America and Korea. He follows the careers of the major Svengali producers and the acts whose hits they have manufactured, including Kelly Clarkson (who fought against the constraints), Rihanna, Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry and a more recent Taylor Swift.
Spotify, the streaming music company, also gets a chapter.
You might become cynical about the music industry after this. You might get inspiration for your Ableton compositions. You might run out to see a real loose garage band or singer-songwriter just to prove to yourself that other kinds of music are out there.
But you won't look at today's music hits the same after reading this book.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful