Popular music is everything about the new power the digital technology has given. It is about the synthesis of creative ideas over sophisticated technology. The concept of tracks, multi track recording, mixing, mastering and audio effects was unknown in the beginning of the last century. With the transition of the globe from the industrial era into the silicon era marked with the steady rise in popularity of computer systems and its various innovative digital systems work was simplified, automated and refined by leaps and bound. Similarly in the area of music, makers of music have extensively benefitted from the ready availability of technology at hand to simply work and increase productivity. The effect – more number of albums released, bigger and more complex musical projects executed with ease, a stark change in the ‘sound’ of the music from the early 20th century to late 20th century.
Similarly, application, perception and the entire perspective of music has undergone a change. From being used as a tool to organise movements, address social and humanitarian issues, identify a community to usage for pure entertainment address global issues and most importantly for making a living out of music. In the next sections of the paper we will be discussing about Popular Music in far greater detail with literature review, detailed analysis of popular music track ‘No Surprises’ by contemporary pop band Radio Head.
When we discuss about Popular Music we discuss about culture. We are trying to observe musical details of a musical genre that has overtaken the world in the last century and has now become mainstream or in other words popular.
No Surprises – Analysis of Video On listening to the music video No Surprises by Radio head one can instantly relate to the sadness in which the narrator/singer is drowned into. The music, the visual elements, the background images, the lyrics, light effects, sound effects, vocal tone and modulation all convey just one message – a suppressed agony that needs to be vented out. On listening to the songs and watching the associated visual this feeling of gloom becomes even more clear and distinct. The rising water level in the water tight glass capsule holding the head of the vocalist Thom Yorke is symbolic of the larger issues and the common saying, “keeping the head over water”. Here in this video he dawns a lifeless expression while he sings the songs with the water level rising in his glass helmet until he gets totally submerged inside it. He barely manages to keep his head over the water. The water here symbolises various issues: social, political, economic, humanitarian, relationships, emotional etc. All of these things are depicted to be going out of control and taking the unexpected path, creating strife and rifts among people. Lyric setting The song talks about a man’s burden of life. It talks about the heaviness in the heart due to various reasons and circumstance prevailing in his life and his surrounding including a government that has betrayed its loyal citizens, a job that leaves nothing in life and a growing distance between people and their emotions. Everyone is in their own frenzied pursuitof goals and aspirations without caring for the larger good and the simpler things in life. The narrator of the song has a lot of things to say and he does it through this simple lyrical poetry with minimum usage of words and