Bleachers, Buddy Holly, Marshall Crenshaw, power pop, The Beatles, The Smithereens, the Steve Miller Band
On the blogosphere there is already a clearly demarked niche music genre that combines melodic pop melodies with the classic rock and roll combo of electric guitars, bass and drums: power pop. Said to have been coined by no less an authority than Pete Townsend of The Who, the term ‘power pop’ is now applied to any band with jangly guitars, swooping background harmonies, and a strong melodic hook. My blogroll features two such sites (Absolute Powerpop and Powerpopaholic) and there are many more. So why cast my efforts under a different label like poprock? Well, simply put, I think poprock is a broader, more inclusive term. Or, to put it another way, while all of power pop could be considered a form of poprock, not all poprock would be characterized as power pop.
For many bloggers, power pop has become a kind of music esthetic: a certain kind of guitar sound, a particular combination of instruments and vocals, etc. Poprock, by contrast, is less rigid. It is less a genre than a sensibility, crossing over different styles. Sure it is defined by strong melodies and as a category it would make little sense if it didn’t relate to the rock and roll cannon. But rock and roll itself was a bastard child of multiple influences: south Chicago electric blues, Appalachian mountain fiddle solos and harmony vocals, western swing, and so on. What differentiates its many sub-genres is the balance of influences. Thus poprock takes a bit more of the swing and country than the blues while still set within the classic rock and roll combo. Here I’m thinking of Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Steve Miller band (in the hits era), Marshall Crenshaw, The Smithereens, and, more recently, Bleachers.
So don’t get me wrong – I love power pop. It’s just that I like a lot of other things too.Bleachers website