Chants encounter … the crowd at Glastonbury. Photo: Matt Cardy/ Getty Images
Not since the Red Wedge gigs of the 1980 s has there been such a boom in political pop, with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce and Stormzy exploring issues such as structural racism and political corruption. Even Jeremy Corbyn went from embattled leader to Glastonbury Pyramid Stage star,preaching collectivism and progressive taxation between Craig David and Run the Jewels.
The Trump presidency has now intensified an artistic importance that performers feel compelled to respond to. In fact, artists who didn’t have anything to say about the world fought: Taylor Swift is coming with a single that was all about her, and was roundly sniffed at for being too self-involved.” Simply commenting on her soured reputation does not a cultural critique construct ,” said USA Today.
This has put some artists in an odd stance, those who don’t really have anything worthwhile to say or don’t want to be so radical that brands or right-wing fans are scared off. The answer? Keep things vague( interestingly, 2017 saw a lot of press releases frame sad sungs as” challenging the stigma of mental health issues” and happy ones as” anthems of self-empowerment “).
The queen of the vague-pop movement is Katy Perry , who changed her Twitter bio to” Artist. Activist. Conscious” and returned with lead single Chained to the Rhythm, with its refrain” So comfortable, we’re living in a bubble, bubble/ So comfy, we cannot see the difficulty, difficulty “. It sounds like it could be against consumerism? But crucially, only if you want it to be.
Pink, a long-term veteran of vague pop, returned with What About Us, a kind of Earth Song of
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