By Theodore Cateforis
“Are We no longer New Wave? is destined to turn into the definitive research of latest wave music.”
—Mark Spicer, coeditor of Sounding Out Pop
New wave emerged on the flip of the Eighties as a pop tune circulate forged within the photograph of punk rock’s sneering demeanor, but rendered extra obtainable and complicated. Artists akin to the vehicles, Devo, the speaking Heads, and the Human League leapt into the pinnacle forty with a unique sound that broke with the staid rock clichés of the Nineteen Seventies and pointed how to a extra sleek pop style.
In Are We no longer New Wave? Theo Cateforis offers the 1st musical and cultural heritage of the hot wave move, charting its upward thrust out of mid-1970s punk to its ubiquitous early Eighties MTV presence and downfall within the mid-1980s. The booklet additionally explores the meanings in the back of the music’s certain traits—its attribute whiteness and anxiousness; its playful irony, digital melodies, and crossover experimentations. Cateforis lines new wave’s glossy sensibilities again to the space-age purchaser tradition of the overdue 1950s/early 1960s.
Three many years after its upward thrust and fall, new wave’s impression looms huge over the modern pop scene, recycled and celebrated not just in reunion excursions, VH1 nostalgia specials, and “80s evening” dance golf equipment yet within the track of artists as diversified as Rihanna, girl Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and the Killers.
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Additional info for Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s
By comparison, the national BBC programming of the late 1970s and early 1980s was much less fragmented along formatted genre lines than its commercially driven American counterpart. 2 New wave was thus heard as one of many contemporary pop and rock musical styles, and its supposed modern “otherness” was much less of a divisive issue. This contrast between American stability and British free play, to reduce it to crude terms, was even more exaggerated in the functioning of the music press. In England, the persistent rhythm of the British weekly music press has always allowed for a more ›exible relationship to new musical developments and genres than the comparatively glacial ›ow of the monthly American music magazines or the biweekly Rolling Stone.
The signi‹cance of these stylistic differences surfaced most of all as a contrast in tone and emotional articulation. Where Foreigner’s roots in the blues and hard rock steered the group toward an authentic realism, the Cars’ background led to a lyrical and vocal palette that was laced with ambiguity and a dispassionate uncertainty. ” The former is a chugging riff rocker, an unrestrained celebration of singer Lou Gramm’s heroic, unquenchable lust. ” The extended “improvisatory” fadeout call-and-response chorus throws Gramm’s salacious asides fully into the spotlight.
2 New wave was thus heard as one of many contemporary pop and rock musical styles, and its supposed modern “otherness” was much less of a divisive issue. This contrast between American stability and British free play, to reduce it to crude terms, was even more exaggerated in the functioning of the music press. In England, the persistent rhythm of the British weekly music press has always allowed for a more ›exible relationship to new musical developments and genres than the comparatively glacial ›ow of the monthly American music magazines or the biweekly Rolling Stone.