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Justin Timberlake’s Identity Crisis

What’s up with Justin Timberlake? Two years ago he gifted us the ebullient family-friendly jam “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” now he’s on the cusp of a deeply serious new record called “Man of the Woods,” whose first single, strangely, is a bit of electro-funk snarl […]

74. All I Want

74. All I Want for Xmas is a Year in Review Episode

Charlie and Nate breakdown Mariah Carey’s classic “All I Want for Christmas is You” and revisit their favorite tracks of 2017. Sleigh bells abound. Featuring • Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas • Laura Marling – Semper Femina • Lorde – Melodrama • […]

73. Bjork's Utopia

73. Björk’s Emotional Landscapes

Björk is uniquely both a pop star and avant-garde composer. Though her music often challenges our ears, underneath her records you’ll find more in common with today’s pop music than you’d expect. Pieced together, you’ll hear that she paints emotional landscapes composed of all the […]

72. Reputation

72. Taylor Constructs A Darker Reputation

Taylor Swift unveils a new, darker identity on her latest album “Reputation,” and many have read the lyrics on her latest as not-so-subtle volleys in an ongoing celebrity feud. Still, a question remains: how does Swift cast this dark personality in music? Two songs offer […]

71 Taylor Cardi

71. Unlikely Mashups: Taylor + Cardi B | Clean Bandit + Berlioz

At the top of the pop charts, Taylor Swift and Cardi B, two artists with seemingly little in common, exploit the same compositional technique to hook listeners in. Meanwhile, across time and space, electro producers Clean Bandit ft. Julia Michaels, channel the thematic tricks of […]

70. Humble

70. Kendrick Lamar’s HUMBLE deconstructed w. guest Amber Mark

With Charlie off the grid, Nate sits down with singer/producer Amber Mark to explore the different levels of Kendrick’s hit HUMBLE.. Then, they turn to the diverse influences (including house music, Carnatic samples, and autodidactic piano chords) behind Mark’s own track “Lose My Cool.” Featuring […]

69. Not Sorry

69. Demi Lovato is Not Sorry

Demi Lovato’s latest, “Sorry Not Sorry” is at once an unapologetic anthem of defiance and a super catchy mashup of multiple genres. As we’ll see, every small musical choice is here for a reason, together fostering Lovato’s message of ascension—or even, transcendence. And as we […]

68 Feels Groovy

68. How to ‘Feels’ the Groove

How does a song with nonsense lyrics capture our attention, making us want to move? It is called the groove. Enter Calvin Harris’ “Feels” (ft. Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Big Sean). Known for mainstreaming EDM, Harris throws out the software and picks up hardware […]

67 Kesha

67. Anthems of Resilience – Kesha and Imagine Dragons [LIVE]

This episode of Switched on Pop comes at you live from Block Island, RI, recoded in front of an audience of friends and family following a solar eclipse. Fittingly, the two songs discussed that day formed their own kind of syzygy. Kesha’s “Praying” and Imagine […]