58. Ed Sheeran

58. What’s to Love About Ed Sheeran? (guest Ross Golan)

Songwriter Ross Golan comes over to start up a conversation, encouraging us to follow his lead and give Ed Sheeran’s chart-annihilating record “Shape of You” a chance. Ross, a studio vet with multiple #1 hits (including numbers discussed on this very podcast, such as Ariana […]

53. Ariana Grande

53. The Puzzle of Ariana Grande’s “Into You” (with K. Flay)

“Into You” was one of the biggest hits of 2016, the stellar production of reclusive legend Max Martin combining with the acrobatic vocals of Ariana Grande to create an undeniable, ubiquitous earworm. With “Into You” still burning up the charts, we dive deep to uncover […]

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47. Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal – The Chainsmokers, ‘Closer’

Host Charlie spent the last two weeks listening to every song on the Billboard Hot 100. What did he discover? That the sonic similarities of most chart-toppers sound closer than ever. Except for the #1 song in America, as of this episode’s release – “Closer” […]

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45. Lady Gaga Is A Perfect Illusion

Lady Gaga’s new single, “Perfect Illusion,” is the apotheosis of her artistic statement. She is well known for her visual style that too often overshadows her music. But when taken together, it is evident that Lady Gaga is playing all of us because the non-conformity […]

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44. How Beyoncé to The Beatles Modulate Your Emotions

Certain pop songs have that moment, when everything seems to change but still remain the same, when the drama gets ratcheted up, when the tension increases and our emotions take an elevator ride to the heavens. From Beyoncé to Johnny Cash, savvy pop songwriters know a […]

39. Good Music Bad People

39. When Good Music Happens To Bad People

We have more information about pop stars lives than ever before, but this transparency is not always uplifting for music lovers. Just as we may enjoy following the intimate lives of celebrities on Instagram, we simultaneously uncover how stars abuse their power to marginalize others, […]

37. Pop Feminism

37. All About Those Baseline Assumptions About Feminism in Pop

With Meghan Trainor’s new singles “No” and “Me Too” ubiquitous on the radio dial, a larger discussion about the uneasy relationship between social movements and selling records takes a feminist bent. Memories of the polarizing 2014 hit “All About that Bass” come to the surface, […]

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36. Jonas vs. Jonas: Or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Boy Band

A battle between brothers is playing out on the pop charts, a sibling rivalry the likes of which the music industry hasn’t seen since 1987, when Michael and Janet Jackson’s 1987 “Bad” and “Let’s Wait Awhile” jockeyed for peak position on the Hot 100. Today, […]