Friday, June 20, 2014

Genre research project 52/1359: Britpop

Britpop is a subset of Alternative Rock that developed in the United Kingdom during the first years of the 1990s. It has been commonly perceived as a reaction not only to the angst-ridden American Grunge movement but also to the ethereal, noisy Shoegaze style that found some success during the early 90s in the UK. Britpop marked a return to a more traditional Rock music structure, characterized by guitar-driven melodies, catchy Pop-based hooks and a commercial-friendly sound, while also displaying the influence of a wide range of styles that had been popularized by earlier British artists, such as Pop Rock, Beat Music and Mod from the 1960s; Glam Rock, Punk Rock and New Wave from the 1970s; and Jangle Pop from the 1980s. The Baggy / Madchester explosion of the late 1980s/early 1990s would serve as an important precursor to the genre, though Britpop lacked the Alternative Dance sensibilities of that style. Additionally, in the lyrical and imagery aspects, Britpop artists were emphatic in displaying elements of the life and culture of the British working and middle classes, a feature that made the genre highly popular in the United Kingdom but limited its commercial appeal in the United States.


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