APOPALYPSE NOW - the state and stasis of pop
GQ Style spring/summer 2008
by Simon Reynolds
Come Christmas time, music magazines and newspaper critics traditionally survey the trends and events that shook the pop world during the previous 12 months. Late last year, as the time approached for the annual reckoning, I found myself wondering: what on earth are they going to come up with for 2007? I mean, did anything actually happen? Hmmm, well there was Radiohead’s gambit of selling their latest album direct to the fans via honour-based pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth download. But that was a breakthrough in music distribution, not a dive into brave new worlds of sound (indeed In Rainbows’s Radiohead-by-numbers could hardly have been more same-old-same-old, more déjà entendu). What else? There was Britney’s meltdown, a convulsion in celebreality that far eclipsed the schizo-jagged avant-pop of her Blackout, a relative flop sales-wise. But when it comes to big shifts and new directions… 2007’s pop cupboard was bare.