Elegies for Zayn Malik

O Badboi! my Badboi! our dizzy dream is done, The albums’ weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, The tour is near, the songs I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the playful boys, the stages grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the stage my boyband lies, […]

“Frailty, thy name is Harry”: masculine weakness in One Direction lyrics

The stereotypical image of the woman physically weakened by the intensity of her love is ubiquitous across our literature and culture: fainting, swooning, and crying are all distinctly feminine behaviours, and they are consistently brought on by the actions, or even simply the appearance, of the (male) love interest. Almost as frequently as this image […]

Feeling Alive: The Monotony of our Existence Explained (by Fergie)

The similarities between the crisp morning glory of the local park, and the murky grime of a student club on a Wednesday night, are not immediately apparent. Arguably, the two spaces present a sensory antithesis: light vs. darkness, fresh vs. clammy, open-plan vs. intense claustrophobia. But they are incongruously connected by music. The physical activity […]

The Many Faces of Avril Lavigne (2002-2014)

It’s very popular among music critics these days to talk about the evolution of female artists, and few better present ideas about persona and changing identity than Avril Lavigne, who has evolved from a 16-year-old skater to Chad Kroeger’s wife. In her music, she explores the implications of musical and personal transitions, and considers how […]