Sunday, October 14, 2012

Simple Pop

Sunday morning I was listening on the radio to one of those Beatles breakfast shows you can find in nearly every town. I was struck, as I’m always struck, by the pure simplicity of some of their tunes, like “I Need You” from the “Help!” lp. (One of their best albums.) They were able, with the simplest form, to be striking, romantic, and evocative. You can sense the Britishness, the setting and sensibility of the piece. There’s an understated beat along with subtle touches of the guitar and a scant few other instruments. How did they do it?

The task of the new pop writer is to devise tales completely transparent and simple, yet which are evocative of time and place, of the world, and deep emotion. Make the difficult look easy. Do that and you’ll conquer the literary world.

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