Edward O'Connell

As a critic, it's easy to become jaded about music, given the amount of albums I get the chance to hear in a given year. When you hear so much, it begins to blend together, and the special spark that you're always looking for becomes continually more difficult to find. Both age and attrition make it so that we should be able to pull less and less out of each year, but that is not what I have found. Over the course of my time writing about music, the opposite has held true.

Of all the things that perplex me about the current state of music, maybe the most difficult to fathom is how power-pop, a genre that is about nothing but making catchy music for you to sing along to, became an underground genre. These purveyors of sunny, feel-good music have become vampires to the mainstream, surviving in the shadows that thrive on message boards in the deep recesses of the internet. There was a time when power-pop was huge, as it should have been, but somewhere along the way music fans have apparently decided they don't want their music to be enjoyable. Go figure.