Popular Music History, Vol 7, No 2 (2012)

Multiple damnations: deconstructing the critical response to boy band phenomena

Mark Duffett
Issued Date: 18 Oct 2013

Abstract


While the boy band genre has mutated and evolved, its popular portrayal has altered little since groups like New Edition and New Kids on the Block conquered the charts back in the late 1980s. After examining recent critical commentaries from Facebook-based ‘anti-fans’ and music critic Paul Morley, the article suggests that four discourses—youth, exploitation, gender and fandom— interlock to determine how commentators discuss the genre. Collectively their result is a relative stasis in critical commentary which helps to allay wider anxieties about the idea that, in a capitalist society, any of us can actively and pleasurably engage with a musical genre led by its own marketing.

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v7i2.185

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