Jim Shelley & Book Of Kills

Pills & Pop

"The whole of 21st Century [pop music] has a sound...It's a smoothness, a softness, a steadiness. An aversion to unanticipated left turns. It isn't new, but it's increasingly everywhere. You can hear it in the Weeknd's demulcent falsetto, in Rhianna's unruffled cool, in Drake's creamier verses, even in Justin Bieber's buffed edges. Out on the dance floor, it's most evident in the cushiony pulse of tropical house, a softer style that Kygo and other big-time producers have used to mitigate the intensity at various EDM festivals in recent years...Instead of forging new sounds, [musicians] are defining the era by taking leisurely laps back and forth across their respective comfort zones...Comfort zones are hard to find in Donald Trump's America, and our psychotropic priorities have changed. [In the '60s] we used to want to have our minds blown. Now, we'd prefer to have our minds massaged." -- Chris Richards, Washington Post