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Popular Music, Critique and Manic Street Preachers

Authors: Peters, Mathijs

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  • Provides an original philosophical examination of popular music 
  • Uses the philosophy of Adorno to show that Manic Street Preachers releases shape ‘critical models’ with which to formulate social and political critique
  • Suggests that much work in popular music studies has unduly diminshed the role of explicit meaning in lyrics and offers an alternative and innovative approach
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About this book

 This book explores the ways in which popular music can criticise political, social and economic structures, through the lens of alternate rock band Manic Street Preachers. Unlike most recent work on popular music, Peters concentrates largely on lyrical content to defend the provocative claim that the Welsh band pushes the critical message shaped in their lyrics to the forefront. Their music, this suggests, along with sleeve art, body-art, video-clips, clothes, interviews and performances, serves to emphasise this critical message and the primary role played by the band’s lyrics.

Blending the disciplines of popular music studies, culture studies and philosophy, Peters confronts the ideas of German philosopher and social critic Theodor W. Adorno with the entire catalogue of Manic Street Preachers, from their 1988 single ‘Suicide Alley’ to their 2018 album Resistance is Futile. Although Adorno argues that popular music is unable to resist the standardising machinery of consumption culture, Peters paradoxically uses his ideas to show that Manic Street Preachers releases shape ‘critical models’ with which to formulate social and political critique.

This notion of the ‘critical model’ enables Peters to argue that the catalogue of Manic Street Preachers critically addresses a wide range of themes, from totalitarianism to Holocaust representation, postmodern temporality to Europeanism, and from Nietzsche’s ideas about self-overcoming to reflections on digimodernism and post-truth politics. The book therefore persuasively shows that Manic Street Preacher lyrics constitute an intertextual network of links between diverse cultural and political phenomena, encouraging listeners to critically reflect on the structures that shape our lives.


About the authors

Mathijs Peters lectures at the Philosophy Department at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. 

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-43100-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-43099-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Popular Music, Critique and Manic Street Preachers
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-43100-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-43100-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-43099-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 442
Topics

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