“Is This Power Pop?” Revisited

#FBF (Flashback Friday – is there such a thing? Sure, why not?)

SOMEONE I ADORE would often jokingly ask, upon me playing different songs for her, “is this power pop?”

See, it was last year, prior to her seeing my all-time favorite band of all-time, that I introduced her to the music of Cheap Trick, to familiarize her to what she would likely hear. Describing them as one of the foremost practitioners of my favorite genre of music, that question of what is power pop came up. Surprisingly, I kind of had difficulty describing what is, essentially, power pop! I mean I know power pop when I hear it, but what is it?

Power pop is upbeat, melodic, guitar-driven rock with instantly memorable hooks. It will rock you, but not roll over you with bombast and volume. Its got energy. A good power pop song will improve your mood and make you a bit happier. It will make you reach for your air guitar and sing out loud – even if you don’t know all the words.

So, what’s a good example of a terrific power pop song? Out of dozens of examples I could think of within a minute, of numerous songs I could include here, recently a song by Cheap Trick (big surprise, right?), “Through the Night,” made for a great example, made me think of that question, and put me in a better mood while being reminded of her. Songs like this I like to call an “Instant Mood Enhancer” because that’s what it did — improved my feelings/mood (that’s what the questioner that inspired this piece did, too, but that’s a whole other story!).

“Through The Night” has all the ingredients needed to make a power pop song: soaring vocals, buzzy guitars, a rocking rhythm attack, and more than enough memorable melodies, not just in the chorus, but in the vocals as well (and the “la la la la la” background vocals are a nice touch, as well).  The bottom line, though, is this song should put a smile on your face, and put you in a better mood.

That is power pop.


Funny thing about “Through The Night” – as good as the song is, it was actually a non-album b-side, recorded during the Lap of Luxury sessions. It’s easily better than at least three songs that are on that album!

#cheaptrick #nowplaying #blog #powerpop

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