Which music genres deserve a resurgence?

Our music writers explore the genres most deserving of a popularity resurgence

multiple writers
22nd March 2021
Image credit: musicplus.in

Genres of music often go through phases of popularity over the years and indeed decades, with fads passing by as suddenly as they arrived. We asked our writers which subcategories of music they believe deserve another shot at the limelight in 2021.

Progressive Rock

Listening to the prog-rock albums of yore on YouTube, I think it's clear that the genre should get a resurgence. The lack of risks in modern rock, the masterful instrumentation and our shifting world's need for a suitably chaotic soundtrack all support this postulate.

A signature feature of progressive rock is its willingness to play with tune and composition. Modern rock groups often stick to a formula based on pop-punk, mainstream metal or whatever the Creed/Daughtry/Hinder style has evolved into. This isn't inherently bad, but staying within a style can get dull. Some incorporate pop or rap, which often feels forced because bands without extensive knowledge of those genres often import simple elements without attaining the true feel. Progressive rock tends to incorporate classical, world and folk elements, sometimes with notes of metal or blues. While some bands do this nowadays (e.g. Opeth), it's less common and should make a comeback.

File:Opeth @ Eistnaflug 2016 31.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Opeth, a Swedish progressive metal/rock band from Stockholm (Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Progressive rock also focuses heavily on instrumentation, sometimes even entirely instrumental, although long solos are common as well (e.g. Dream Theater's discography). A lot of the guitar solos and instrumental interludes are pure technical skill and melody. This often makes for interesting compositions that tell a story in sound as well as words. Klaus Schulze was part of a German group only vaguely similar to progressive rock. However, his solo work, such as Timewind, reflects these musical values well.

In 2021, the world is an uncertain place. Solid, anchored tracks with little drama that don't go anywhere can feel a bit disingenous. Progressive rock's unsettling yet constructive embrace of musical chaos reminds us that change is sometimes necessary to move forward. Using old ideas in new ways should not be discounted. Even if we have strayed from a trustworthy path, a return to tradition will not come without readjustment to current times. These values, if nothing else, make a strong case for a progressive rock resurgence.

Elizabeth Meade

Pop Punk

Back in the day, nothing was cooler than listening to My Chemical Romance through your headphones on the way to school whilst wearing too much black eyeliner.

As of now, this is definitely no longer the case. However, as someone who still holds on to their inner emo kid, I have to ask the question on behalf of all of us; where has pop-punk gone?

Green Day and My Chemical Romance were the soundtrack to the majority of my pre-teen years, and I still have at least three Spotify playlists dedicated to my emo, pop-punk teen phase. Nothing hits the spot quite like the opening notes of ‘The Black Parade' - you immediately know you’re in for a nostalgic powerhouse anthem.

Green Day - Dookie LP Marbled Red Vinyl EX /EX
Dookie, Green Day's most successful studio album

The genre is cheesy, but it’s the best cheese you’ll ever taste with undertones of angst and anger... what more could you want? Maybe the reason I yearn for it to make a come back is because of the pure nostalgia it brings me, but it is genuinely a great genre of music. Green Day were, and still are, pioneers of punk-pop (even though they don’t like to be put under that umbrella) and inspired the majority of pop-punk bands we know and love such as Good Charlotte, Sum 41, All Time Low, and even Lady Gaga who has surprisingly credited them as an influence.

There is no sign of a resurgence anytime soon, but it is certainly not dead. Panic at the Disco’s Brendon Urie has kept the genre's legacy alive through his latest albums which have turned out to be great successes. Granted, they’re a lot more pop-led than ever before, but his vocals still nod to the emo band we all loved for "not closing a god damn door". Equally, Fall Out Boy and Green Day still release music, but it is far from being as popular as it once was.  

All in all, I would love to see the resurgence of pop-punk to see what else can be done with it. We’ve seen a resurgence in disco from the likes of Dua Lipa and Jessie Ware so I am patiently waiting for the arrival of pop-punk. Maybe I’ll just have to wait a bit longer for this one.

Ellie Boswell

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