The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory Pdf

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory

Number of page: 368
Author: John Seabrook
Publisher: W. W. Norton, 2015
ISBN: 9780393241938
Category: Music

“An utterly satisfying examination of the business of popular music.” —Nathaniel Rich, The Atlantic Over the last two decades a new type of hit song has emerged, one that is almost inescapably catchy. Pop songs have always had a “hook,” but today’s songs bristle with them: a hook every seven seconds is the rule. Painstakingly crafted to tweak the brain’s delight in melody, rhythm, and repetition, these songs are highly processed products. Like snack-food engineers, modern songwriters have discovered the musical “bliss point.” And just like junk food, the bliss point leaves you wanting more. In The Song Machine, longtime New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook tells the story of the massive cultural upheaval that produced these new, super-strength hits. Seabrook takes us into a strange and surprising world, full of unexpected and vivid characters, as he traces the growth of this new approach to hit-making from its obscure origins in early 1990s Sweden to its dominance of today’s Billboard charts. Journeying from New York to Los Angeles, Stockholm to Korea, Seabrook visits specialized teams composing songs in digital labs with new “track-and-hook” techniques. The stories of artists like Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Rihanna, as well as expert songsmiths like Max Martin, Stargate, Ester Dean, and Dr. Luke, The Song Machine shows what life is like in an industry that has been catastrophically disrupted—spurring innovation, competition, intense greed, and seductive new products. Going beyond music to discuss money, business, marketing, and technology, The Song Machine explores what the new hits may be doing to our brains and listening habits, especially as services like Spotify and Apple Music use streaming data to gather music into new genres invented by algorithms based on listener behavior. Fascinating, revelatory, and original, The Song Machine will change the way you listen to music.

About The Author

John Seabrook has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993. The author of several books including Nobrow, he has taught narrative nonfiction writing at Princeton University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


  • deldevriesdeldevries
    LibraryThing Review The best part of this book might be the song lists in Spotify that the author has created. Do not miss listening to the music!.
  • caimanjoshcaimanjosh
    LibraryThing Review I’m not into pop music at all, and really could care less about the latest Rihanna or Britney Spears hits. Yet somehow this book was oddly compelling. It takes an in-depth look into the entire process
  • Amanda MastrullAmanda Mastrull
    The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory New Yorker staff writer Seabrook (Nobrow) presents an engaging narrative of modern pop music, documenting the highs and lows of the industry, its artists, and how hits become hits. With a focus on the
  • Jane DoeJane Doe
    THE SONG MACHINE: Inside the Hit Factory New Yorker staff writer Seabrook (Flash of Genius: And Other True Stories of Invention, 2008, etc.) examines the seismic shifts in the music industry. There are plenty of good books that have shown
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