Synth-pop (short for synthesizer pop;[10] also called techno-pop[11][12]) is a music genre that first became prominent in the late 1970s and features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument.[13] It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic, art rock, disco, and particularly the Krautrock of bands like Kraftwerk. It arose as a distinct genre in Japan and the United Kingdom in the post-punk era as part of the new wave movement of the late 1970s.

Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used practically in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, and the mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art musicians. After the breakthrough of Gary Numan in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, large numbers of artists began to enjoy success with a synthesizer-based sound in the early 1980s. In Japan, Yellow Magic Orchestra introduced the TR-808 rhythm machine to popular music, and the band would be a major influence on early British synth-pop acts. The development of inexpensive polyphonic synthesizers, the definition of MIDI and the use of dance beats, led to a more commercial and accessible sound for synth-pop. This, its adoption by the style-conscious acts from the New Romantic movement, together with the rise of MTV, led to success for large numbers of British synth-pop acts in the US during the Second British Invasion.

The term "techno-pop" was coined by Yuzuru Agi in his critique of Kraftwerk's The Man-Machine in 1978 and is considered a case of multiple discovery of naming. Hence, the term can be used interchangeably with "synth-pop", but is more frequently used to describe the scene of Japan.[14] The term "techno-pop" became also popular in Europe, where it started: German band Kraftwerk's 1986 album was titled Techno Pop; English band the Buggles has a song named "Technopop" and Spanish band Mecano described their style as tecno-pop.[15]

"Synth-pop" is sometimes used interchangeably with "electropop",[12] but "electropop" may also denote a variant of synth-pop that places more emphasis on a harder, more electronic sound.[16] In the mid to late 1980s, duos such as Erasure and Pet Shop Boys adopted a style that was highly successful on the US dance charts, but by the end of the decade, the synth-pop of bands such as A-ha and Alphaville was giving way to house music and techno. Interest in synth-pop began to revive in the indietronica and electroclash movements in the late 1990s, and in the 2000s synth-pop enjoyed a widespread revival and commercial success.

The genre has received criticism for alleged lack of emotion and musicianship; prominent artists have spoken out against detractors who believed that synthesizers themselves composed and played the songs. Synth-pop music has established a place for the synthesizer as a major element of pop and rock music, directly influencing subsequent genres (including house music and Detroit techno) and has indirectly influenced many other genres, as well as individual recordings.


A colour photograph of a synthesizer with a keyboard
The Prophet-5, one of the first polyphonic synthesizers. It was widely used in 1980s synth-pop, along with the Roland Jupiter and Yamaha DX7.

Synth-pop is defined by its primary use of synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, sometimes using them to replace all other instruments. Borthwick and Moy have described the genre as diverse but "characterised by a broad set of values that eschewed rock playing styles, rhythms and structures", which were replaced by "synthetic textures" and "robotic rigidity", often defined by the limitations of the new technology,[4] including monophonic synthesizers (only able to play one note at a time).[17]

Many synth-pop musicians had limited musical skills, relying on the technology to produce or reproduce the music. The result was often minimalist, with grooves that were "typically woven together from simple repeated riffs often with no harmonic 'progression' to speak of".[18] Early synth-pop has been described as "eerie, sterile, and vaguely menacing", using droning electronics with little change in inflection.[19][20] Common lyrical themes of synth-pop songs were isolation, urban anomie, and feelings of being emotionally cold and hollow.[2]

In its second phase in the 1980s,[2] the introduction of dance beats and more conventional rock instrumentation made the music warmer and catchier and contained within the conventions of three-minute pop.[19][20] Synthesizers were increasingly used to imitate the conventional and clichéd sound of orchestras and horns. Thin, treble-dominant, synthesized melodies and simple drum programmes gave way to thick, and compressed production, and a more conventional drum sound.[21] Lyrics were generally more optimistic, dealing with more traditional subject matter for pop music such as romance, escapism and aspiration.[2] According to music writer Simon Reynolds, the hallmark of 1980s synth-pop was its "emotional, at times operatic singers" such as Marc Almond, Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox.[20] Because synthesizers removed the need for large groups of musicians, these singers were often part of a duo where their partner played all the instrumentation.[2]

Although synth-pop in part arose from punk rock, it abandoned punk's emphasis on authenticity and often pursued a deliberate artificiality, drawing on the critically derided forms such as disco and glam rock.[4] It owed relatively little to the foundations of early popular music in jazz, folk music or the blues,[4] and instead of looking to America, in its early stages, it consciously focused on European and particularly Eastern European influences, which were reflected in band names like Spandau Ballet and songs like Ultravox's "Vienna".[22] Later synth-pop saw a shift to a style more influenced by other genres, such as soul music.[22]



Main articles: Electronic music, Electronic rock, and Electronics in rock music

A black and white photograph of four members of Kraftwerk onstage, each with a synthesizer
Kraftwerk, one of the major influences on synth-pop, in 1976

Electronic musical synthesizers that could be used practically in a recording studio became available in the mid-1960s, around the same time as rock music began to emerge as a distinct musical genre.[23] The Mellotron, an electro-mechanical, polyphonic sample-playback keyboard[24] was overtaken by the Moog synthesizer, created by Robert Moog in 1964, which produced completely electronically generated sounds. The portable Minimoog, which allowed much easier use, particularly in live performance[25] was widely adopted by progressive rock musicians such as Richard Wright of Pink Floyd and Rick Wakeman of Yes. Instrumental prog rock was particularly significant in continental Europe, allowing bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Can and Faust to circumvent the language barrier.[26] Their synthesizer-heavy "Kraut rock", along with the work of Brian Eno (for a time the keyboard player with Roxy Music), would be a major influence on subsequent synth rock.[27]

In 1971, the British film A Clockwork Orange was released with a synth soundtrack by American Wendy Carlos. It was the first time many in the United Kingdom had heard electronic music.[28] Philip Oakey of the Human League and Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire, as well as music journalist Simon Reynolds, have cited the soundtrack as an inspiration.[28] Electronic music made occasional moves into the mainstream, with jazz musician Stan Free, under the pseudonym Hot Butter, having a top 10 hit in the United States and United Kingdom in 1972, with a cover of the 1969 Gershon Kingsley song "Popcorn" using a Moog synthesizer, which is recognised as a forerunner to synth-pop and disco.[29]

A colour photograph of three members of Yellow Magic Orchestra at the front of a stage
Yellow Magic Orchestra in 2008

The mid-1970s saw the rise of electronic art musicians such as Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and Tomita. Tomita's album Electric Samurai: Switched on Rock (1972) featured electronic renditions of contemporary rock and pop songs, while utilizing speech synthesis and analog music sequencers.[30] In 1975, Kraftwerk played their first British show and inspired concert attendees Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys – who would later found Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) – to 'throw away their guitars' and become a synth act.[28] Kraftwerk had its first hit UK record later in the year with "Autobahn", which reached number 11 in the British Singles Chart and number 12 in Canada. The group was described by the BBC Four program Synth Britannia as the key to synth-pop's future rise there.[28] In 1977, Giorgio Moroder released the electronic Eurodisco song "I Feel Love" that he had produced for Donna Summer, and its programmed beats would be a major influence on the later synth-pop sound.[4] David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy, comprising the albums Low (1977), "Heroes" (1977), and Lodger (1979), all featuring Brian Eno, would also be highly influential.[31]

Origins (1977–1980)

See also: New wave music

A colour photograph of Gary Numan performing onstage with a guitar and microphone
Gary Numan performing in 1980

Early guitar-based punk rock that came to prominence in the period 1976–77 was initially hostile to the "inauthentic" sound of the synthesizer,[4] but many new wave and post-punk bands that emerged from the movement began to adopt it as a major part of their sound. British punk and new wave clubs were open to what was then considered an "alternative" sound.[32][33] The do it yourself attitude of punk broke down the progressive rock era's norm of needing years of experience before getting up on stage to play synthesizers.[28][33] The American duo Suicide, who arose from the post-punk scene in New York, utilised drum machines and synthesizers in a hybrid between electronics and post-punk on their eponymous 1977 album.[34]

The Cat Stevens album Izitso, released in April 1977, updated his pop rock style with the extensive use of synthesizers,[35] giving it a more synth-pop style; "Was Dog a Doughnut" in particular was an early techno-pop fusion track,[36] which made early use of a music sequencer. Izitso reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, while the song "(Remember the Days of the) Old Schoolyard" was a top 40 hit.[35] That same month, the Beach Boys released their album Love You, performed almost entirely by bandleader Brian Wilson with Moog and ARP synthesizers,[37] and with arrangements somewhat inspired by Wendy Carlos's Switched-On Bach (1968).[38] Although it was highly praised by some critics and musicians (including Patti Smith[39] and Lester Bangs[40]), the album met with poor commercial reception. The album has been considered revolutionary in its use of synthesizers,[38] while others described Wilson's extensive use of the Moog synthesizer as a "loopy funhouse ambience"[41] and an early example of synth-pop.[42] In July 1977, the song "I Feel Love" by recording trio Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Belotte was released, pioneering the hi-NRG genre, and influencing later synth-pop acts such as Divine and Dead or Alive. Around this time, Ultravox member Warren Cann purchased a Roland TR-77 drum machine, which was first featured in their October 1977 single release "Hiroshima Mon Amour".[43]

Be-Bop Deluxe released Drastic Plastic in February 1978, leading off with the single "Electrical Language" with Bill Nelson on guitar synthesizer and Andy Clark on synthesizers. Japanese band Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) with their self-titled album (1978)[44] and Solid State Survivor (1979), developed a "fun-loving and breezy" sound,[45] with a strong emphasis on melody.[44] They introduced the TR-808 rhythm machine to popular music,[46] and the band would be a major influence on early British synth-pop acts.[47] 1978 also saw the release of UK band the Human League's debut single "Being Boiled" and The Normal's "Warm Leatherette", which both are regarded as seminal works in early synth-pop.[48] Sheffield band Cabaret Voltaire are also regarded as pioneers of the late 1970's that influenced the emerging synth-pop in Britain.[49] In America, post-punk band Devo began moving towards a more electronic sound. At this point synth-pop gained some critical attention, but made little impact on the commercial charts.[50]

"This is a finger, this is another... now write a song"

—This quote is a take on the punk manifesto This is a chord, this is another, this is a start a band celebrating the virtues of amateur musicianship first appeared in a fanzine in December 1976.[51]

British punk-influenced band Tubeway Army, intended their second album to be guitar driven. In late 1978, Gary Numan, a member of the group, found a minimoog left behind in the studio by another band, and started experimenting with it.[52] This led to a change in the album's sound to electronic new wave.[52] Numan later described his work on this album as a guitarist playing keyboards, who turned "punk songs into electronic songs".[52] A single from the album, "Are Friends Electric?", topped the UK charts in the summer of 1979.[53] The discovery that synthesizers could be employed in a different manner from that used in progressive rock or disco, prompted Numan to go solo.[53] On his futuristic album The Pleasure Principle (1979), he played only synths, but retained a bass guitarist and a drummer for the rhythm section.[53] A single from the album, "Cars" topped the charts.[54]

Numan's main influence at the time was the John Foxx-led new wave band Ultravox who released the album Systems of Romance in 1978. Foxx left Ultravox the following year and scored a synth-pop hit with the single "Underpass" from his first solo album Metamatic in early 1980.[55]

In 1979, OMD released their debut single "Electricity", which has been viewed as integral to the rise of synth-pop.[56][57] This was followed by a series of landmark releases within the genre, including the 1980 hit singles "Messages" and "Enola Gay".[58] OMD became one of the most influential acts of the period,[59][60] introducing the "synth duo" format to British music.[61] Vince Clarke, who co-founded the popular synth-pop groups Depeche Mode, Erasure, Yazoo and the Assembly, has cited OMD as his inspiration to become an electronic musician.[62] Bandleaders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys have been described in the media as "the Lennon–McCartney of synth-pop".[63][64]

Giorgio Moroder collaborated with the band Sparks on their album No. 1 In Heaven (1979). That same year in Japan, the synth-pop band P-Model made its debut with the album In a Model Room. Other Japanese synth-pop groups emerging around the same time included the Plastics and Hikashu.[65] This zeitgeist of revolution in electronic music performance and recording/production was encapsulated by then would-be record producer Trevor Horn of the Buggles in the single "Video Killed the Radio Star"; the song topped the UK charts in October 1979 and it also became an international hit; two years later it was the first song aired on MTV.[66][67] Geoff Downes, keyboardist for the Buggles, states, "When we did a rerecorded version for Top of the Pops, the Musicians’ Union bloke said, "If I think you’re making strings sounds out of a synthesizer, I’m going to have you. Video Killed the Radio Star is putting musicians out of business."[68]

1980 also saw the release of where "Video Killed the Radio Star" came from, the Buggles' debut album The Age of Plastic, which some writers have labeled as the first landmark of another electropop era,[69][70] as well as what for many is the defining album of Devo's career, the overtly synth-pop Freedom of Choice.[71]

Commercial success (1981–1985)

See also: New Romantic and Second British Invasion

A colour photograph of members of Midge Ure of the band Ultravox performing on a stage with a microphone and a guitar
Midge Ure performing with Ultravox in Oslo in 1981.

The emergence of synth-pop has been described as "perhaps the single most significant event in melodic music since Mersey-beat". By the 1980s synthesizers had become much cheaper and easier to use.[72] After the definition of MIDI in 1982 and the development of digital audio, the creation of purely electronic sounds and their manipulation became much simpler.[73] Synthesizers came to dominate the pop music of the early 1980s, particularly through their adoption by bands of the New Romantic movement.[74] Despite synth-pop's origins in the late 1970s among new wave bands like Tubeway Army and Devo, British journalists and music critics largely abandoned the term "new wave" in the early 1980s.[75] This was in part due to the rise of new artists unafilliated with the preceding punk/new wave era, as well as aesthetic changes associated with synth-pop's movement into the pop mainstream. According to authors Stuart Borthwick and Ron Moy, "After the monochrome blacks and greys of punk/new wave, synthpop was promoted by a youth media interested in people who wanted to be pop stars, such as Boy George and Adam Ant".[4]

The New Romantic scene had developed in the London nightclubs Billy's and the Blitz and was associated with bands such as Duran Duran, Visage, and Spandau Ballet.[76] They adopted an elaborate visual style that combined elements of glam rock, science fiction and romanticism. Spandau Ballet were the first band of the movement to have a hit single as the synth-driven "To Cut a Long Story Short" reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart in December 1980.[77] Visage's "Fade to Grey", characteristic of synth-pop and a major influence on the genre,[78] reached the top ten a few weeks later.[79] Duran Duran have been credited with incorporating dance beats into synth-pop to produce a catchier and warmer sound, which provided them with a series of hit singles,[19] beginning with their debut single "Planet Earth" and the UK top five hit "Girls on Film" in 1981.[80] They would soon be followed into the British charts by a large number of bands utilising synthesizers to create catchy three-minute pop songs.[21] In summer 1981 Depeche Mode had their first chart success with "New Life", followed by the UK top ten hit "Just Can't Get Enough".[81] A new line-up for the Human League along with a new producer and a more commercial sound led to the album Dare (1981), which produced a series of hit singles. These included "Don't You Want Me", which reached number one in the UK at the end of 1981.[82]

Synth-pop reached its commercial peak in the UK in the winter of 1981–2, with bands such as OMD, Japan, Ultravox, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Yazoo and even Kraftwerk, enjoying top ten hits. The Human League's and Soft Cell's UK number one singles "Don't You Want Me" and "Tainted Love" became the best selling singles in the UK in 1981.[83] In early 1982 synthesizers were so dominant that the Musicians' Union attempted to limit their use.[84] By the end of 1982, these acts had been joined in the charts by synth-based singles from Thomas Dolby, Blancmange, and Tears for Fears. Bands such as Simple Minds also adopted synth-pop into their music on their 1982 album New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84).[85] ABC and Heaven 17 had commercial success mixing synth-pop with influences from funk and soul music.[86][87]

Dutch entertainer Taco, who has a background in musical theatre, released his own synth-driven re-imagining of Irving Berlin's "Puttin' On the Ritz"; resulting in a subsequent long-play, After Eight, a concept album that takes music of 1930s sensibilities as informed by the soundscape of 1980s technology. The proliferation of acts led to an anti-synth backlash, with groups including Spandau Ballet, Human League, Soft Cell and ABC incorporating more conventional influences and instruments into their sounds.[88]

Eurythmics (Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox) on stage in Germany in 1987.

In the US (unlike the UK), where synth-pop is sometimes considered a "subgenre" of "new wave" and was described as "technopop" or "electropop" by the press at the time,[89] the genre became popular due to the cable music channel MTV, which reached the media capitals of New York City and Los Angeles in 1982. It made heavy use of style-conscious New Romantic synth-pop acts,[21][50] with "I Ran (So Far Away)" (1982) by A Flock of Seagulls generally considered the first hit by a British act to enter the Billboard top ten as a result of exposure through video.[50] The switch to a "new music" format in US radio stations was also significant in the success of British bands.[50] Reaching No. 2 in the UK in March 1983 and No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 six months later, Rolling Stone called Eurythmics' single "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" "a synth-pop masterpiece".[90] Bananarama's 1983 synth-pop song "Cruel Summer" became an instant UK hit before having similar success in the US the following year.[91] The success of synth-pop and other British acts would be seen as a Second British Invasion.[50][92] In his early 1980s columns for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau frequently referred to British synth-pop as "Anglodisco", suggesting a parallel to the contemporary genres of Eurodisco and Italo disco, both highly popular outside the US.[93][94][95][96] Indeed, synth-pop was taken up across the world alongside the continuing presence of disco, with international hits for German synth-pop as well as Eurodisco acts including Peter Schilling, Sandra, Modern Talking, Propaganda,[97] and Alphaville. Other non-British groups scoring synth-pop hits were Men Without Hats and Trans-X from Canada, Telex from Belgium, Yello from Switzerland,[98] and Azul y Negro from Spain.

Trevor Horn (pictured in 1984), frontman of British new wave synth-pop group the Buggles, also produced Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 1984 album Welcome to the Pleasuredome

In the mid-1980s, key artists included solo performer Howard Jones, who S.T. Erlewine has stated to have "merged the technology-intensive sound of new wave with the cheery optimism of hippies and late-'60s pop",[99] (although with notable exceptions including the lyrics of "What Is Love?" – "Does anybody love anybody anyway?") and Nik Kershaw, whose "well-crafted synth-pop"[100] incorporated guitars and other more traditional pop influences that particularly appealed to a teen audience.[101] Pursuing a more dance-orientated sound were Bronski Beat whose album The Age of Consent (1984), dealing with issues of homophobia and alienation, reached the top 20 in the UK and top 40 in the US.[102] and Thompson Twins, whose popularity peaked in 1984 with the album Into the Gap, which reached No.1 in the UK and the US top ten and spawned several top ten singles.[103] In 1984, Frankie Goes to Hollywood released their debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome (produced by Trevor Horn of the Buggles), with their first three singles, "Relax", "Two Tribes" and "The Power of Love", topping the UK chart.[104] The music journalist Paul Lester reflected, "no band has dominated a 12-month period like Frankie ruled 1984".[105] In January 1985, Tears for Fears' single "Shout", written by Roland Orzabal in his "front room on just a small synthesizer and a drum machine", became their fourth top 5 UK hit; it would later top the charts in multiple countries including the US.[106] Initially dismissed in the music press as a "teeny bop sensation" were Norwegian band a-ha, whose use of guitars and real drums produced an accessible form of synth-pop, which, along with an MTV friendly video, took their 1985 single "Take On Me" to number two in the UK and number one in the US.[107]

Declining popularity (1986–2000)

A colour photograph of the two members of the Pet Shop Boys on a stage with a synthesizer and a microphone respectively
The Pet Shop Boys performing in 2006.

Synth-pop continued into the late 1980s, with a format that moved closer to dance music, including the work of acts such as British duos Pet Shop Boys,[108] Erasure[109] and the Communards. The Communards' major hits were covers of disco classics "Don't Leave Me This Way" (1986) and "Never Can Say Goodbye" (1987).[110][111] After adding other elements to their sound, and with the help of a gay audience, several synth-pop acts had success on the US dance charts. Among these were American acts Information Society (who had two top 10 singles in 1988),[112] Anything Box, and Red Flag.[113][114] British band When in Rome scored a hit with their debut single "The Promise". Several German synth-pop acts of the late 1980s included Camouflage[115] and Celebrate the Nun.[116] Canadian duo Kon Kan had major success with their debut single, "I Beg Your Pardon" in 1989.[117][118]

An American backlash against European synth-pop has been seen as beginning in the mid-1980s with the rise of heartland rock and roots rock.[119] In the UK the arrival of indie rock bands, particularly the Smiths, has been seen as marking the end of synth-driven pop and the beginning of the guitar-based music that would dominate rock into the 1990s.[120][121] By 1991, in the United States synth-pop was losing its commercial viability as alternative radio stations were responding to the popularity of grunge.[122] Exceptions that continued to pursue forms of synth-pop or rock in the 1990s were Savage Garden, the Rentals and the Moog Cookbook.[113] Electronic music was also explored from the early 1990s by indietronica bands like Stereolab, EMF, the Utah Saints, and Disco Inferno, who mixed a variety of indie and synthesizer sounds.[123]

21st-century revival (2000s–present)

See also: Electropop § 21st century

A colour photograph of Elly Jackson with microphone
Elly Jackson of La Roux performing in 2010

Indietronica began to take off in the new millennium as the new digital technology developed, with acts such as Broadcast from the UK, Justice from France, Lali Puna from Germany, and Ratatat and the Postal Service from the US, mixing a variety of indie sounds with electronic music, largely produced on small independent labels.[123][124] Similarly, the electroclash subgenre began in New York at the end of the 1990s, combining synth-pop, techno, punk and performance art. It was pioneered by I-F with their track "Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass" (1998),[125] and pursued by artists including Felix da Housecat,[126] Peaches, Chicks on Speed,[127] and Fischerspooner.[128] It gained international attention at the beginning of the new millennium and spread to scenes in London and Berlin, but rapidly faded as a recognizable genre as acts began to experiment with a variety of forms of music.[129]

In the new millennium, renewed interest in electronic music and nostalgia for the 1980s led to the beginnings of a synth-pop revival, with acts including Adult and Fischerspooner. Between 2003 and 2004, it began to move into the mainstream with Ladytron, the Postal Service, Cut Copy, the Bravery and the Killers all producing records that incorporated vintage synthesizer sounds and styles that contrasted with the dominant genres of post-grunge and nu metal. In particular, the Killers enjoyed considerable airplay and exposure and their debut album Hot Fuss (2004) reached the top ten of the Billboard 200.[130] The Killers, the Bravery and the Stills all left their synth-pop sound behind after their debut albums and began to explore classic 1970s rock,[131] but the style was picked up by a large number of performers, particularly female solo artists. Following the breakthrough success of Lady Gaga with her single "Just Dance" (2008), the British and other media proclaimed a new era of female synth-pop stars, citing artists such as Little Boots, La Roux, and Ladyhawke.[132][133] Male acts that emerged in the same period include Calvin Harris,[134] Empire of the Sun,[135] Frankmusik,[136] Hurts,[137] Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, Kaskade,[138] LMFAO,[139] and Owl City, whose single "Fireflies" (2009) topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[140][141] In 2009, an underground subgenre with direct stylistic origins to synth-pop became popular, chillwave.[142] Other 2010s synth-pop acts include the Naked and Famous,[143] Chvrches,[144] M83,[145] and Shiny Toy Guns.[146][147]

American singer Kesha has also been described as an electropop artist,[148][149] with her electropop debut single "Tik Tok"[150] topping the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks in 2010.[151] She also used the genre on her comeback single "Die Young".[148][152] Mainstream female recording artists who have dabbled in the genre in the 2010s include Madonna,[153][154][155] Taylor Swift,[156][157][158] Katy Perry,[159][160][161] Jessie J,[162] Christina Aguilera,[163][164] and Beyoncé.[165]

In Japan, girl group Perfume, along with producer Yasutaka Nakata of Capsule, produced technopop music combining 1980s synth-pop with chiptunes and electro house[166] from 2003. Their breakthrough came in 2008 with the album Game, which led to a renewed interest in technopop within mainstream Japanese pop music.[167][168] Other Japanese female technopop artists soon followed, including Aira Mitsuki, immi, Mizca, SAWA, Saori Rinne and Sweet Vacation.[168] Model-singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu also shared the same success as Perfume's under Nakata's production[169] with the album Pamyu Pamyu Revolution in 2012, which topped electronic charts on iTunes[170] as well as the Japanese Albums chart.[171] Much like Japan, Korean pop music has also become dominated by synth-pop, particularly with girl groups such as f(x), Girls' Generation and Wonder Girls.[172]

In 2020, the genre experienced a resurgence in popularity as 1980s-style synth-pop and synthwave songs from singers such as the Weeknd who gained success on international music charts.[173] "Blinding Lights", a synthwave song by the Weeknd, peaked at number one in 29 countries, including the United States, in early 2020; and later became the Billboard number-one greatest song of all time in November 2021.[174] This wave of revival not only popularized established acts but also enabled new artists like Dua Lipa, whose retro-influenced album Future Nostalgia won multiple awards and was hailed for its energetic embrace of vintage pop sounds.[175] Meanwhile, indie artists such as M83 continued to explore the boundaries of the genre, blending it with shoegaze and ambient music to create a complex, layered sound in their album Digital Shades Vol. 2.[176] The genre's adaptability and nostalgic appeal have contributed to its enduring presence and continued evolution in the music industry.[177]

Criticism and controversy

Martin Gore of Depeche Mode in 1986, wearing some of the fashions that were criticised for gender bending

Synth-pop has received considerable criticism and even prompted hostility among musicians and in the press. It has been described as "anaemic"[178] and "soulless".[179] Synth-pop's early steps, and Gary Numan in particular, were also disparaged in the British music press of the late 1970s and early 1980s for their German influences[28] and characterised by journalist Mick Farren as the "Adolf Hitler Memorial Space Patrol".[180] In 1983, Morrissey of the Smiths stated that "there was nothing more repellent than the synthesizer".[21] During the decade, objections were raised to the quality of compositions[181] and what was called the limited musicianship of artists.[182] Gary Numan observed "hostility" and what he felt was "ignorance" regarding synth-pop, such as his belief that people "thought machines did it".[183]

OMD frontman Andy McCluskey recalled a great many people "who thought that the equipment wrote the song for you", and asserted: "Believe me, if there was a button on a synth or a drum machine that said 'hit single', I would have pressed it as often as anybody else would have – but there isn't. It was all written by real human beings".[184]

According to Simon Reynolds, in some quarters synthesizers were seen as instruments for "effete poseurs", in contrast to the phallic guitar.[181] The association of synth-pop with an alternative sexuality was reinforced by the images projected by synth-pop stars, who were seen as gender bending, including Phil Oakey's asymmetric hair and use of eyeliner, Marc Almond's "pervy" leather jacket, skirt wearing by figures including Martin Gore of Depeche Mode and the early "dominatrix" image of the Eurythmics' Annie Lennox. In the U.S. this led to British synth-pop artists being characterised as "English haircut bands" or "art fag" music,[181] though many British synth-pop artists were highly popular on both American radio and MTV. Although some audiences were overtly hostile to synth-pop, it achieved an appeal among those alienated from the dominant heterosexuality of mainstream rock culture, particularly among gay, female and introverted audiences.[181][182]

Influence and legacy

By the mid-1980s, synth-pop had helped establish the synthesizer as a primary instrument in mainstream pop music.[19] It also influenced the sound of many mainstream rock acts, such as Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top and Van Halen.[185] It was a major influence on house music, which grew out of the post-disco dance club culture of the early 1980s as some DJs attempted to make the less pop-oriented music that also incorporated influences from Latin soul, dub, rap music, and jazz.[186]

American musicians such as Juan Atkins, using names including Model 500, Infinity and as part of Cybotron, developed a style of electronic dance music influenced by synth-pop and funk that led to the emergence of Detroit techno in the mid-1980s.[187] The continued influence of 1980s synth-pop could be seen in various incarnations of 1990s dance music, including trance.[188] Hip hop artists such as Mobb Deep have sampled 1980s synth-pop songs. Popular artists such as Rihanna, UK stars Jay Sean and Taio Cruz, as well as British pop star Lily Allen on her second album, have also embraced the genre.[130][189][190]


Main article: List of synth-pop artists

See also


  1. ^ a b Zaleski, Anne (26 February 2015). "Where to start with '80s U.K. synth-pop". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f S. Reynolds (10 October 2009), "One nation under a Moog", The Guardian, London, archived from the original on 13 May 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e Paul Lester (20 October 2022). "Things that dreams are made of: The birth of synth-pop". Classic Pop.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j S. Borthwick & R. Moy (2004), "Synthpop: into the digital age", Popular Music Genres: an Introduction, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-7486-1745-6
  5. ^ "The New Synthesizer Rock". Keyboard. June 1982. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  6. ^ Synth Pop at AllMusic
  7. ^ Fisher, Mark (2010). "You Remind Me of Gold: Dialogue with Simon Reynolds". Kaleidoscope (9).
  8. ^ a b Trask, Simon (September 1988). "The Techno Wave". Music Technology. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  9. ^ Glenn Appell; David Hemphill (2006). American popular music: a multicultural history. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. p. 423. ISBN 978-0155062290. Retrieved 12 May 2012. The 1980s brought the dawning age of the synthesizer in rock. Synth pop, a spare, synthesizer-based dance pop sound, was its first embodiment.
  10. ^ Trynka & Bacon 1996, p. 60.
  11. ^ "High-fidelity sound systems". Stereo Review. 48: 89. 1983.
  12. ^ a b Collins, Schedel & Wilson 2013, p. 97, "synth pop (also called electro pop, techno pop, and the like)"; Hoffmann 2004, p. 2153, "Techno-pop, also termed synth-pop or electro-pop"
  13. ^ "Synth-Pop Music Guide: A Brief History of Synth-Pop". Masterclass. 7 June 2021.
  14. ^ Shikata, Hiroaki (17 October 2005). "The Origin of Techno-pop". All About (in Japanese).
  15. ^ "Mecano site".
  16. ^ Jones 2006, p. 107.
  17. ^ Barry R. Parker, Good Vibrations: the Physics of Music (Boston MD: JHU Press, 2009), ISBN 0-8018-9264-3, p. 213.
  18. ^ M. Spicer (2010), "Reggatta de Blanc: analysing style in the music of the police", in J. Covach; M. Spicer (eds.), Sounding Out Pop: Analytical Essays in Popular Music, University of Michigan Press, pp. 124–49, ISBN 978-0-472-03400-0
  19. ^ a b c d Synth pop, AllMusic, archived from the original on 11 March 2011.
  20. ^ a b c S. Reynolds (22 January 2010), "The 1980s revival that lasted an entire decade", The Guardian, London, archived from the original on 6 September 2011
  21. ^ a b c d T. Cateforis, The Death of New Wave (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 23 July 2011
  22. ^ a b S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 327, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  23. ^ J. Stuessy & S. D. Lipscomb (2008), Rock and Roll: its History and Stylistic Development (6 ed.), Pearson Prentice Hall, p. 21, ISBN 978-0-13-601068-5
  24. ^ R. Brice (2001), Music Engineering (2 ed.), Newnes, pp. 108–9, ISBN 978-0-7506-5040-3
  25. ^ T. Pinch & F. Trocco (2004), Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer, Harvard University Press, pp. 214–36, ISBN 978-0-674-01617-0
  26. ^ P. Bussy (2004), Kraftwerk: Man, Machine and Music (3 ed.), SAF Publishing, pp. 15–17, ISBN 978-0-946719-70-9
  27. ^ R. Unterberger (2004), "Progressive rock", in V. Bogdanov; C. Woodstra; S. T. Erlewine (eds.), All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul, Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, pp. 1330–1, ISBN 978-0-87930-653-3
  28. ^ a b c d e f Synth Britannia, 2 August 2010
  29. ^ B. Eder, Hot Butter: Biography, AllMusic, archived from the original on 4 August 2011.
  30. ^ M. Jenkins (2007), Analog Synthesizers: Understanding, Performing, Buying: from the Legacy of Moog to Software Synthesis, Taylor & Francis, pp. 133–4, ISBN 978-0-240-52072-8
  31. ^ T. J. Seabrook (2008), Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town, Jawbone Press, ISBN 978-1-906002-08-4
  32. ^ D. Nicholls (1998), The Cambridge History of American Music, Cambridge University Press, p. 373, ISBN 978-0-521-45429-2
  33. ^ a b We were synth punks' Interview with Andy McCluskey by the Philadelphia Inquirer 5 March 2012
  34. ^ D. Nobakht (2004), Suicide: No Compromise, p. 136, ISBN 978-0-946719-71-6
  35. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Review". Izitso. AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  36. ^ David Toop (March 1996), "A-Z of Electro", The Wire, no. 145, retrieved 29 May 2011
  37. ^ Kempke, D. Erik (15 August 2000). "The Beach Boys: 15 Big Ones/Love You: Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media Inc.
  38. ^ a b "Brian Wilson — Caroline Now! Interview". Marina Records. 2000. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  39. ^ Smith, Patti (October 1977). "october 1977 hit parader selection". Hit Parader.
  40. ^ Phipps, Keith (19 June 2007). "The Beach Boys: Love You". The A.V. Club.
  41. ^ Scott Schinder; Andy Schwartz (2008). Icons of Rock: Elvis Presley; Ray Charles; Chuck Berry; Buddy Holly; The Beach Boys; James Brown; The Beatles; Bob Dylan; The Rolling Stones; The Who; The Byrds; Jimi Hendrix. ABC-CLIO. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-313-33846-5.
  42. ^ "The Beach Boys Biography". Apple Inc. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  43. ^ T. Maginnis, The Man Who Dies Every Day: Ultravox, archived from the original on 5 August 2011.
  44. ^ a b A. Stout (24 June 2011), "Yellow Magic Orchestra on Kraftwerk and How to Write a Melody During a Cultural Revolution", SF Weekly, archived from the original on 3 September 2011
  45. ^ S. T. Erlewine (2001), "Yellow Magic Orchestra", in V. Bogdanov (ed.), All Music Guide to Electronica: the Definitive Guide to Electronic Music (4 ed.), Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, p. 516, ISBN 978-0-87930-628-1
  46. ^ J. Anderson (28 November 2008), Slaves to the rhythm: Kanye West is the latest to pay tribute to a classic drum machine, CBC News, archived from the original on 15 August 2012
  47. ^ J. Lewis (4 July 2008), "Back to the future: Yellow Magic Orchestra helped usher in electronica – and they may just have invented hip-hop, too", The Guardian, London, archived from the original on 11 November 2011
  48. ^ Jason L. (17 December 2021). "Seminal: Being Boiled by The Human League". Velvet Rebel Music.
  49. ^ Power, Ed (21 September 2021). "Sheffield's own Kraftwerk: how Cabaret Voltaire and Richard H Kirk put the steel into synthpop".
  50. ^ a b c d e S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, pp. 340 and 342–3, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  51. ^ Cateforis, pp. 168 and 247
  52. ^ a b c S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984 US Edition, Faber & Faber, p. 298 US Edition, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  53. ^ a b c S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 298 US Edition, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  54. ^ J. Miller (2008), Stripped: Depeche Mode (3 ed.), London: Omnibus, p. 21, ISBN 978-1-84772-444-1
  55. ^ Doran, John (24 May 2013). "Speaking to the Quiet Man: John Foxx interviewed".
  56. ^ Harron, Mary (6 November 1981). "Rock". The Guardian. p. 11.
  57. ^ Mettler, Mike (17 June 2016). "Gary Barlow didn't just meet his '80s heroes, he made a retro album with them". Digital Trends. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  58. ^ Wilson, Lois (30 September 2019). "OMD". Record Collector. No. 498. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  59. ^ Shand, Max (15 January 2021). "Popular Culture Is Eating Its History and OMD Are Not Complaining". PopMatters. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  60. ^ Rudden, Liam (29 October 2021). "80's synth-pop legends OMD reveal Edinburgh Military Tattoo inspired landmark album, Architecture and Morality". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  61. ^ Earls, John (November–December 2023). "Final Messages?". Classic Pop. No. 84. pp. 40–45.
  62. ^ Ilic, Vel (14 September 2023). "Vince Clarke: Game of Drones". Electronic Sound. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  63. ^ O'Neal, Sean (29 July 2008). "Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  64. ^ "Music review: OMD, Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow". The Scotsman. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  65. ^ I. Martin, P-Model, AllMusic, archived from the original on 29 July 2017
  66. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  67. ^ Simpson, Dave (30 October 2018). "The Buggles: how we made Video Killed the Radio Star". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2023.
  68. ^ "The Buggles: how we made Video Killed the Radio Star". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2023.
  69. ^ Peel, Ian (1 January 2010). "From the Art of Plastic to the Age of Noise". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013.
  70. ^ "Buggles Rehearsal – Sarm West – Geoff Downes". 24 September 2010.
  71. ^ S. Huey, Freedom of Choice: Devo, AllMusic, archived from the original on 9 October 2011
  72. ^ S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 328, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  73. ^ M. Russ (2004), Sound Synthesis and Sampling (3 ed.), Burlington MA, p. 66, ISBN 978-0-240-52105-3((citation)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  74. ^ N. Rama Lohan (2 March 2007). "Dawn of the plastic age". Malaysia Star. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012.
  75. ^ T. Cateforis (2011), Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s, University of Michigan Press, p. 254, ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3
  76. ^ D. Rimmer (2003), New Romantics: The Look, London, ISBN 978-0-7119-9396-9((citation)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  77. ^ "Spandau Ballet". Official Charts.
  78. ^ "Fade to Grey by Visage". hiphopelectronic.
  79. ^ "Visage". Official Charts.
  80. ^ "Duran Duran". Official Charts.
  81. ^ "Depeche Mode". Official Charts.
  82. ^ S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, pp. 320–2, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  83. ^ "The Official Top 50 best-selling songs of 1981". Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  84. ^ S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, pp. 334–5, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  85. ^ "The best synth-pop albums of the 1980s". Far Out magazins. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  86. ^ "Classic Album: The Lexicon Of Love – ABC". Classic Pop. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  87. ^ "Heaven 17 albums: the complete guide". Classic Pop. 7 March 2022. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  88. ^ S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 342, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  89. ^ T. Cateforis (2011), Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s, University of Michigan Press, p. 52,62, ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3
  90. ^ "Eurythmics Perform 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)' in 1983". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  91. ^ Rolling Stone Staff (25 June 2022). "The Best Summer Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  92. ^ "Anglomania: The Second British Invasion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  93. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 November 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice.
  94. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 April 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice.
  95. ^ Christgau, Robert (28 June 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice.
  96. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 August 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice.
  97. ^ J. Bush, Propaganda, AllMusic
  98. ^ M. Jenkins (2007), Analog Synthesizers: Understanding, Performing, Buying: from the Legacy of Moog to Software Synthesis, Taylor & Francis, p. 171, ISBN 978-0-240-52072-8
  99. ^ S. T. Erlewine, Howard Jones, AllMusic, archived from the original on 17 February 2011
  100. ^ S. Bultman, The Riddle: Nik Kershaw, AllMusic, archived from the original on 12 May 2011
  101. ^ J. Berens (July 1985), "What makes Nik tick, a tiny teen idol speaks out", Spin, 1 (3): 14, ISSN 0886-3032
  102. ^ A. Kellman, Bronski Beat, AllMusic, archived from the original on 3 August 2011
  103. ^ S. T. Erlewine, Thompson Twins, AllMusic, archived from the original on 5 August 2011
  104. ^ Pollock, Bruce (2014). Rock Song Index The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era. Taylor & Francis. p. 384.
  105. ^ Lester, Paul (28 August 2014). "Frankie Goes To Hollywood: 'No one could touch us – people were scared'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  106. ^ Grogan, Jake (2018). Origins of a Song 202 True Inspirations Behind the World's Greatest Lyrics. Cider Mill Press. p. 112.
  107. ^ K. Hayes, a-ha, AllMusic, archived from the original on 28 August 2011
  108. ^ J. Ankeny, Pet Shop Boys, AllMusic, archived from the original on 2 August 2011
  109. ^ S. T. Erlewine, Erasure, AllMusic, archived from the original on 4 August 2011
  110. ^ A. Kellman, The Communards, AllMusic, archived from the original on 20 May 2012
  111. ^ S. Thornton (2006), "Understanding Hipness: 'Subcultural capital' as feminist cultural tool", in A. Bennett; B. Shank; J. Toynbee (eds.), The Popular Music Studies Reader, London, p. 102, ISBN 978-0-415-30709-3((citation)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  112. ^ John Bush. "Information Society – Music Biography, Streaming Radio and Discography – AllMusic". AllMusic.
  113. ^ a b G. McNett (12 October 1999), "Synthpop Flocks Like Seagulls", Long Island Voice, archived from the original on 22 May 2012
  114. ^ N. Forsberg, "Synthpop in the USA", Release Music Magazine, archived from the original on 27 September 2011
  115. ^ Camouflage|AllMusic
  116. ^ Celebrate the Nun|AllMusic
  117. ^ RPM Top Singles - March 27, 1989, p.6 RPM Magazine
  118. ^ Kon Kan|AllMusic
  119. ^ S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 535, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  120. ^ S. T. Erlewine, The Smiths, AllMusic, archived from the original on 16 July 2011
  121. ^ S. T. Erlewine, R.E.M., AllMusic, archived from the original on 28 June 2011
  122. ^ M. Sutton, Celebrate the Nun, AllMusic, archived from the original on 11 March 2016
  123. ^ a b "Indietronica". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 16 February 2011.
  124. ^ S. Leckart (28 August 2006), Have laptop will travel, MSNBC
  125. ^ D. Lynskey (22 March 2002). "Out with the old, in with the older". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012.
  126. ^ M. Goldstein (16 May 2008), "This cat is housebroken", The Boston Globe, archived from the original on 12 May 2011
  127. ^ J. Walker (5 October 2002), "Popmatters concert review: ELECTROCLASH 2002 Artists: Peaches, Chicks on Speed, W.I.T., and Tracy and the Plastics", PopMatters, archived from the original on 13 May 2011
  128. ^ "Fischerspooner's electroclash revenge". Archived from the original on 9 January 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  129. ^ J. Harris (2009), Hail!, Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, London, p. 78, ISBN 978-1-84744-293-2((citation)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  130. ^ a b T. Cateforis (2011), Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s, University of Michigan Press, pp. 218–9, ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3
  131. ^ T. Cateforis (2011), Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s, University of Michigan Press, p. 223, ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3
  132. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (17 December 2008). "Slaves to synth". The Guardian. London.
  133. ^ Collett-White, Mike; Martin, Cindy (27 January 2009). "UK gaga for electro-pop, guitar bands fight back". Reuters.
  134. ^ Guha, Rohin (2 October 2009). "Calvin Harris: The New King of Electropop". BlackBook. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  135. ^ "Empire of the Sun's Electro-Pop Is Huge in Australia and Heading Your Way". Rolling Stone. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012.
  136. ^ Murray, Robin (1 June 2009). "Frankmusik Album Update". Clash.
  137. ^ "BBC Sound of 2010: Hurts". BBC News. 5 January 2010.
  138. ^ Woo, Jen (29 June 2010). "Electric Daisy Carnival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum". Santa Barbara Independent.
  139. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (4 January 2010). ""Party" just beginning for electro-pop duo LMFAO". Billboard. ((cite magazine)): Unknown parameter |agency= ignored (help)
  140. ^ Menze, Jill (9 August 2009). "Electro-Pop Act Owl City Takes Off With 'Fireflies'". Billboard.
  141. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (29 October 2009). "Owl City's 'Fireflies' Lands at No. 1 on Hot 100". Billboard.
  142. ^ Despres, Sean (18 June 2010). "Whatever you do, don't call it 'chillwave'". The Japan Times. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  143. ^ Geslani, Michelle (7 July 2016). "The Naked and Famous announce new album, Simple Forms, premiere "Higher" — listen". Consequence of Sound.
  144. ^ Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY (10 August 2013). "On The Verge: Chvrches give synthpop intelligence". USA Today.
  145. ^ Sam Richards (17 December 2011). "M83's Anthony Gonzalez is ready for the fast lane". The Guardian.
  146. ^ "Shiny Toy Guns: III". PopMatters. 9 January 2013.
  147. ^ "Shiny Toy Guns' 'III': Track-By-Track Video". Billboard. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  148. ^ a b McIntyre, Hugh. "Ke$ha Debuts 'Die Young' Single: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  149. ^ Ratliff, Ben (14 April 2011). "Who Needs a Beach When Life's a Goof?". The New York Times.
  150. ^ "Ke$ha — Tik Tok — Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  151. ^ Trust, Gary. "PSY Still Stuck at No. 2 as Maroon 5 Tops Hot 100 – "One More Night" spends a fifth week in the top spot, while Ke$ha crashes the Top 10". Billboard. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  152. ^ Jaksich, Jessica (26 September 2012). "The Party Doesn't Stop With Ke$ha's New Single!". Seventeen. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  153. ^ McCormick, Neil (17 July 2012). "Madonna, Hyde Park, review". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  154. ^ Graham, Mark. "My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (In Honor of Her 53rd Birthday)". VH1. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  155. ^ ClevverMusic. "Madonna New Album Will Be Electro-Pop". Daily Motion. Orange. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  156. ^ Empire, Kitty (26 October 2014). "Taylor Swift: 1989 review – a bold, gossipy confection". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712.
  157. ^ Sheffield, Rob (10 November 2017). "Sheffield: 'Reputation' Is the Most Intimate LP of Taylor Swift's Career". Rolling Stone.
  158. ^ "Taylor Swift: Lover". Pitchfork.
  159. ^ "50 Best Songs of 2010 – Katy Perry — Teenage Dream". Rolling Stone. 14 December 2010. p. 4. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  160. ^ Anderson, Sara D. (14 May 2011). "Top 10 Katy Perry Songs". PopCrush. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  161. ^ Montgomery, James. "New Katy Perry Songs Hit The Net". MTV News. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  162. ^ "Jessie J — Biography". Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  163. ^ Young, Matt. "Reviewed: Christina Aguilera, Bionic". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  164. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Christina Aguilera — Bionic A Great: Album Buried in Here". Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  165. ^ Petridis, Alexis (13 November 2008). "Pop review: Beyoncé, I Am ... Sasha Fierce". The Guardian. London.
  166. ^ "Perfume Interview" (in Japanese). 7 February 2008. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. (English translation)
  167. ^ "Charts: Perfume becomes first technopop group at #1 since YMO". Tokyograph. 22 April 2008.
  168. ^ a b Shikata, Hiroaki (11 January 2009). "'08年Post Perfume~J-ポップ歌姫編" ['08 Post-Perfume J-pop Diva Guide] (in Japanese). All About.
  169. ^ "Will the world soon wake up to the scent of Perfume? (Daniel Robson)". The Japan Times. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  170. ^ "Perfume needs to walk a fine line on its path overseas (Ian Martin)". The Japan Times. 31 May 2012.
  171. ^ "Oricon Weekly Albums May 21st–27th, 2012". Oricon. 4 June 2012.
  172. ^ Mullins, Michelle (15 January 2012). "K-pop splashes into the west". The Purdue University Calumet Chronicle. Archived from the original on 4 June 2013.
  173. ^ Holden, Steve (1 April 2020). "How Dua Lipa and The Weeknd are bringing the 80s back… again". BBC News. Archived from the original on 8 April 2020.
  174. ^ "The Weeknd's Blinding Lights dethrones the Twist as all-time No 1 Billboard single". the Guardian. 24 November 2021. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  175. ^ "Dua Lipa's 'Future Nostalgia' A Modern Pop Masterpiece". Rolling Stone. 27 March 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  176. ^ Johnson, Mark (15 November 2020). "Review: M83's latest album redefines synth-pop". Pitchfork. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  177. ^ "The Lasting Appeal of Synth-Pop Music". musicOMH. 12 February 2021. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  178. ^ A. De Curtis (1992), Present Tense: Rock and Roll and Culture, Duke University Press, p. 9, ISBN 978-0-8223-1265-9
  179. ^ M. Ribowsky (2010), Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: The Soulful Journey of Stevie Wonder, Wiley, p. 245, ISBN 978-0-470-48150-9
  180. ^ The Seth Man (June 2004), "Bill Nelson's Red Noise – Sound-On-Sound", Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage, archived from the original on 4 August 2011
  181. ^ a b c d S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 337, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  182. ^ a b T. Cateforis (2011), Are We Not New Wave?: Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s, University of Michigan Press, p. 59, ISBN 978-0-472-03470-3
  183. ^ "Gary Numan interview". BBC Breakfast. 15 May 2012. Event occurs at 8:56 am. BBC One. British Broadcasting Corporation. There was a certain amount of hostility to electronic music when it first came along. People didn't think it was real music; they thought machines did it. There was a lot of ignorance, to be honest.
  184. ^ "Synth Britannia (Part Two: Construction Time Again)". Britannia. 16 October 2009. 26 minutes in. BBC Four. British Broadcasting Corporation.
  185. ^ S. Reynolds (2005), Rip It Up and Start Again Postpunk 1978–1984, Faber & Faber, p. 536, ISBN 978-0-571-21570-6
  186. ^ House, AllMusic, archived from the original on 14 March 2011
  187. ^ J. Bush (2001), "Juan Atkins", in V. Bogdanov (ed.), All Music Guide to Electronica: the Definitive Guide to Electronic Music (4 ed.), Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, p. 27, ISBN 978-0-87930-628-1[permanent dead link]
  188. ^ C. Gordon (23 October 2009), "The decade that never dies Still '80s Fetishizing in '09", Yale Daily News, archived from the original on 14 August 2011
  189. ^ McCormick, Neil (24 March 2010). "Jay Sean and Taio Cruz wowing America". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
  190. ^ Edwards, Gavin (1 July 2008). "In the Studio: Lily Allen Makes "Naughty" Follow-Up". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 3 July 2008.


New wave and post-punk