Tag Archives: Andreas Huyssen

Rethinking retromania: temporality and creativity in contemporary popular music

Within music criticism and journalism in recent years there has been a growing fixation with what has come to be known as ‘retromania’, or ‘pop culture’s addiction to its own past.’[1] The overriding thesis of this critique is that recent technological and cultural circumstances have led to something of a regression in the creative impulses of musicians, leading to a lack of innovative styles and an overreliance on pre-existing forms as the inspiration for ‘new works’. This criticism has been particularly championed by Simon Reynolds, who articulates his misgivings about contemporary pop music as follows:

Instead of being about itself, the 2000s has been about every other previous decade happening again all at once: a simultaneity of pop time that abolishes history while nibbling away at the present’s own sense of itself as an era with a distinct identity and feel.[2]

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