The Boy Bands Have Won* (Album Cover Analysis)
Adcessionis Lyricos Exploratio ꞮꞮS
The Band: Chumbawamba
A British anarchist band, Chumbawamba’s music dabbles in many genres. They have been tied to pop, punk, and folk music. Broadly critical of the political landscape they found themselves in, they were anti-consumerism, anti -war, and anti-establishment.
The Album: The Boy Bands Have Won*
*The full album name1 is as follows:
The Boy Bands Have Won, and All the Copyists and the Tribute Bands and the TV Talent Show Producers Have Won, If We Allow Our Culture to Be Shaped by Mimicry, Whether from Lack of Ideas or from Exaggerated Respect. You Should Never Try to Freeze Culture. What You Can Do Is Recycle That Culture. Take Your Older Brother's Hand-Me-Down Jacket and Re-Style It, Re-Fashion It to the Point Where It Becomes Your Own. But Don't Just Regurgitate Creative History, or Hold Art and Music and Literature as Fixed, Untouchable and Kept Under Glass. The People Who Try to 'Guard' Any Particular Form of Music Are, Like the Copyists and Manufactured Bands, Doing It the Worst Disservice, Because the Only Thing That You Can Do to Music That Will Damage It Is Not Change It, Not Make It Your Own. Because Then It Dies, Then It's Over, Then It's Done, and the Boy Bands Have Won
The message of the album title mirrors ideas described in discourses such as process philosophy, poststructuralism, and social constructivism. In it, art and culture are described as living things, constantly evolving and adapting as new ideas and creators and creations enter the zeitgeist. This message is one pitted against a more structured and traditionalist conception of meaning, and all worldviews that are afraid of change and progression. With this title statement, Chumbawamba is rejecting stagnation and mindless regurgitation, and challenging us as artists to strive toward dynamic and creative directions.
Frozen culture is like a butterfly that has been slain and preserved within an entomologist’s display case, it is beautiful but entirely dead.