13: Same Old Song and Dancehall

When Rihanna released her song “Work,” one publication described its style as “tropical house-flavored.” That didn’t sit well with today’s special guest, music writer Bianca Gracie, who argued that the song owes more of a debt to the genre called dancehall. In this episode, we listen to dancehall, tropical house, and Rihanna to ask about fairness, recognition, and labels when local sounds go international.

#12: House of the Rising Hanson

Hanson’s “MMMBop”—one version of it, anyway—turned twenty years old this March. While discussing the anniversary in a recent interview, the Hanson brothers revealed that we’ve all been singing it wrong this whole time. In this episode, we take a listen to the mid-90s smash hit to sort out what they mean—and find that this classic has a more complicated history than we remembered.

And a special thanks to Jon Fuller for this episode's credits music. Here's the full playlist of his delightful piano covers.



#8: Ain’t No Valli Low Enough

In the pantheon of pop classics, Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” has to rank near the top. A funny thing about classics, though, is that their fame and reputation can lull us into thinking that they’re all-too-normal. So, this week, we’ll listen for all the odd and surprising things about “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and we’ll wonder if sometimes classics aren’t at least a bit accidental.