While the boy band genre has mutated and evolved, its popular portrayal has altered little since groups like New Edition and New Kids on the Block conquered the charts back in the late 1980s.
Recent critical commentaries suggest that four discourses—youth, exploitation, gender, and fandom— interlock to determine how writers discuss the genre. Collectively their result is a relative stasis in critical commentary that helps to allay wider anxieties about the idea that, in a capitalist society, any of us can actively and pleasurably engage with a musical genre led by its own marketing.
This according to “Multiple damnations: Deconstructing the critical response to boy band phenomena” by Mark Duffett (Popular music history VII/2 [August 2012] pp. 185–97). Above and below, New Edition in the 1980s.
In collaboration with the Musikwissenschaftlichen Institut der Universität Basel, Schwabe Verlag inaugurated the series Resonanzen: Basler Publikationen zur Älteren und Neueren Musik in 2011 with Jacques Handschin in Russland: Die neu aufgefundenen Texte.
Edited by Жанна Викторовна Князева (Žanna Viktorovna Knâzeva), the book presents texts, reviews, correspondence, and biographies written by Handschin during his years in St. Petersburg (1909–22).
Launched by the Institute of Musical Research at the University of London in 2010, Francophone Music Criticism, 1789–1914 is a repository of digitized, searchable reviews relating to French music and ballet. Texts are grouped into collections devoted to particular works, events, series, performers, or authors. Bibliographical resources and work in progress of a more general nature are also included. The database’s development network is headed by Katharine Ellis and Mark Everist.