Line Out Music & the City at Night

Monday, March 11, 2013

Three Bath-Rock Bands

Posted by on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 10:35 AM

(KeyArena) In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg writes, "Consider 'Here Without You,' by 3 Doors Down, or almost any song by Maroon 5. Those bands are so featureless that critics and listeners created a new music category—Bath Rock—to describe their tepid sounds. Yet whenever they came on the radio, almost no one changed the station." He said this while discussing the initial rejection of OutKast's "Hey Ya!" by radio audiences. It seems an overwhelming number of listeners turned the dial when stations played the song, despite the fact that hit-prediction algorithms had indicated it would be a runaway success. Having sunk a lot of money into promoting the song, the record industry enacted a radio strategy to spoon-feed "Hey Ya!" to the public. By sandwiching the song between bath-rock staples by bands like tonight's headliners and similarly unchallenging compositions, radio DJs successfully embedded it into listeners' subconscious, after which it went on to win a Grammy and top charts worldwide in 2003 and 2004. I made it exactly 29 seconds into a Neon Trees song, and we've already been down the Owl City road in this publication, so let's just never go there again.


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