Sign in


When we put out the George Michael issue(s) I made what was initially a joke about a more perilously-themed issue, one that would analyze the song "What a Fool Believes" in its varied forms and from diffuse angles. It worked well as a joke. The issue itself had a somewhat tortured genesis: I received three pitches on the song, two of which were delivered. Those two essays ended up being some of the best, most considered pieces of music writing I've read in ages, so thanks are due to Alfred Soto and Winston Cook-Wilson for conveying, respectively, the contemporary simulations of "What a Fool Believes," and the mesmeric qualities of the song's chordal drift. In order to connect the essays together, I wrote about the song's various cover versions and what they reveal about its internal structure. It turns out this covers about everything one could write about "What a Fool Believes." I guess I was, uh, a sentimental fool about it.

So supplementing this almost-themed issue are two pieces not about "What a Fool Believes" or Michael McDonald's radial beard. Instead, Brad Shoup contributes a genre he invented that encompasses teen-oriented, disposable pop from the early-'90s, a kind of hybrid of New Jack Swing and Hi-NRG that he classifies as "cutout bounce." And Maura considers the experience of aging through the lens of the 1998 Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown.