As much as we might have crazy love for pop music, pop music also loves to drive us crazy. Earworms that grab you and won’t let go; cookie-cutter compositions that bedevil in their unoriginality; strange new sounds that vex, rankle, confound. How does pop music possess the unique ability to get under our skin? We pull apart some of the stickiest songs to try and find out.
And listen to our playlist of songs that drive you mad on Spotify.
The Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
The Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
Katy Perry – California Girls
Kesha – Tik Tok
Mozart – Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor, K.466
Grady Smith – Why Country Music Was Awful in 2013
Grady Smith – Country Stars Who Don’t Like Their Own Records
Fletcher Hederson – The Stampede
Skrillex – Bangarang
Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
Kylie Minogue – Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
Scott Michelman, Nithya Nathan-Pineau, and Faiza Patel discuss the state of immigration, then take questions from the audience. Live at Politics & Prose is a co-production of Slate and Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C.