All in pop music discussion

Is there going to be a new Twenty One Pilots album?

I don't know if the Clique could ever not want new music from Twenty One Pilots, but it's been two years since Blurryface was released, so we're all kind of itching to hear something new from the band. We did get "Heathens" last summer, but historically the band has released a new album every two years, and Blurryface came out in 2015, so 2017 should be the year of a new album, but it's April already, and we've heard nothing.

Podcast: TOP 10 Most Meaningful Popular Songs of 2016

So, I researched all of the Top 10 songs of 2016 (according to, and I found 58 songs that were extremely popular in 2016. It just so happens that 10 of these songs (with two honorable mentions) were also rather deep and had interesting things to say. So, today my beautiful wife April and I discuss these songs and what exactly their meanings are (and, in April's case, why I might be wrong). Enjoy!

6 Reasons Literature Teachers Should Teach Pop Music Meanings

Literature teachers and professors keep looking for ways to be culturally relevant. It's kind of a buzz word these days, and everyone thinks it's going to keep students interested, attentive, and learning.  So, teachers use memes, cultural references, and examples based on Star Wars or Taylor Swift to get points across to their students seeped in entertainment and culture. Well, I'm here to tell you that studying popular music in your literature classroom won't just be "culturally relevant"; it could revolutionize the ways your students think about literature and culture. Pop music is everywhere,  and it has a lot to say to us about who we are and where our culture is; thus, we need to understand it. And since our students probably listen to it more than we do, they need to understand it even more.

Why aren't our personal interpretations of songs good enough?

The most fought over question I've come across in my sixteen months of song explaining is this: Whose interpretation matters more--mine or the writer's? And it's a good question. Chronicles of Narnia and Cambridge English professor C.S. Lewis writes in An Experiment in Criticism that people wonder, "Why . . . should I turn from a real and present experience--what the poem means to me, what happens to me when I read it--to inquiries about the poet's intention or reconstructions, always uncertain, of what it may have meant to his contemporaries?"

How should a Christian discuss "The Hills" by The Weeknd with kids? (for youth pastors, teachers, and parents)

If you're a Christian, a mistake you can make right now is to ignore songs like "The Hills" by The Weeknd and to write them off as evil, pointless pop hits that encourage the depravity of mankind and corrupt children. If you and your kids intentionally interact with the lyrics of "The Hills," the experience may change the way you see pop artists. Discussion of this song is recommended for ages 15-18.