Arts Desk

WaPo Book Review: The Smiths Made “Synth and Electro-Pop”

UPDATE: Louis Bayard responds via e-mail: "The mistake is mine, I guess.  I was shuffling around some categories, and the Smiths didn't get unshuffled, and nobody caught it." Original post below.

In his review in the Washington Post of a David Bowie biography by Marc Spitz, critic Louis Bayard discusses the Thin White Duke's influence, and includes this nugget, which more or less confirms that he has no idea what he's talking about:

He spread his seed wide, though. We see his likeness in the cyclical (and cynical) re-inventions of Madonna; in the synth and electro-pop of the Smiths, Depeche Mode and Moby; in the gender-blurring tropes of Duran Duran and Boy George (and, most recently, "American Idol" finalist Adam Lambert); in the careers Bowie personally nurtured: Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople, Luther Vandross.

Emphasis mine, and hat tip to @jackshafer. The Smiths, as anyone who has ever heard them can tell you, made guitar-based rock music that intentionally rejected the synthpop that dominated popular taste in the first half of the 1980s. According to allmusic.com, "The Smiths were the definitive British indie rock band of the '80s, marking the end of synth-driven new wave and the beginning of the guitar rock that dominated English rock into the '90s."

I can't wait to read the correction.

(Bayard has written for City Paper in the past.)

The mistake is mine, I guess.  I was shuffling around some categories, and the Smiths didn't get unshuffled, and nobody caught it.
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Comments

  1. #1

    You shut your mouth
    how can you say
    The Post goes about things the wrong way

  2. #2

    This is second only to an individual in a journalism class I once took, who in an 'exemplary review' distributed to the class, compared Brandon Flowers' voice to "Van Morrissey."

  3. #3

    "Van Morrissey." Good idea for a mashup.

  4. Ronald McDouchebag
    #4

    yeah yeah, I love it how everyone one and there mother are NOW Smiths fans, when in actuality, nobody new about them when they were together. This whole 'no synths' bullcrap is just that, bullcrap, as Morrissey now uses and abuses them in his own music, so much for sticking to your word. Anyway, I have always been a Smiths Fan, I just hate it when people jump on their bandwagon, especially the ones who used to deride them years ago.

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