Justin Bieber’s Purpose & One Direction’s Made In The A.M.


On Episode 17 of Pop Unmuted, Scott Interrante and Kurt Trowbridge are joined by MTV Staff Writer Patrick Hosken and Portals Creative Director Tyler Andere to talk about Justin Bieber’s Purpose and One Direction’s Made in the A.M..

People in this episode:

Patrick Hosken

Patrick Hosken is a Weekend Editor and Pop Writer for MTV News.

Tyler Andere

Tyler Andere is the Creative Director of the music blog Portals.

Scott Interrante

Scott Interrante holds a Master’s degree in Musicology from CUNY Hunter College focusing on contemporary pop music and masculinity. He hosts Pop Unmuted and K-Pop Unmuted

Kurt Trowbridge

Kurt Trowbridge is a web developer and freelance contributor to Billboard.com. He is the founder of Crownnote.com and the host of the Crowncast.

Songs discussed in this episode:

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3 thoughts on “Justin Bieber’s Purpose & One Direction’s Made In The A.M.

    1. Hi MC,

      We appreciate your comment about this. The full tag line for our show is “In-depth discussion of pop music from varying academic and critical perspectives.” We take that “varying” part pretty seriously and make efforts to ensure that our guests represent a variety of backgrounds and points of view. On our 21 full-panel episodes, we’ve had 27 guests from 5 different countries. 12 of those guests have been women. We’d personally prefer that number to be closer to 50% (or more!) than it is to 45%, and we will continue to be cognizant of this going forward.

      It was also a thought for this episode in particular, because the artists we discuss are typically associated with a young female fan base. We were (and are) very excited about having both Tyler and Patrick on this episode, and I think that listening to our discussion will show why their perspectives on these albums are valuable. But you’re right to point this out, so we want to be clear that we never feel like our episodes are some sort of definitive stance on the subject at hand. We view our podcast episodes as discussions about pop music between four people, and those discussions can hopefully lead to more discussion online, like this. This is a point that we should make more often, especially when it’s clear that not all relevant perspectives are being represented on our episodes.

      By doing our episode without any women, though, we may have played into a larger problem of female pop critics not being as well represented in major publications. We certainly don’t see ourselves as (and aren’t) a major publication, but we will continue to examine the way our episodes tie in with larger issues in the critical community.

      So we want to highlight here some great stuff on 1D, Bieber, and/or these albums by great women:

      Isabel Cole did an amazing One Week One Band on One Direction a while back http://oneweekoneband.tumblr.com/tagged/one_direction/chrono

      Janine Shaults wrote a less-than-positive review of Purpose for Consequence of Sound (and caused some uproar in the comments section in the process) http://consequenceofsound.net/2015/11/album-review-justin-bieber-purpose/

      Brooklyn Mag last week published a pretty entertaining email from Jane Bruce detailing the history of One Direction leading up to Made in the A.M. http://www.bkmag.com/2015/11/13/a-fans-notes-or-a-mostly-complete-history-of-one-direction/

      Leah Greenblatt reviewed both albums together for Entertainment Weekly http://www.ew.com/article/2015/11/11/justin-bieber-one-direction-review

      Lindsey Zoladz wrote a great review of Purpose for Vulture http://www.vulture.com/2015/11/purpose-makes-you-miss-the-old-justin-bieber.html

      We had an episode last year when One Direction’s ‘Four’ came out with Helena Dare-Edwards, who studies One Direction academically http://popunmuted.com/episodes/november-2014-pop-up-one-direction/

      Of course, this is also not definitive and it also doesn’t make up for the lack of women’s voices on this episode of our podcast. Again, we’ll continue to do our best to represent diverse voices in our future episodes.

      Thanks for listening and for your feedback!

      -Scott and Kurt

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Yeah, I’ve read lots on these two artists mostly by women in the last few months (including those you link to), so it was just painfully obviously looking at the lineup that none were included (especially when you considered the fanbases, as you just said). At least y’all are aware and not defensive, that’s better than most, but, as you know, still not enough.

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