Emo Rock + Women = Hormone Rock

Beth Orton

Or, "rock minus the cock"…  Another day, another new label of music "genre":

Let’s be honest: rock’n’roll is like the fire brigade, still a male preserve. What women have instead is hormone rock — one clever girl, an acoustic guitar and not too much banging and crashing. Soothing, like a pasta bake or a Radox bath, or emotional, like the end of your favourite feelgood TV series, this is girlfriend music (and it comes as no surprise that many hormone rockers made their names with standout tracks at the end of glossy television series such as The OC).

Over the past few years, the grizzly A&R men have unleashed a wave of hormone rockers upon us, and now, the charts are awash with them, ranging from the essential to the instantly forgettable. If there were a hormone-rock pyramid, then Beth Orton and Martha Wainwright would be at the top: clever, uncompromising, subversive poets who are essentially punk in ways that Vicious and Rotten were never clever enough to articulate. It goes on down, through Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse, KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Natasha Bedingfield (hormone rock with pop marketing), Jewel and, of course, Dido, who, with her 22m album sales, can justly claim to be the mother of them all. Following behind are her many gentle-breathed friends: Rachael Yamagata, Imogen Heap, Julie Feeney, Gemma Hayes, Sophie Solomon, Katie Melua, Jem (another Jemma, at least this time trying to punk up her home counties moniker), all names that sound more suited to prefects or captains of the lax team. But you can be as rude as you like about them and their wholemeal tales of everyday feminine angst, because these ladies ain’t going away.

I guess fans would say that they like their rock with an extra dose of estrogen… I know, that's really bad…

"The Wailers"  [London Times]

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