What defines pop music? Why do we consider some styles as easier listening than others? Arranged in three parts: Aesthetics and Authenticity - Groove, Sampling and Industry - Subjectivity, Ethnicity and Politics, this collection of essays by a group of international scholars deals with these questions in diverse ways. This volume prepares the reader for the debates around pop's intricate historical, aesthetic and cultural roots. The intellectual perspectives on offer present the interdisciplinary aspects of studying music and, spanning more than twenty-five years, these essays form a snapshot of some of the authorial voices that have shaped the specific subject matter of pop criticism within the broader field of popular music studies. A common thread running through these essays is the topic of interpretation and its relation to conceptions of musicality, subjectivity and aesthetics. The principle aim of this collection is to demonstrate that pop music needs to be evaluated on its own terms within the cultural contexts that make it meaningful.