Radiohead and the Journey Beyond Genre traces the uses and transgressions of genre in the music of Radiohead and studies the band’s varied reception in online and offline media. Radiohead’s work combines traditional rock sounds with a unique and experimental approach towards genre that sets the band apart from the contemporary mainstream. A play with diverse styles and audience expectations has shaped Radiohead’s musical output and opened up debates about genre amongst critics, fans, and academics alike. Interpretations speak of a music that is referential of the past but also alludes to the future. Applying both music- and discourse-analytical methods, the book discusses how genre manifests in Radiohead’s work and how it is interpreted amongst different audience groups. It explores how genre and generic flexibility affect the listeners’ search for musical meaning and ways of discussion. This results in the development of a theoretical framework for the study of genre in individual popular music oeuvres that explores the equal validity of widely differing forms of reception as a multidimensional network of meaning. While Radiohead’s music is the product of an eclectic mixture of musical influences and styles, the book also shows how the band’s experimental stance has increasingly fostered debates about Radiohead’s generic novelty and independence. It asks what remains of genre in light of its past or imminent transgression. Offering new perspectives on popular music genre, transgression, and the music and reception of Radiohead, the book will appeal to academics, students, and those interested in Radiohead and matters of genre. It contributes to scholarship in musicology, popular music, media, and cultural studies.

chapter |8 pages


chapter 1|31 pages

Popular music genre

chapter 3|43 pages

Challenging genre

Radiohead and the music press

chapter 4|16 pages

Scholarly perspectives on Radiohead

chapter 5|23 pages

Genre online

Wider audience and fan perspectives

chapter |6 pages