Tuner is a podcast about music hosted by Brian Barone and John Lagomarsino. They go inside your favorite pop songs to find out what makes them tick, and why we really like them. New episodes released every other Monday.
When Rihanna released her song “Work,” one publication described its style as “tropical house-flavored.” That didn’t sit well with today’s special guest, music writer Bianca Gracie, who argued that the song owes more of a debt to the genre called dancehall. In this episode, we listen to dancehall, tropical house, and Rihanna to ask about fairness, recognition, and labels when local sounds go international.
Hanson’s “MMMBop”—one version of it, anyway—turned twenty years old this March. While discussing the anniversary in a recent interview, the Hanson brothers revealed that we’ve all been singing it wrong this whole time. In this episode, we take a listen to the mid-90s smash hit to sort out what they mean—and find that this classic has a more complicated history than we remembered.
More often than not, April Fools' jokes just aren’t that funny. Especially when they’re part of a company’s branding strategy. But this year General Mills bucked that trend with the release of a five-track, Hamburger Helper-themed mixtape—cuts that the internet has deemed ‘fire.’ In this episode, John and Brian talk to some of the MCs and producers behind the mixtape to learn the story of how it was made.