Pop rock is a subgenre that combines the hooks of pop music with the instrumentation of rock music. It emerged in the 1960s and has since become a popular and influential genre, known for its accessible sound and radio-friendly appeal. A lot of pop and rock music sounds quite alike, with similar instruments and even similar lyrics. People use terms like "power pop" to talk about music that's more popular and commercial but still has elements from rock music or the rock music form. Writer Johan Fornas sees pop/rock as one big, continuous type of music, not separate categories. According to Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman, it's described as a lively kind of rock music, and they mention artists like Andy Kim, Paul McCartney, and Peter Frampton as examples. In the 2010s, "guitar pop rock" and "indie rock" meant pretty much the same thing. Music critics often use the term "jangle pop" to describe guitar pop that has a cheerful vibe.
Musically, pop rock incorporates the melodic sensibilities and song structures of pop music with the guitar-driven elements of rock. It often features catchy hooks, choruses, and upbeat tempos that encourage audience participation. The genre typically utilizes a standard rock band setup, including guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. Pop rock songs often include strong vocal performances, harmonies, and prominent use of electric guitars.
Lyrically speaking, pop rock explores a wide range of themes that resonate with a broad audience. The lyrics can cover topics such as love, relationships, self-expression, personal growth, and universal experiences. Pop rock songs often express emotions, tell stories, or reflect on life's ups and downs in a relatable and accessible way.
Pop rock has seen the rise of numerous talented and influential artists who have made significant contributions to the genre. Some notable pop rock artists include The Beatles, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, and also, more modern artists and bands such as Coldplay, Maroon 5, Paramore, OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons, Kelly Clarkson, and Taylor Swift. These artists have crafted memorable songs with a pop-infused rock sound, capturing the attention of listeners worldwide.