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music

Komar & Melamid

Used to be, Good and Bad were easy. Good was worthy, but a little dull: Little Nell, Jimmy Carter, the Queen Mum. Bad was dangerous but infinitely interesting: Byron, Lucifer, Mae West. But this century’s idea of the banality of evil has shifted the game, making Bad dull, and a turnoff. Komar & Melamid have been making hay out of the categorical confusion.

Understanding that in America, moral or aesthetic judgments (Good, Bad) tend to conflate with statistical ones (most liked, least liked), the two developed a practice of designing paintings through market research. Now they’ve extended their survey into music. Imagine a poll asking people to name their most and least favorite instrument, singing style, tempo, and so on. Imagine that the results are turned over to a songwriting team. With The Most Wanted Song, The Most Unwanted Song, composed by Dave Soldier and Nina Mankin and issued on

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