Cool & contemporary vocab: music
The music industry has changed a lot. Years ago, people listened to the radio to hear new songs, then went to music shops to buy records, tapes and later, CDs. Now, technology and the internet has revolutionised how music is recorded, shared and sold. The iPod let people listen to mp3 files wherever they wanted and iTunes helped them find and buy whatever they wanted.
Here you will find some useful words and phrases for talking about your personal music habits in Part 1 of the speaking test and the music industry in general in Part 3.
Don’t try to memorise them all. First, look through the list and highlight any expressions which are new to you. Next, have a look at the definitions to make sure you understand what they mean and finally read the examples and think how you could use them in your own sentence. You can also look the words up here for more examples.
- top the charts
meaning - to have a song at the top of the music charts
example - The new song by Metallica has topped the rock charts.
- a groupie
meaning - an enthusiastic fan of a celebrity, usually a pop star or group.
example - I have to confess, I was a Take That groupie in my younger days and went to loads of their concerts.
- back to their roots
meaning - to return to the original musical influences
example - The band has gone back to their roots after producing pop music for 5 years. Now they’re writing folk songs again.
- to be out
meaning - to be available to buy
example - The group’s new album is out now and you can buy it online.
- to be worth a listen
meaning - when you think a song or album is good so you recommend it to others
example - I’m not a big fan of Coldplay but their new album is definitely worth a listen.
- to subscribe (to) / pay a subscription (to)
meaning - to receive something on a regular basis by paying in advance
example - I subscribe to Spotify to get all of my music online these days.
- a playlist
meaning - a collection of songs that are grouped together to be played on the radio or downloaded on a personal device
example - I have a playlist of my favourite dance tracks for when I go running.
- exclusive content
meaning - the music is only available in one place
example - Tidal has some exclusive content that you can’t hear anywhere else.
- high-concept album
meaning - an intellectual album featuring songs with deep meanings
example - Drake has a new high-concept album out and it’s really original.br> br>
- to pull something off
meaning - to succeed at something you expected or were expected to fail at
example - no-one believed they could better their last album but they appear to have pulled it off by topping the charts again.
- to sign up (for) something
meaning - to register for something like a service
example - I signed up for a 1-year subscription to Deezer.
- to snap up something / to snap something up
meaning - to buy something very quickly
example - Fans snapped up all the concert tickets within minutes of them going on sale.
- to split up
meaning - to break up with or separate from someone or a group of people
example - One Direction is having a break from music, but some say they have split up forever.
- to get back together
meaning - when a band or group reforms after a period of separation
example - Guns n’ Roses have reportedly got back together and are planning a new tour.