"For a pop songwriter, each new composition presents countless temptations and traps, moments when the song wants to become "stupid," wants to go to the obvious chord or rhyme, wants to sound too close, as opposed to just close enough, to what we’ve heard before. The game is to thread your way through these traps without sounding as if you’re trying to be unpredictable â€” melodically, lyrically, in whatever way. And success comes when you’ve taken all the crap the genre gives you to work with â€” limited instrumentation, limited melodic possibilities, limited time â€” and made beauty of it, then disguised the beauty as more of the good ol’ crap we like to hear when we turn on the radio…That’s why pop music is the art for our time: It’s an art of crap. And not in a self-conscious sense, not like a sculpture made of garbage and shown at the Whitney, which is only a way of saying that "low" materials can be made to serve the demands of "high" art. No, pop music really is crap. It’s about transcending through crap. It’s about standing there with your stupid guitar, and your stupid words, and your stupid band, and not being stupid."