Why Psychologists Care About Blind Melon And Shania Twain

Members Of Blind Melon Pose At The Musicares Map Fund Benefit Concert In Hollywood
(L-R) Members of the group Blind Melon Glen Graham, Brad Smith, Roger Stevens, Christopher Thorn and Travis Warren pose at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert in Hollywood, California May 9, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

Chattanooga, TN – Pulse:

In 1992, Blind Melon’s song “No Rain” was incredibly popular, but the song ended up being a one-hit wonder. That same year, Shania Twain released her second album which included her breakout hit, “Any Man of Mine.” Twain went on to be “one of the most consistent hitmakers of the era.” Stanford psychologist Justin Berg used a special algorithm to compared the “sonic features” of the two songs (along with many others) and found that musically, “No Rain” got low novelty ratings compared to its rock contemporaries, while Twain’s song scored high marks for novelty, and Berg says it turns out “she was pioneering a new pop-country crossover genre that was bold for her time.” This ties into a second study, by researchers from Northwestern University, that found first successful artists “explore” various creative pathways, and once they strike success, they “exploit” the skill, focusing their creativity and production.