I wondered before about the generic characteristics of a power ballad. But now I am wondering about another genre of popular song. I'm not sure it has a name so I'm going to christen it 'sentimental rock'. Elbow are very good at it. Here are two examples:
'One Day like This' from The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)
And 'Lippy Kids' from Build a Rocket Boys (2011).
Other examples to my mind will include:
'Shipbuilding', particularly as done by Robert Wyatt
'Nothing Lasts Forever' by Echo and the Bunnymen
perhaps even Bowie's 'Heroes' or Peter Gabriel's 'Solsbury Hill'.
Do these have anything in common? I'm not sure, but I do think there's a family resemblance here. Perhaps it will involve some or all of: An emphasis on a sentimental lyrical theme, a general earnestness of delivery, an arrangement that often builds into a surging anthemic chorus or refrain, a sense of nostalgia or loss (often with reference to childhood), the sense of using a particular personal recollection to signify something more general and universally significant.
I don't think it is a particularly masculine genre but I'm finding it more difficult to think of examples with female vocalists. Any suggestions?