The pieces mostly have a simple structure, catchy melodies and repetitions of the chorus . Instruments are mainly electric guitars , electric basses and drums , electronic instruments are mostly used to accompany them. A characteristic of pop-rock pieces is the alternation of ballad-like verses with rockier choruses. In 1980 the musicologist Tibor Kneif described the genre as follows: "Today, the term pop-rock describes a direction within rock music that slips into the kitschy, cheaply sentimental element."
Artists are usually categorized subjectively by music journalists from well-known music magazines such as Billboard magazine : in the 1970s, well-known artists were Elton John , Peter Frampton , Paul McCartney or Wings and Fleetwood Mac , while in the 1980s it was mainly Billy Joel , Hall & Oates and George Michael were successful. Another wave of pop rock emerged in the 1990s when performers like Melissa Etheridge achieved success.
- Craig Morrison: American Popular Music. Rock and roll . Checkmark Books, New York / NY 2006 (preface by Kevin J. Holm-Hudson). Pages 175-176.