Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

name that tune
Post Reply
vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20217
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 12 Apr 2018 06:53

There's a lot of truth in what you just said, H. callahan... =D>

H. callahan
senior member
senior member
Posts: 865
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 17:59

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by H. callahan » 12 Apr 2018 07:49

Thank you, thank you... (man, we really need an emoticon for being flattered here :wink: ... though i´m serious about that. We need one.)

billshurv
long player
long player
Posts: 2607
Joined: 16 Oct 2014 15:38

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by billshurv » 12 Apr 2018 10:02

H. callahan wrote: So music should be better now than before, because the technical side has improved a lot. But as the title of this thread does say its not.
Therefore it must depend on creative process rather than recording possibilities.
Some of the best 'music' I have was recorded live onto wax discs mechanically.
Of course there always is a producer wanting the band to put out albums fast and successfull, but when the beatles for example went into the studio back then they had to be pretty sure about what they wanted to record - and how they wanted to record it with the limited recording-possibilites they had back then - because studio-time was expensive.
Their first album was recorded in a day.Sgt Pepper's took 3 months in total. White album even longer. But the later albums were pushing the envelope of drug enhanced experimental music making.
Today studio-time still is expensive but the beatles could say: `Well, were not sure what were gonna record today, but we`ll use our smartphones on the way to the studio to get some ideas and anyway we can change everything in post-production if we don´t like it.`
They had tape recorders at home and would record snippets to come in. These days you can record high quality multitrack on a tablet wherever you are.
Back in the 60s the beatles probably wouldn´t have gone into the studio without a clear vision of their music and they weren´t as distracted as artists today probably are.
In 1963 maybe. By 1969 they were distracted as hell by the shiny lights from the drukqs they were taking!
If you want to make a hit you have to be very good or very fast, to present something really new/unique.
Logical fallacy. Hit records and good music are rarely the same. if you want to make a hit record you pass creative control to the A&E team. If you want good music you write it yourself and accept you won't be a billionaire. This has been true for some time...
Therefore i think its more about creative process today and that artists do have fewer time but more distraction to find their style.
We talking plastic pop or proper music? For plastic pop the rot set in as soon as the A&E function started to run the show at record companies. For proper music this is not the case.

rewfew
long player
long player
Posts: 1332
Joined: 08 Mar 2009 16:50
Location: Kansas City Missouri

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by rewfew » 13 Apr 2018 17:15

H. callahan wrote: (man, we really need an emoticon for being flattered here ... though i´m serious about that. We need one.)
No, please no. No more idiot emoticon's. If you can't convey it with writing then, try writing more effectively to get it across.

I get the notion of a good deal of technology today as being usurped by the corporate mindset to be the provider of tastes for the discretionary economic entity, (you and me). Pop music, media, news, even politics. Crafted to serve targeted demographics and tastes. But ultimately to enrich the corporate establishment. Mass market pop is truly a soulless, vapid construct meant to be a backdrop for other mass market engagements such as social media and marketing. Of course there is worthy content out there still of all the arts. But you have to wade through such a mass of God awful schlock to get to it. Hundred's of tv channels, baffling lists of artists and music, enumerable comic book super hero movies, news outlets spewing cutesy human interest stories. It's easy to just give up. Then you go out for a bite to eat or a mug of beer and your deluged with a steady stream of this pin headed pop that makes you want to leave the establishment and never go back. I make a point though of trying to be open for emerging new to me music. I'm older now and it's a given that my tastes have been significantly formed just from the process of living for six decades. As such I heard this artist the other day on a local progressive radio station and I like this tune he's done. Listening to other efforts of his though were not so forth coming. Ray LaMontagne, Hey no Pressure.



Kinda breathy and catchy. And the guitar exhibits familiarity to me.

H. callahan
senior member
senior member
Posts: 865
Joined: 25 Feb 2013 17:59

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by H. callahan » 14 Apr 2018 04:25

billshurv wrote: Their first album was recorded in a day.Sgt Pepper's took 3 months in total. White album even longer. But the later albums were pushing the envelope of drug enhanced experimental music making.
...
They had tape recorders at home and would record snippets to come in. These days you can record high quality multitrack on a tablet wherever you are.
...
In 1963 maybe. By 1969 they were distracted as hell by the shiny lights from the drukqs they were taking!
Off course it does matter at which point of the beatles-carrer one does look - and they also are a rather extreme example, because they were very famous and rich at the middle/end.
So not every musician back then could afford long recording times for albums, proffesional reel-to-reel-machines at home, endless jamming in the studio (and probably not so much drukqs, as this stuff also does cost something :wink: ) - and therefore musicians back then did work differently than musicians today.
Being able to record with your tablet everywhere is great and all, but you no longer have to nail it like you once had to in the studio. I think this does influence work and quality.
billshurv wrote: Logical fallacy. Hit records and good music are rarely the same. if you want to make a hit record you pass creative control to the A&E team. If you want good music you write it yourself and accept you won't be a billionaire. This has been true for some time...
Ok, you musn´t be good but you must present something which does attract attention and this goes a lot faster today because there is the internet.
On the other hand Michael Jackson was very successfull and his music wasn´t bad (i mean one song was ´bad´, but it wasn´t bad :wink: ). His music was diversified, well made, creative and catchy - he influenced pop music a lot without being bad. Maybe a new Michael Jackson is needed to redefine pop music today.
billshurv wrote: We talking plastic pop or proper music? For plastic pop the rot set in as soon as the A&E function started to run the show at record companies. For proper music this is not the case.
I think also for proper music there is more distraction for the artists today. More ways of inspiration, but also more of distraction.
rewfew wrote: No, please no. No more idiot emoticon's. If you can't convey it with writing then, try writing more effectively to get it across.
....

Kinda breathy and catchy. And the guitar exhibits familiarity to me.
I know that emoticons are a bit too much at the moment, on the other hand the smileys on this forum are ok for me and its the second time i´d need an emoticon for being flattered. All i´d need is a smiley smiling, looking down and blushing.

Anyway that´s a nice song, the guitar isn´t quite but a lot of Cream i´d say.

Tinkaroo
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
Canada
Posts: 7466
Joined: 04 Feb 2011 20:00
Location: Pixie Hollow by The Bay

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by Tinkaroo » 14 Apr 2018 11:28

In the 1960s and early 70s you got a lot more variety of genres on the pop radio playlists whereas nowadays pop is way more polarized. The problem with that is that you get a lot of sameness.

Back then it was geared to selling hit singles and sometimes albums, but today it is more for streaming or digital down loads.

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20217
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 14 Apr 2018 19:10

Tinkaroo wrote:In the 1960s and early 70s you got a lot more variety of genres on the pop radio playlists whereas nowadays pop is way more polarized. The problem with that is that you get a lot of sameness.

Back then it was geared to selling hit singles and sometimes albums, but today it is more for streaming or digital down loads.
Back in the day, you could hear The Bay City Rollers, Alice Cooper, Helen Reddy, Herb Alpert, Donna Summer and Glen Campbell on the same station, perhaps? There was a mixing of genres in the 70's...Look at all the songs that made #1 back then and how different they all are...It seems nowadays that if you aren't a rap star or a DJ (or Justin Bieber, perhaps) in today's world, you haven't got a chance on the charts...It may be slightly different in Britain, but you get my drift...People in the 60's and 70's bought 45 rpm singles and were able to afford and collect a wide variety of music. And there was room for all those one-hit wonders, too! Nowadays, you've got to be one of a certain cadre of artists to even achieve a #1 spot...People don't take as many chances nowadays and you can't expect radio stations to flip over a record and play the b-side, making the b-side a hit, rather than the a-side...A few happy circumstances happened because of that (Think "I Will Survive" on the b-side of Gloria Gaynor's "Substitute", for exmple...Eventually, "I Will Survive" became the hit!)...

fscl
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
United States of America
Posts: 7733
Joined: 05 Aug 2004 07:51
Location: CT, US

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by fscl » 17 Apr 2018 14:30

vinyl master wrote:
Tinkaroo wrote:In the 1960s and early 70s you got a lot more variety of genres on the pop radio playlists whereas nowadays pop is way more polarized. The problem with that is that you get a lot of sameness.

Back then it was geared to selling hit singles and sometimes albums, but today it is more for streaming or digital down loads.
Back in the day, you could hear The Bay City Rollers, Alice Cooper, Helen Reddy, Herb Alpert, Donna Summer and Glen Campbell on the same station, perhaps? There was a mixing of genres in the 70's...Look at all the songs that made #1 back then and how different they all are...It seems nowadays that if you aren't a rap star or a DJ (or Justin Bieber, perhaps) in today's world, you haven't got a chance on the charts...It may be slightly different in Britain, but you get my drift...People in the 60's and 70's bought 45 rpm singles and were able to afford and collect a wide variety of music. And there was room for all those one-hit wonders, too! Nowadays, you've got to be one of a certain cadre of artists to even achieve a #1 spot...People don't take as many chances nowadays and you can't expect radio stations to flip over a record and play the b-side, making the b-side a hit, rather than the a-side...A few happy circumstances happened because of that (Think "I Will Survive" on the b-side of Gloria Gaynor's "Substitute", for exmple...Eventually, "I Will Survive" became the hit!)...
Absolutely !

And when every broadca$t minute / second wasn't tied to intense return on profit$, DJs perhaps were not as pre$$ured to produce and perhaps able to follow threads in playing music, so chances were taken.

One of our local female DJs used to start off her wee early morning show reading poetry..... :shock: I used to fall asleep to her voice and playlist.

So there is probably less exploration if the song / music is out of genre.... #-o leading to a major reprimand if the morning jock was going to do Tull's cover of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Serenade To A Cuckoo right after each other. Or completely move to Bach after playing "Bouree"..... ](*,)

Or Tito Puente after some Santana, Miles Davis after Some Jerry Garcia's So What w/ David Grisman, Johnny Cash after some NIN .... etc, etc.

Nope, automation and musical algorithms are taking over a good knowledgeable DJs, I can't seem to remember if my Slacker recommends Bach's Bouree in E minor...... :-k :-k

Fred and R.I.P. Alison.... :(

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20217
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 18 Apr 2018 03:00

fscl wrote:
One of our local female DJs used to start off her wee early morning show reading poetry..... :shock: I used to fall asleep to her voice and playlist.
Hey Fred...Who was the female DJ who read the poetry? I had similar experiences, but it it was The Electrifying Mojo here in Detroit reading from his 500-page book of poetry (of which I CHERISH my copy! :wink:), "The Mental Machine"...He was the source of a lot of inspiration, knowledge, advice and wisdom! This is the same man who could play Kraftwerk, Cameo, Prince, The J. Geils Band, Devo and The B-52's, all while throwing some early techno in there or mixing in some jazz and classical...I used to listen to him many a late night...Take a listen to this...A recent aircheck unearthed...



Groovy and totally wild! 8)
Last edited by vinyl master on 18 Apr 2018 03:07, edited 1 time in total.

vinyl master
vinyl engineer
vinyl engineer
United States of America
Posts: 20217
Joined: 01 Nov 2013 05:27

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 18 Apr 2018 03:02

I just loved this guy and his MFA rants...



Absolutely NOT of this world, for sure! 8)

billshurv
long player
long player
Posts: 2607
Joined: 16 Oct 2014 15:38

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by billshurv » 18 Apr 2018 10:23

I think in UK we are lucky with having the BBC who, despite having to play top 40 during the day do some great stuff evenings and weekends. Not sure if John Peel or Whispering Bob Harris have ever been heard of outside uk, but they were/are legendary. We also have a dedicated station (6 music) which is dedicated to good music and sod the top 100. You can see their current playlist here https://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/playlist

reynolds617
senior member
senior member
United States of America
Posts: 753
Joined: 27 Mar 2017 01:19
Location: Boston-ish

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by reynolds617 » 18 Apr 2018 11:45

John Peel certainly has by me at least. He championed many a great band including my favorite, The Wedding Present. He's a legend.

JDJX
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 4186
Joined: 28 Nov 2013 20:17
Location: Mid Hudson valley..... NY.....In the orginal Orange County

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by JDJX » 19 Apr 2018 01:08

If you consider that all music is just an expression of a fame of mind and/or attitude...... can we really fault any music from any period?

All we can do is wonder and/or find fault about the frame of mind/attitude of those who compose some music and those who can like and relate to it.

fscl
vinyl addict
vinyl addict
United States of America
Posts: 7733
Joined: 05 Aug 2004 07:51
Location: CT, US

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by fscl » 19 Apr 2018 17:39

vinyl master wrote:
fscl wrote:
One of our local female DJs used to start off her wee early morning show reading poetry..... :shock: I used to fall asleep to her voice and playlist.
Hey Fred...Who was the female DJ who read the poetry?
......snippage......
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alison_Steele

"The Nightbird"

R.I.P.

Fred what a voice..... :wink:

JDJX
long player
long player
United States of America
Posts: 4186
Joined: 28 Nov 2013 20:17
Location: Mid Hudson valley..... NY.....In the orginal Orange County

Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by JDJX » 20 Apr 2018 23:00

wrote:
JDJX wrote:If you consider that all music is just an expression of a fame of mind and/or attitude...... can we really fault any music from any period?

All we can do is wonder and/or find fault about the frame of mind/attitude of those who compose some music and those who can like and relate to it.
As a musician, one of my challenges is that for me, at least, "good" music must be creative, artistically enjoyable, and technically challenging for the musicians. That said, some "good" music is actually pretty easy to play. But, again, as a musician, I feel that to ensure the audience comes and stays they need to experience something that can't be easily replicated by anyone with a couple of years of guitar lessons under their belt.

Also, a lot of "good" music that is also easy to play turns out to be quite ephemeral. As I peruse this thread, Buddy Holly comes to mind. Anybody can play that stuff, and probably better than he and the Crickets did. And it is "good" only insomuch as it was "new". It's also a lot of fun. My old band played a lot of that stuff and the crowd loved it.
Yeah.... :)

Consider all the great pop/rock music that is based on simple basic chord progressions.
Staples like C-Am-F-G and C-F-C-G-F- ... for just two examples.

Post Reply