Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

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RockerFrank
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by RockerFrank » 05 Oct 2017 08:16

Vinylfreak86 wrote:It is not problematic, that one producer is making music for different groups. But in the past they were making music with heart, now they are only thinking about money.
philbrown wrote:It's always been this way. Music manufactured to meet the popular taste has been there since the first drum was made. The drummer hit it in a way that pleased him or her and one of the listeners asked for a different beat.
Bingo.
Manufactured popular music.
For a view from the 50s see The Idolmaker starring Ray Sharkey.
Phil Brown
I'm with Phil on this one. Jazz singers often didn't even get to choose the songs on their records, everything was dictated by the labels. The Brill Building songwriters wrote exactly the kind of songs they knew teenagers would buy. Hank Williams wrote a guide called "How to write folk and Western music to sell". Every time a style becomes popular there are thousands of acts doing it, be it rock'n'roll, speed metal, grunge or disco.

That movie I didn't like.

J. S. Bach
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by J. S. Bach » 16 Oct 2017 04:13

vinyl master wrote: ...snip... Was an avid "Ed Sullivan" fan, too, and remembers when they were on the first time ...snip...
I remember watching that show and Dad said to Mother: "they won't go anywhere." or words to that effect! He lived long enough to realize his error.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by JDJX » 23 Oct 2017 23:55

vinyl master wrote:It's funny that my own mom used to listen to The Beatles religiously...Was an avid "Ed Sullivan" fan, too, and remembers when they were on the first time...Her mother couldn't understand why all the girls were screaming so loudly and used to tell her to "turn down that 'yeah, yeah, yeah' music"! My, how times have changed! If she thought The Beatles were bad... :shock:
Fact is, the way girls screamed at the Beatles is no different than the way girls screamed and acted with Rudy Vallee, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, etc . :)

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by RockerFrank » 24 Oct 2017 11:32

JDJX wrote:Fact is, the way girls screamed at the Beatles is no different than the way girls screamed and acted with Rudy Vallee, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, etc . :)
"Did you forget so soon how much you loved to do the Charleston?"

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by TudorTurtle » 24 Oct 2017 12:42

Just listened to two sides of the King Krule album released this week. Dayum, it's weird and I'm pretty sure I like it. A lot.

I think the complainants are happily stuck in their ruts.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by JDJX » 25 Oct 2017 02:10

"I think" that those who think today's music is OK only can point to an occasional oasis is the desert of today's banal music. :)

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 25 Oct 2017 20:42

TudorTurtle wrote:Just listened to two sides of the King Krule album released this week. Dayum, it's weird and I'm pretty sure I like it. A lot.

I think the complainants are happily stuck in their ruts.
I've had a listen to the King Krule stuff...Not bad, but you probably won't hear it on the radio...Sometimes, I do wish there were stations like back in the 70's where you could hear Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Bill Withers, The Bay City Rollers and maybe throw in the "Theme From S.W.A.T."...They all had major songs that were on the Billboard Top 40 charts!

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 15 Dec 2017 15:21

And as an addendum to this topic, check out this article that recently came across my radar...

http://www.vulture.com/2017/12/defining ... music.html

A few thoughts about the article...The article pretty much states that pop is repeating itself and that the repetition will eventually turn people off of it...I wonder, though, if the author's continued focus on only the popular music of the day is stymying his vision. Maybe he needs to look harder to find music that is more interesting...Dig a little deeper, perhaps? Maybe we should blame the general public for WANTING these "retreads"??? :-k That said, this is not "Top 40 Land" anymore...There IS a Top 40, because each year, decade, century, etc. has to count it's successes (whether in books (New York Times Best Seller list), films (box office success), TV (Nielsen ratings) or in our case, popular music. But the charts just aren't as diverse as they used to be...No more Elton John and The Bay City Rollers mingling with Helen Reddy and Alice Cooper, with some Eagles and Anne Murray threw in...Even the 90's could claim CeCe Peniston, Nirvana, Roxette and The Geto Boys on the same chart. Where is that variety now? Maybe it's still there, but in a different form? Maybe we've stagnated about innovation in pop music...What is the answer? I am fortunate that I have friends who teach me about the latest indie pop and rock. My vinyl mentor clued me into a lot of progressive rock, when I didn't know as much as I thought I had...We've shared different artists with each other over the years and in the process, I have become a fan of some of his favorites and he's become a fan of some of mine...I've learned about many artists on my own, too, through crate-digging, online searches, YouTube video recommendations, playlists, Shazaming, radio airplay, studying the credits of TV shows and films, reading books about or related to music, magazines, newspapers and from this site! My curiosity just happens to get piqued, whereas I can't say the same thing about MOST music fans...Can they even TAKE THE TIME to search out new music? Is it not easier to just be spoon-fed whatever is out there without lifting a finger to actually discover something? My thread here is full of new "discoveries"...

viewtopic.php?f=41&t=73035

Whether the music is new or old, it is still a "new" discovery to me, if I haven't heard it before...Mind you, I do listen to a lot of stuff that is within my wheelhouse (soul, jazz, pop, R&B. etc.), but I'm not afraid to venture outside my "boundaries" on occasion to see what another genre has to offer...My dad got me interested early in classic country...My mom did the same with 70's pop...Casey Kasem helped me learn what was popular each week in the 80's, even if I hadn't been tuned in to the radio all week...Casey summed it all up on Sunday mornings and I felt like I knew about all the latest bands and artists, and he did it in a very congenial way...I learned all about the R&B of the 90's through Walt "Baby" Love on the radio, hearing his "Countdown"...Thrift shop record hunts led me to a sincere appreciation of 50's pop and big band music...My dad's gift of my first case of 45' records exposed me to the greatness of 60's pop and rock...Other friends at school turned me on to metal...Various radio stations here in Detroit helped hone in my sensibilities to other genres of music...I have had a continuing interest in educating myself about the various musics and records out there, although it's been hard in recent years due to the immensity of it all...I've tried to keep the record collection focused on the 40's to the 90's, with some of the oughts thrown in...I took a look at the Top 40 for January 4th of 1992...I can claim with certainty that even as vinyl was waning, I have all 10 singles on vinyl for every one of the songs in the Top 10 that week...All in all, I'd say that I have about 34 singles on vinyl from the Top 40 that week, 35 if you count a U.K. single for U2's "Mysterious Ways"...If I count the same week in 2002, I have only 15 of that week's Top 40 singles on 45 rpm vinyl...And yes, they were still producing it, even if it was on a jukebox-only single or foreign pressing...Some of the others I have on 12" singles or CD singles, too...But, nowadays, in the age of downloads, it is rare to find ANY of the popular songs of the day on a vinyl single...Vinyl albums DO exist, but they are not as collectible as the 45's were in my world...Plus, I've sorta lost interest in the modern music on the radio...I like a lot of Bruno Mars' stuff...I appreciate Pentatonix, although they won't get played as often on the radio...There are talented people who win these talent shows, but can some of the other genres compete with the likes of all the pop starlets and rap DJ's and MC's out there hogging the charts? :-k The future of jazz is in good hands with young people like Joey Alexander and my latest discovery, Andreas Varady...Lindsey Stirling can play a fantastic violin...Tame Impala and Monophonics can do psychedelic music like no other...Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton are carrying on the mantle of classic country somewhat...Ruthie Foster can sing the blues like it's nobody's business...But, will ANY of them have a Top 40 single on the radio??? I highly doubt it...Yet, all of them have made music I find interesting, even if it does rehash certain hallmarks AKA tropes of certain genres...Sometimes, there is comfort in familiarity...In order to keep my sanity about me, though, it's important to limit oneself within certain genres...With any genre you can think of, there are a thousand sub-directions one can go in for music...The music room just can't hold any more records...Fortunately, in this day and age, downloads are easier to conceal and take up less space...But, if the vinyl were available on some of my favorite music, you know I'd be snatching it up...Re-discovery is great when it comes to artists and/or songs you may have missed the first time around...Northern soul records and rare 80's synth-pop/power pop fall into this category for me...Also, rare disco and funk...It seems the more time you invest in the rarities, though, the less time you have to listen to your favorites...Still, I do like to have the physical media available when I feel in the mood to listen to it...And what about the next 20 years of music? Where will I find the room for it, either mentally or physically? These issues do make you think...I think cataloguing my records into certain genres, even if I can't necessarily pigeonhole the artists, has helped me in that it forces me to place an "identity" on the artist and thus, makes it easier when and if I want to compile a playlist...My database and software helps me to set certain parameters for my music, if I fill in all of the right information...This comes in handy when my brain can't necessarily process all the information I need...The database helps me to remember and to coordinate certain info and all of my records, for that matter, together in one place...The scope of the world can be limitless, but one can only process so much at one time...And if there is a new song or artist on my radar, I have to let that artist in...Into my mind, into my psyche, into my routine...It's bad enough just to juggle all the non-music-related information...Still, with each new discovery or song I encounter that I like, I grow as a person...And growth can be a good thing, if you are wise about it! I almost envy you guys who stick to one particular genre without fail and disregard the rest...You have honed in to what you like and nothing else can change your mind...New discoveries may take hold of it on occasion, but you always go back to the tried-and-true music of your youth or constant favorites over the years...It allows you to keep your record collections small, too...You may buy a reissue on occasion of a favorite album...But, you've pretty much stuck to the same artists all your life...When you have a taste as eclectic as mine (I can listen to almost anything...I used to hate opera, but can tolerate some of it now...World music can be harder, although I have some in the collection and should listen to it more...), it becomes harder to "control" it all, as you can end up finding lots of great records and going broke buying them in the process! #-o Which is another reason why I have to limit myself sometimes...Fortunately, I have found many records over the years...I've kinda built this collection up, as an "investment" of sorts, an "investment" in ideas, in "new discoveries waiting to happen", so that I'll have something to keep my mind active with in my old age, when I get there...Hearing new music on occasion keeps one young, too! That fact can't be over-emphasized enough...It can help me "connect" to younger family members...Still, I always fall back to what I know for the most part...But, I've kinda cultivated a keen curiosity, so that all I know isn't all there IS to know...And it teaches me that there is much more out there to learn, if only my mind will let me learn it.

Another thought is this...Take Taylor Swift for example...If I get into "Reputation", what about "1989"? What about "Fearless"? Or "Speak Now"? Or even her debut? With each album, she tries something different...But does always listening to her "latest" thing make all her other PREVIOUS records obsolete? And which of these will provoke nostalgia in the mind 20 years from now the way a vintage Casey Kasem broadcast does it for me today? :-k

Are any of the #1 songs coming out today going to be good memories for the youth the way "my" songs were back in the day??? We recorded our favorites off the radio...If we loved a song, we went out and bought the single...Or saved up for the album! Cassettes helped in downsizing the collection's "footprint"...I could get much more music on cassettes (except for cassette singles) and cassettes would take up less room than the vinyl records...Of course, one has to consider fidelity of the LP's vs. the cassettes, too...We made elaborate playlists and mixtapes...We shared our music with friends...It was played on the playgrounds, in PE classes, on the bus, and in locker rooms...Everybody does their own thing now on their own devices, so there are no "shared" experiences for learning like there was back in the day...We have websites online and social media like Facebook nowadays, but in my mind, it doesn't replace hearing a song for the first time on the radio...Will kids say in 20 years, I remember hearing about such-and-such a band through a friend's post from 2011 the same way I remember seeing a video on MTV for the first time or hearing a favorite song played at a memorable wedding? The experiences I had make the music more tangible in a way, more memorable...I can hear a song 20 years later and cry over it, remembering the first time I cried to it...where I was...what I was doing, etc. Is it that emotion has been stripped from the music??? Almost anyone can criticize an artist nowadays, especially on comment sections of YouTube posts, but does anyone remember when music was much more a part of the culture? You couldn't relegate it to the background...You couldn't remove it from your minds...You could dismiss it, but not so easily, if the radio kept playing it...Now, we have so many choices...We can choose to block certain things out...But at what cost? Cost to our growth as human beings? We listen to a song for 10 seconds, and if it doesn't enthrall us, it is gone from our radar and we can never listen to it again...In a way, that's one thing I like about vinyl...A long-playing album FORCES you to listen to the whole album...You can't just click a button or fast-forward vinyl that easily...You get to experience the artist's WHOLE vision and not just a piece of it...You can also allow an artist to grow on you over repeated listens, if you give the said artist a chance...Nowadays, it seems no one has the patience for that...But, I'm also willing to surmise that if you give new genres or new artists a chance, you just might learn something...And any growth is better than no growth at all, even if I myself have to force myself to grow...And what is so intrinsically BAD about that??? :-k

In any case, do any of my words ring true with you guys? Are any of you guys in the same boat musically speaking? :-k I'd be curious to know more of your thoughts on this subject, because I have a feeling this topic is not going to go away, either now or into the foreseeable future...

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 15 Dec 2017 17:16

Some people would say that pop music has always been terrible, not just modern.

I tend to agree.

Pop = popular.

Lower the level to pleasing to most people and you get cheesy music. Let artists be themselves and you get absolutly incredible stuff. Even if you don't like it.

But we need to be talking about real artists. No just one second wonders. Or even 15 minutes wonder. Hi Andy.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 16 Dec 2017 11:16

VinyldechezPierre wrote:
But we need to be talking about real artists. No just one second wonders. Or even 15 minutes wonder. Hi Andy.
Depends on what you mean by "one-hit wonders"...Kraftwerk, for example, could be considered a "one-hit wonder", since only one of their songs ("Autobahn") appeared on the Top 40 here in the States...Leonard Cohen had NO Top 40 hits here, but his music endures in various forms...One of my favorite groups, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, had a small hit with a cover of Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive An' Wail", but that's it for the band on the pop charts...Of course, he did much better with his other group, The Stray Cats...But all their music is enduring, even though it wasn't promoted as well as some other types of music and didn't get a break on the pop charts...It does make you wonder...How do you REALLY measure success with an artist? Top 40 hits? Longevity in the business? The quality of their work more than the quantity? Jeff Buckley had a small-ish hit (if you could call it that) with Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", but despite only producing a handful of albums, he has become a major artist...The endless re-issues and mining of the vaults are a testament to his status as a major artist who DESERVES to have his music heard again...And yet, "Top 40 status" eluded him...Maybe we need a different yardstick to measure the value/timelessness of an artist? What makes an artist a "timeless" or "successful" artist? If we only go by the hits, we block out a large portion of fabulous music and artists, who through no fault of their own (in many cases, due to underpromotion, record company politics, consumer apathy, labels going under, etc.), have fallen through the cracks of the popular zeitgeist...Maybe we need to re-define our definition of a "one-hit" or as you put it "one-second" wonder? :-k

For that matter, who would you guys consider a "one-second wonder"? :-k

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 16 Dec 2017 13:05

A one-second wonder would be the guy who sang "too sexy for my shirt". Song that I have as a matter of fact, too funny for my brain. :lol:

My yardstick for value in art, not just music, is very simple: whatever I like. Not to say that what I like is the only stuff that has value, I'm not so full of myself. But it has value to me. Art is so subjective that there cannot really be any other kind of yardstick.

Some of my favorite artists are basically unknown.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by Tonybro » 17 Dec 2017 07:57

Right Said Fred - who sang 'I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt' had a long career and I believe are still working and they have done very well out of it.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by Tonya James » 05 Feb 2018 12:14

Hey Guys, I've just had a read of the last two pages here, it's getting late and I have an early start. Respect once again to Vinyl Master. Your input on this forum is invaluable. I love reading your posts, and the ones above are so well written. I have no trouble following your ideas. I have some thoughts on this topic, but will have to postpone for now.

Thanks, Tony.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 05 Feb 2018 14:41

From one Tony to another, feel free to add your thoughts on these subjects any time you like! In general, I hope I have given you guys some "food for thought"...I tend to think about things outside of "the mainstream" of thought, too...Stuff other people never care to, want to, or feel a need to, but it's just the way my mind works! And my music-nerd geekery knows no bounds! I have been known to drive friends nuts, but then they go away thinking, "I think he may have a point there!" or "I never thought about it that way!" If you can follow my ramblings, the discussions are bound to get interesting here! :-k :wink:

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by rewfew » 05 Feb 2018 18:48

What prompted the original post and link came from being a captive audience to some abysmal musical selection and volume at public places that served food and drink. They tend to favor whats happening in current pop music trends. It's no revelation that popular music has always been crafted for consumption and to make a buck. And assuredly, most music of any period does not muster the threshold beyond pedestrian. My choices in music has followed a path involving being eclectic and discriminating and has led to a musical collection with old and new music that favors my muse that precludes collecting sheer volume. What was notable as a captive in a public setting hearing pop music seemed to be explained well enough within the you tube, at least to my reasoning. I'm struck by the massive amount of similarity and formulaic principals inherent within the framework of the music. Totally devoid of uniqueness. This may reflect the technology today that can produce such music in mass. More just gets pumped through system like slurry these days. I'm optimistic though that always there is a capable amount of youth with taste and cleverness to counter act the prevailing hoard. Being principled though doesn't equate usually with popularity. A Jazz drummer told me once he took an oath of poverty to play that music.

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