Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

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billshurv
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by billshurv » 09 Feb 2018 00:02

Ah. Makes sense. But what do we know, we released Alabama 3 on the world (called A3 stateside) :).I think UK also wins for greatest abuse of the banjo!

fscl
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by fscl » 05 Apr 2018 14:54

Finally got to this from my NYT reading backlog:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... music.html

I'm trying to get through the list, but really ....... #-o

Fred

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by rewfew » 05 Apr 2018 15:47

fscl wrote:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... music.html

I'm trying to get through the list, but really .......
Very tedious. Musicians striking a stylized mood of mediocrity.

VinyldechezPierre
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by VinyldechezPierre » 06 Apr 2018 16:21

AgedAngel wrote:One leitmotiv that seems to crop up in all the analyses of popular music is "human beings crave familiarity". I don't think this is true at all. Oh, perhaps for algorithm-created streams on Pandora, but if familiarity is all there is to popularity, why does the vast panorama of classical music all sound so different?
Who listens to classical music except old farts?

I'm one of them by the way.

I otherwise believe that most human beings DO crave familiarity. Why else the payola scandal? There is probabably a similar scheme going on today.

This familiarity unfolds in two ways today. One is that most selling albums sound (or look, even worse, but we are in the age of visual music however stupid that is) the same. The second goes right back to the payola scandal. The more it gets played on the radio, where most people hear most music, the better it sells.

The payola deal officially sarted in the 70s or 60s, don't remember exactly, but I would not be surprised if it had started earlier. And would be even less surprised if it was still going on.

vinyl master
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 06 Apr 2018 21:16

fscl wrote:Finally got to this from my NYT reading backlog:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... music.html

I'm trying to get through the list, but really ....... #-o

Fred
Interesting list there, Fred...I'll admit it...I see some things in Bruno Mars' and Taylor Swift's music that I like, but I also have an old-school soul that hasn't discovered all the hidden gems out there yet to discover...Sometimes, when your musical palette is so full, it's hard to allow for other sounds to blend in...And I do end up often retreating into familiarity, instead of challenging myself...

I may have to try some of these tips, though, in order to incorporate some new music into my life that I'll actually listen to...

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-find-new- ... 1824562710

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by reynolds617 » 09 Apr 2018 22:30

I am not a fan of modern pop music played on Top 40-type radio. My wife listens to it, and I can tell you, they play the same half dozen songs over and over and over (a separate issue from the quality of the music itself).

I think it comes down to the fact that most people haven't really discovered that there's more to music than something you can bop your head and sing along to. Music can make you feel, and help you vividly remember different periods of your life.

Different strokes for different folks, but they're missing out in my opinion, and it galls me at the cynicism with which pop music is generally made, produced and marketed. Viz One Direction and the like.

While I do favor stuff from the 70s-90s, there is a ton of great music being produced in what we'll broadly call the Independent genre. I regularly listen to the MIT radio station streams, and there's so much out there to discover that is made by actual bands who actually write their own songs and do it mostly for the love of the music. I guess a former college DJ can grow old, but still loves discovering new bands.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by vinyl master » 09 Apr 2018 23:41

There is something to be said about college radio, where the DJ's can sorta define their own genres and curate their own shows a little more...If you want to hear something a little more out of the normal, college radio is often where it's at and you can hear the most interesting things on some of these stations...

Maybe it's just me, but the British and Europeans in general seem to latch on to much more interesting music, generally, than we do here in the States...Three artists and groups that have been on my radar for a while include Jake Bugg, London Grammar and Mama's Gun, for example...

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by reynolds617 » 10 Apr 2018 00:04

MIT's station is interesting. They have the wide range of shows as you'd expect, but it's not all students. The particular show I listen to, Breakfast of Champions, has DJs who may or may not have been students at one time who have had their shows for years. And they are good and know their stuff. I basically use two of the regular DJ's shows to compile playlists on Spotify of the best new music I've heard throughout the year which I then publish on social media in December. It's pretty much the only way I'm able to keep even reasonably aware of new music because I can stream it at work.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by noisefreq » 10 Apr 2018 00:41

I've picked up on a lot from college stations and public radio over the years.

Before the internet, this was mostly the only way to hear music outside the commercial format.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by primemeridianes » 10 Apr 2018 08:16

In the old days a budding artist had to convince someone who knew what they were doing that their offering had merit before a record was pressed.
Now, all you need is YouTube. All kinds of crap is "published".

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by H. callahan » 10 Apr 2018 10:44

I think todays artists suffer the speed of our times. Due to the internet a lot of things are going faster than before - and somehow people expect things to go faster, too.
So there surely was pressure on artists before the internet, but today you´re even more afraid of being too late, maybe especially as an artist.
I guess they don´t take their time any more and they´re also more distracted than before the internet.
It´s harder for them to find their style, because there is so much on the net which can and does influence them - and by that the quality of the music does suffer.

The internet might act like a melting-pot for artists, resulting in fugacity and conformity.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by billshurv » 10 Apr 2018 11:45

yeah right, so the beatles only having 13 hours in the studio to record 'please please me' was them taking their time? Time pressures were much higher in the past.

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by H. callahan » 11 Apr 2018 01:18

I think we agree that the beatles were a rather exeptional band - and i am not talking about recording-times, but rather about the creative process of writing a song.
Did they write ´please, please me´ in the studio+recorded it within 13 hours?

billshurv
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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by billshurv » 11 Apr 2018 10:32

If we are talking creative process then we need to split mass-produced top 40 pop and all the other music being created. The latest plastic pop-star recordings are carefully created to sell and mixed to mud by the likes of the Lord-alge brothers.

Then you get people who actually make music. They may be using pro-tools in their bedrooms, but having release mechanisms like soundcloud and bandcamp means that they can take their time and produce what they want. Whether this model helps artists financially longer term we can only hope. But for now we can rejoice that we can access good music bypassing the commerical radio stations and big label race to the bottom :)

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Re: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible?

Post by H. callahan » 12 Apr 2018 06:49

Its probably tricky, but if we look at recording, mixing etc. nowadays we have all the possibilites (and quality) one could ever ask for, or at least we have more than we ever had.
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.

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.
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.`
And when they arrive in the studio the producer might sit in a dark corner, also using this smartphone to find out which artist is the most successfull at the moment and say:`Why don´t you do something like Katy Perry, she´s so successfull at the moment, or why don´t you put some Lady Gaga in here? Anyway hurry up there´s some much competition on youtube right now!`

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. As far as i know `penny lane` was written by John and Paul while they were waiting somehwere on a street to meet someone. Basically they´re just describing the stuff around them. I´m not going down on my knees for `penny lane` but its a nice song - today John and Paul probably would have been smartphoning during their wait and not have written `penny lane` at all.

In addition to that there is much more choice of music today due to the net. If you want to make a hit you have to be very good or very fast, to present something really new/unique. Because of the net there are many ways of feedback and by that some artists may be talked out of an idea, which would have been a good one. Or the finding of their style is interrupted by thousands of comments, likes, dislikes, youtubevideos etc. . And because there is the net, the traditional music-industry is struggling to still make (a lot of) money. It´s way easier now to get music you like for free - and due to that pressure on the producers - and therefore on the artists - to be successfull may be even higher than back then, which in turn makes quality of music suffer.
...

Therefore i think its more about creative process today and that artists do have fewer time but more distraction to find their style.

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