Over the years, I’ve developed a kind of passion for music, but not for contemporary pop music. In fact, everywhere I go I find that we’re celebrating music that has no meaning or artistic value. Of course, I’m fully aware that we’re all of different tastes, but I feel that music as a whole has gotten increasingly homogenized over the past decade.
What do I mean exactly? Well, I’m sure you’ve noticed that a lot of pop music sounds almost exactly same today, but you might also have noticed that a lot of music put out on the radio this year sounds almost indifferent to what you might have heard last year. I think this has to do with the fact that the music industry now has more of an influence than the musicians themselves. It’s kind of like in the 40’s and 50’s, when entertainment was largely bland and inoffensive, except what we have today is offensively bland.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that today’s music is more about image than the actual music. Today’s pop artists convey a hypersexualized body image while wearing a bright pastel colour palette, today’s rock bands look too much like hipsters for comfort, today’s electronic acts look almost indiscernible from each other, and today’s rappers look like either thugs (if male) or prostitutes (if female). It’s because record companies care mainly about how they can advertise a musician, so if their image matches the most lucrative clichés, then they’re almost guaranteed success for at least a few years.
In the old days, there was actually some variety in the music industry. In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, artists were praised for being creative, and the music industry, though they were still churning out mindless pop, embraced diversity in music. Nowadays, the music industry seems like it consists entirely of producers, and they’ve taken the creativity out of it. It doesn’t help that talent shows like The X Factor are churning out talentless hacks, nor that mainstream radio stations, such BBC Radio 1, seem to forget about whatever tracks they played a few years ago, almost as though there’s no music other than that mainstream Top 40 garbage that plays all the time.
There’s a good reason why I prefer old music, because most newer music is simply homogenized noise that just get more boring year after year, and yet somehow, the musicians who make them not only get money for it, but also get awards for perpetuating the same noise again and again, all while the media continues to pass it off as a new kind of culture. Is that worth celebrating? I don’t think so. Call me old-fashioned, but I like music that actually means something to me, and none of today’s popular music does.