Pop music: the good, the bad and the in between

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Hello folks.

I'm here to start a forum a discussion about pop music.

Let's get one thing straight, when I say pop music I'm not talking about pop music in Saudi Arabia, im talking about the western civilization - Europe, USA.

Now, as we all know, pop music isn't necessarily Kesha or 50 cent. It also can be The Beatles back in the 60s. it is all relative to the music's time.

So now we can understand what pop music actually is.

Back in the 60s and the 70s Rock just started and gained influence and popularity. We always have the "crap" and when I say crap im talking about same old tunes with the same old lyrics ("I love you", "You left me" instead of "BOOORN in the U.S.A"). I will mention this - I can't find anything special about Elvis Presley's music, he almost always talks about love in different lyrics. It's tune are pretty much the same, those tunes that girls get emotional about.
Yes, The Beatles had a lot of love songs in their starting days which I got sick of rather quickly, but later they didn't only developed their music's complexity but they also, and in my opinion more importantly, got into political activity, had meaning in their music and tried to make a change not only in the music world, but in the people who listen to it as well. And we have a lot of other groups who got political as well, like The Clash, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. (my favourite)
I find it very hard for me to connect, to any artist, in any art, if his goal aren't more than his art alone.

Today, pop music/mainstream music is heavily merchandised. Musicians have their very own clothing fashion - if they designed it themselves or not. A lot of today's music is more than the music itself, and im not talking about artists' political activity, I am talking about merchandising themselves, producing video clips who contain a lot of "bling bling" and hot girls dancing to the beat. In my opinion a lot of this music is entertainment rather than art, in the same sense I would consider this entertainment http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Lose_a_Guy_in_10_Days and this as art http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clockwork_Orange_(film) .

I pretty much agree with the saying that you should not stop liking an artist's music if he got out of the underground scene, gained wide audiences, and is, to a certain degree, merchandised, as long as he didn't given up on his main principals:
- He will not change his music just so more people would like him,
- He will not submit himself to use shallow and meaningless subjects in his lyrics (don't you agree the love subject is overused and lost its depth?) and will transform his music into "light music".

But to be honest, before all different arts - Film, Music, Theaters what is most important to ME, is the message. In my book, if it has no meaningful message (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_Lose_a_Guy_in_10_Days or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKDdT_nyP54) I find it hard to consider it as an artwork. Art, and in this thread, Music, has the power to change, artists have the power to make a change using their art, popularity and the feelings and understandings they can arouse inside people. I see all this artists possessing so much power over their crowds and use it for nothing, which saddens me.
In the lyrical part they talk about love (in the cheesy sense), hoes, sex, money, cars and so on. They are empty. In the musical part they use the same concept of using beats (some are original, RARE), use a lot of musical engineering to change voices and add effects.

But later on I got into this conclusion: it is not only about the genre, it is mostly about the artist. Try mixing "Blowin' in the wind" lyrics with Kesha's "Tik Tok on the clock". Sounds bad, I know, but even though it is the same music that sells and possess meaningful lyrics and message. But apparently, people don't care about the lyrics, they listen to their CURRENT popular music it in their iPods for the catchy tune and the simplicity. they listen to what is being fed to them by the radio and the record companies rather than looking for their own style (not saying some people don't ACTUALLY like it by their own taste).

Now, we must ask our selves this final question: Except for the ability to add sound effects a lot more easily this days which made this heavily engineered music much more produce-able, what makes this kind of music today popular and why bands like Queen were popular 40 years ago and you will find most people listen to them a lot less than other music or not at all (I am not talking about people who are 50 years old this days, talking about the new generation). Did the generation change? What made it change? Is it a better generation or worse? Does the current popular music reflects our youth's and young adults' intelligence or is it us and the corporations who legitimize this kind of music, contribute to it by massively producing it and delivering it's messages to the current growing youth? are we actually creating and transforming a youth that is passive and numb which does not think for them selves and let others do their thinking for them? If we do, are we doing it because it sells? We need to understand that.

I don't think we should criticize genres anymore, but criticize the artists instead and those who are responsible for producing and distributing the music and art.
If The Beatles could sell back in those days, why this type of music doesn't sell as much anymore?

Discuss and keep a healthy discussion, although I don't think much crossfires will start in this type of subject, especially because of the unified opinion I believe this forum possesses on this subject.
 
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wikipedia said:
According to Viacom CEO Philipe Dauman, one quarter of The Beatles: Rock Band inventory was sold during its first week of release, exceeding their expectations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatles_Rock_Band#Sales

The Beatles still sell quite a bit of music... you can just play it with them now. :D
-

As far as my views on the music industry... it's all about matching demographics with preferences... and usually it's just about being unique and having original ideas.
 
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Why do people buy an ipod for heaps more money when equivalent and more practical alternatives are on the market for less?

Logos and popularity! Intangable assets! and the same can be related to drossy pop music flooding todays charts.

The average musically redundant person gracing our communities enjoys drossy pop music first thing in the morning from the radio, on the way to work, when home, through activities. They go into shops, it's smothering the shelves, it's on the TV, in the papers. Eventually it gets seen as the "cool thing" in groups, and people start to buy into the latest "cool thing" as well. In the end your not buying it because it's actually musically superior to anything, you buy it because it's popular and lo and behold the machine has passed dire work as a chart topper essentially creating an intangible asset!

It's not so much the quality of pop music going downhill, just the people willingly buying terrible pop music has been going up

Thats my mad ramblings anyway ಠ_ರೃ
 
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Why do people buy an ipod for heaps more money when equivalent and more practical alternatives are on the market for less?
Whats an equivalent and more practical alternative to an ipod? The only one that I would consider using is a Zune.
 
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Whats an equivalent and more practical alternative to an ipod? The only one that I would consider using is a Zune.
An iPhone. So you can talk and listen to music, or do both while driving your car and not caring about the road or how slow/fast you are driving.
 
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Whats an equivalent and more practical alternative to an ipod? The only one that I would consider using is a Zune.
I'm not so sure about the zune ever since my brother got through two of them in a year, always was more in the zen fanclub. There's also the iaudio models, and i find the archos ones good (Being able to read pdfs too? yay!) while better in functionality, i suppose that's down to personal opnion.

Failing that, there's always the iphone vs android comparison! or we could settle for something more general like branded shirts vs unbranded equivalents. In the end cost=/=quality when it comes to branding
 
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Thanks for the reply.

My brother has a Zen, it's solid, but they don't make anything over 32 gigs which is a deal breaker for me. I've never heard of iaudio before now, but same restriction goes for them, too. Archos was very interesting, although it's not very practical as a strict MP3 player because of its size / price / fact that it's more of an all encompassing media device.


Slightly more on topic, I find music fascinating, but I hate attempting to analyze music. Just listen to it and see if you enjoy it. If you enjoy it, awesome, if not, oh well. There are so many artificial and silly reasons for liking / disliking music and at the end of the day, who cares if a song is popular, or if a song is considered emo and is thus taboo, or whatever.
 
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Pop music is dead. MTV is all reality TV shows now... and the current songs are mostly rehashing of one alteration.

Music seems to have become (finally) easier to create and distribute... so, trends no longer occur... people just find or create what they want.
 
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I honestly think Lady Gaga is all that's left of Pop... now, to hoping she either quits or finds a new genre.
 
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Yeah, when I kinda think about it Rock and its subgeneres still live on, but pop dies more and more. I guess people realized its listening to a song all over again. I remember the post 2000s though...

BTW how will you classify this songs?

[video=youtube;Vskuw0HQuYQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vskuw0HQuYQ[/video]

[video=youtube;BTT3-vA25Zk]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTT3-vA25Zk[/video]

[video=youtube;AjPau5QYtYs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjPau5QYtYs[/video]
 

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You classify them as awesome (well, that first song wasn't my thing, but the other two I mean).

Also, I strongly disagree that songs today no longer follow any trends. The music industry is almost defined by people following trends.
 
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Pop music is dead. MTV is all reality TV shows now... and the current songs are mostly rehashing of one alteration.

Music seems to have become (finally) easier to create and distribute... so, trends no longer occur... people just find or create what they want.
Pop music has expanded =/ It's spiralling out of control tbh, and the situation has only worsened with stupid **** like X-Factor and Pop Idol
 
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The weird thing is I don't believe those shows actually have traditional "Pop" genre. Why does everyone think "Pop" means popular? X-Factor, American Idol, and Pop Idol usually have Alternative or Country singers. I recall contestants just doing covers of "Pop" music and usually losing, because the genre is all flash and no substance. Are we trying to say if a Metal band's single goes platinum it's a "Pop" song?
 

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Pop stands for popular.
 
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The weird thing is I don't believe those shows actually have traditional "Pop" genre. Why does everyone think "Pop" means popular? X-Factor, American Idol, and Pop Idol usually have Alternative or Country singers. I recall contestants just doing covers of "Pop" music and usually losing, because the genre is all flash and no substance. Are we trying to say if a Metal band's single goes platinum it's a "Pop" song?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_music

Read the first sentence.
 
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I'm changing the name of Metal to Popular, so all the sheep are queued to like it.

*guitar riff*
 

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