Pop music and its faults

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Pop music and its faults

Teacher and musician Mr. Kaneko

Teacher and musician Mr. Kaneko

Jessie Ortiz

Teacher and musician Mr. Kaneko

Jessie Ortiz

Jessie Ortiz

Teacher and musician Mr. Kaneko

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Humans crave entertainment, and thanks to advancements in technology, it has never been easier to be entertained. Almost anyone, no matter what entertainment they are looking for, can easily find something to occupy their time. However, there seems to be a gap of interest between industries. Pop music happens to be one of the biggest forces in the world, but it seems to be disappointing a lot of today’s youth, who arguably makes up its target audience. So how and why has modern pop music, the very thing that most resonates with the largest audience, let us down?

Considering pop music is such a big form of entertainment in our society, we hear the same songs being repeated or overplayed. Turn to any popular radio stations and listen for a while; if you were to then turn to another station, those same songs would be playing. Our brains are wired to find patterns, to find similarities among random things, according to a study of scientists from the University of Vienna, Austria. Record labels know this; they know what sells, and they know what patterns make the top charts. They milk those chord progressions until they can’t be milked anymore. Senior Bryan Rodriguez, music enthusiast, believes that pop music is one of the worst things he’s ever heard. “No offense to anyone who likes pop music, but I can’t stand the repetitiveness of it all. I’d rather take a good guitar solo then someone singing about them kissing someone.” As long as the big record labels are profiting off of these generic songs, then they will keep making them no matter what.

The study has also proven that time and time again, different pop songs that are sung by different artists are using the same basic compositional elements, just with different frequencies. If there’s such a thing as an individual artist identity, then there should be no reason to limit songs to the same chords, instruments or other aspects of music composition, yet that is what you often hear. Freshman Keely Jo, an avid singer, states, “Listening to the same tunes or notes over and over is kinda boring.”

A recurring element found in songs are their chord progressions. Chord progressions are usually used as a foundation, which is mainly played by rhythm instruments. One of the most popular chord progression in pop is the I–V–vi–IV chord progression. Although the chord progression has been used since before the 70s, the ever-dwindling use of instruments in modern pop causes songs to sound repetitive and bland. This could be heard in songs such as: “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Let it Be” by the Beatles, “No Woman, No Cry” by Bob Marley, “What’s My Age Again?” by Blink-182, “Take On Me” by A-ha.

Not only are the youth unhappy with the subjects of these repetitive songs, older generations oppose the whole genre as a whole. People that grew up with the golden age of music hold the genre to such a higher standard. They grew up with pop icons such as The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and Fleetwood Mac, just to name a few. Mrs. Thomas, someone who grew up in the “prime age” of music had this to say about today’s music: “What I know of it, I really don’t like because it’s one note, and it doesn’t seem like much thought was put into it.”

At the end of the day, music is an industry and consumer demands drive what the industry puts out. But not all hope is lost; music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora are perfect places to find original sounds that suit every entertainment need you to have. Always look for the hidden in music; you never know what you might find and remember to not let the top charts stifle your musical taste. For up and coming indie artists of all genre variations, check out Bandcamp.com.

 

“Let it be” by The Beatles. (1970).

 

 

“Africa” by Toto. (1982).

 

 

“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. (1981).

 

 

“Kids” by MGMT. (2007).

 

“I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. (2008).

 

 

“Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. (2018).