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Why is modern pop music so terrible?

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby daniel.sneed » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:42 am

Why is modern pop music so terrible?
could be turned in
Why do I feel so terrible about pop music?
or
Why is pop music so terrible to me?
dAn
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:52 am

Could also be that music, especially for those with an inclination towards it's appreciation and creation/recreation, view specific works and genres as socially and spiritually relevant to themselves - and rightly so.

New popular music today is targeted to the most likely demographic to actually purchase it, and that is millennials. I have nothing against that group, per se. Some of my best friends and colleagues are millennials. But what is culturally relevant to them is often at odds at what is relevant to me. I'm into eye-hand coordination, articulation, expression, technique, rhythmic accuracy and variety. You can find technic and "accuracy" in new pop music, mostly thanks to technology.

I am not interested in how well a computer intones a pitch to "correct" it. I much prefer to hear Nina Simone bend into and out of her notes than to hear auto-tune *pop* into a note perfectly. It just does nothing for me.

As we said in the 60s, different strokes for different folks.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Gravity Jim » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:20 am

daniel.sneed wrote:Why is modern pop music so terrible?
could be turned in
Why do I feel so terrible about pop music?
or
Why is pop music so terrible to me?


Well, that would be the approach to take if one wanted to learn something.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby HCMarkus » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:57 am

Gravity Jim wrote:
daniel.sneed wrote:Why is modern pop music so terrible?
could be turned in
Why do I feel so terrible about pop music?
or
Why is pop music so terrible to me?


Well, that would be the approach to take if one wanted to learn something.

This pop song lyric popped into my mind:
Suddenly, life has new meaning to me

- Billy Ocean; Suddenly

So what are the criteria for an excellent/not terrible song?

1. At least X chord changes
2. Melody has more than X notes
3. Lyrics are comprised of the best words
4. ...?

How about this:

I like or don't like the way it makes me feel, but it makes me feel.

IMO, a "terrible" song is one that fails to move the listener.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby waxman » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:33 am

To cool to Pop? I would rather make any current pop album then the many fusion albums I've recorded for self absorbed virtuosos who looked down their noses at pop music... The hours of identical solo's except on different a different "axe" are some sick form of musical masturbation. :banghead:

Fusion quickly went from amazing music like Jaco and Weather Report to vomit. It devo'd from art to smooth jazz which is prozac induced coma muzak for those on SRI's...

The reason they call it POP is it is "popular" and makes $$$. It's the Zeitgeist baby!
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Gravity Jim » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:21 pm

Holy cow, we're gonna quantify what makes a "good" song? Number of chords?? Seriously?

A good song is like the SCOTUS definition of pornography: "I can't describe it, but I know it when I (hear) it."
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby HCMarkus » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:53 pm

Gravity Jim wrote:Holy cow, we're gonna quantify what makes a "good" song? Number of chords?? Seriously?

No. :lol:

My take is more like the words that followed my "list" (which was intended as sarcasm Jim)...

I like or don't like the way it makes me feel, but it makes me feel.

A "terrible" song is one that fails to move the listener.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby James Steele » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:16 pm

waxman wrote:The reason they call it POP is it is "popular" and makes $$$. It's the Zeitgeist baby!


I hear "Keeping up with the Kardashians" is/was popular. Oh well... :)
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby waxman » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:08 pm

James Steele wrote:
waxman wrote:The reason they call it POP is it is "popular" and makes $$$. It's the Zeitgeist baby!


I hear "Keeping up with the Kardashians" is/was popular. Oh well... :)


Yep those little tramps hit the big time... so did the Bee Gees, The Clash, Hootie, Spring Dickfield and MadonnaBritneyMylieSyphllis... just say'n anything beats prozac smooth... whatever that stuff is over a drum loop... even accordion and trombone duets. Is my cynicism showing? ;)

Intellectual soufflé...
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby stubbsonic » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:35 am

I wonder if we are "going through a phase" right now where the "diversity of content" is taking a back seat while technology and production refinements are being explored. More specifically, it seems like the current technology lends itself to producing one type of content over another.

I think the original premise that Top-40 lists used to have a wider range of styles, sounds, tempo, meter, etc. is undeniable. Whether or not the hits that rose to the tippy top were "dumb songs" or not.

Over the years, I have transcribed hundreds of pop songs for school bands. When I created a lyric/chord sheet, it was a puzzle challenge to get it all on one page. For some songs I had to create a separate chord chart because every verse and/or chorus had little variations in them, or the rhythm of the accompaniment was an important part of the song. More recently, I've noticed pop songs have either one chord progression for the whole song (Demons, Shake it Off, Despacito), or the chord progression will alter slightly for a chorus or bridge (Rise, Heathens).

It's just kind of funny now when a kid requests to learn a song, I can just hand him a post-it (that's a sticky note, kids) with 4 chords on it-- some combination of I, vi, IV, V, and iii.

Next time you're listening a pop station, notice how many songs have 2 or 4 beats (as opposed to 3 or 6), notice how many songs have ternary meters (6/8, 12/8). I'm not saying that one is better or worse than another, but just noticing that whole worlds of rhythm are just closed off.

I'm no Andrew Lloyd Weber fan, but as a kid, I remember the first time I heard "Everything's Alright", it was fascinating, and even soothing to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vx8KpqTVCk

It's a swung 5/4 (3+2), you could call it 15/8, but it really is played as a swing tune with all those trappings.

I'm not saying that pop music needs to be like Tool, or clever, or even with tons of odd meters, etc. But it does seem a little sad that mainstream culture doesn't stretch much. Even film scores (which have more room to stretch) don't often go beyond the safety of 4/4 w/ 16ths. I've noticed that some music theater works will push boundaries in a satisfying way.

This ain't a fair, apples-to-apples comparision, but listen to tracks from Rent or Wicked, then listen to tracks from West Side Story or Sunday in the Park with George. Some people will have a strong preference for the former-- but if they listened to the latter more and more, I believe they would grow into it and develop a deeper appreciate of the marvelous craftsmanship and inspired artistry of those works.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby terrybritton » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:28 am

stubbsonic wrote:I wonder if we are "going through a phase" right now where the "diversity of content" is taking a back seat while technology and production refinements are being explored. More specifically, it seems like the current technology lends itself to producing one type of content over another.
<snip>


I am not sure what it was, but something you said in there reminded me of the old "Rolling Stones vs. The Beatles" debate, which went something like this:

"Who is better? The Rolling Stones or The Beatles?"

:mrgreen:

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Gravity Jim » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:44 am

stubbsonic wrote:I wonder if we are "going through a phase" right now where the "diversity of content" is taking a back seat while technology and production refinements are being explored. More specifically, it seems like the current technology lends itself to producing one type of content over another.


That's not a phase: it's what happens every time the tech changes. Orchestral music got more complex when somebody invented fiddle strings that could be intonated. Jazz changed when the Rhodes piano became available. Dance bands once needed fifteen horns to get a big sound with tons of overtones: an electric guitarist could do that by himself. The studio innovation that happened at Abbey Road in the 60s became the sound of the 80s. And now.... well, it's this.

When Marshall McLuhan pointed out that the medium is the message, he was (in part) talking about how technology changes information transfer, political systems, and so on. The tech changes the music. All the time, overtime, since forever.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby stubbsonic » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:31 pm

Gravity Jim wrote:That's not a phase: it's what happens every time the tech changes. Orchestral music got more complex when somebody invented fiddle strings that could be intonated. Jazz changed when the Rhodes piano became available. Dance bands once needed fifteen horns to get a big sound with tons of overtones: an electric guitarist could do that by himself. The studio innovation that happened at Abbey Road in the 60s became the sound of the 80s. And now.... well, it's this.

When Marshall McLuhan pointed out that the medium is the message, he was (in part) talking about how technology changes information transfer, political systems, and so on. The tech changes the music. All the time, overtime, since forever.


I get your point, but with some technological advances, the range of content expands and diversifies. But with the current technological focus, the range of content has contracted, weirdly, even the sonic palette seems more constricted.

Wonderful, beautiful and cool music is being made all over the place. The mainstream consciousness seems to amplify a certain narrow subset of what is out there.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby monkey man » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:50 pm

terrybritton wrote:It was a fantastic idea that should be resurrected for people regularly, methinks.
Try it yourselves - find something you like in each category on YouTube or somewhere every day for two weeks!

Day 1 - Favorite YouTube Musician or Band
Day 2 - Bollywood Music
Day 3 - Rock (Rock & Roll, Alternative, Heavy Metal, British Rock, Punk, Surf, Etc.)
Day 4 - Jazz (Blues, Folk, Ragtime, Big Band, Smooth, Classic, Etc.)
Day 5 - Favorite Childhood Song
Day 6 - Country Music
Day 7 - Latin Music (Bossa Nova, Samba, Merengue, Salsa, Etc.)
Day 8 - Broadway Musical or Song
Day 9 - 1970's Music
Day 10 - Classical Music (Symphony, Orchestra, or Opera)
Day 11 - Hip Hop or Rap
Day 12 - Hawaiian, Caribbean, Calypso or Reggae Music
Day 13 - 1980's Music
Day 14 - Your Favorite Song

You'll be glad you did it, I assure you...
Anyway, now back to our regularly sponsored thread. :)

Terry

Hey Terry! Hope you're well, mate.

I'd have included funk and fusion in that list; there's an awful-lot of variety of tone, rhythm and melody to be experienced there that most folks are never exposed to. Sure, the "Day 9 - 1970's Music" stipulation could conceivably have yielded some exposure, but an overall-'70s PooToob search can't compete with exploring the genre specifically IMHO .

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby terrybritton » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:17 am

monkey man wrote:
terrybritton wrote:It was a fantastic idea that should be resurrected for people regularly, methinks.
Try it yourselves - find something you like in each category on YouTube or somewhere every day for two weeks!

Day 1 - Favorite YouTube Musician or Band
Day 2 - Bollywood Music
Day 3 - Rock (Rock & Roll, Alternative, Heavy Metal, British Rock, Punk, Surf, Etc.)
Day 4 - Jazz (Blues, Folk, Ragtime, Big Band, Smooth, Classic, Etc.)
Day 5 - Favorite Childhood Song
Day 6 - Country Music
Day 7 - Latin Music (Bossa Nova, Samba, Merengue, Salsa, Etc.)
Day 8 - Broadway Musical or Song
Day 9 - 1970's Music
Day 10 - Classical Music (Symphony, Orchestra, or Opera)
Day 11 - Hip Hop or Rap
Day 12 - Hawaiian, Caribbean, Calypso or Reggae Music
Day 13 - 1980's Music
Day 14 - Your Favorite Song

You'll be glad you did it, I assure you...
Anyway, now back to our regularly sponsored thread. :)

Terry

Hey Terry! Hope you're well, mate.

I'd have included funk and fusion in that list; there's an awful-lot of variety of tone, rhythm and melody to be experienced there that most folks are never exposed to. Sure, the "Day 9 - 1970's Music" stipulation could conceivably have yielded some exposure, but an overall-'70s PooToob search can't compete with exploring the genre specifically IMHO .


I TOTALLY agree! :D

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