The music industry is always changing. Artists are constantly throwing different styles against the wall to see what sticks with the listeners. Usually, this sort of experimentation returns positive results – it’s something all artists have done during their career.
However, the pop music of this millennium seems to have taken another path. Ever since the rise of electronic dance music (read: ear-piercing noises probably made by corrupting audio files on computers), the standards seem to have lowered.
Gone are the days of Abba, when pop music was actually nice to listen to. Now, all the mainstream artists are experimenting with buttons and dials, producing songs that sound like the squeals of a live mouse being dissected by a five-year-old kid. Heck, even quasi-country girl Taylor Swift has had a go at it.
I’m not against the use of electronic equipment, such as synthesisers, to complement a melody; nor am I against the use of computers to recreate the sounds of real instruments. I’m just against the silly trend of creating noise and calling it “music”.
We’ve also been hearing too much auto-tune recently, even when the artist actually has a good voice. Take Ke$ha for instance, she’s a perfectly good singer who is capable of hitting all the notes. Yet, she (or her producer) decides to make a complete waste of her talent by shoving it into a machine. It comes out as a complete mess.
Most mainstream singers aren’t even singing when they are supposed to be performing “live”. Rather, they just play the track off their album and lip-sync to it. Can’t they even be bothered to pre-record another version so it would seem less obvious?
Then there’s dubstep, the genre which largely consists of noises produced by vacuum cleaners and blenders. Look at Skrillex, who appears to create his “music” by pushing a block of diamond through an industrial grinder. The genre is largely to blame for the change we have seen in pop.
Why must pop music go down this terrible path? Why must artists produce these horrible sounds? Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps it’s because I still live in the 1980s and drink Earl Grey on a daily basis.
Still, I believe that it’s all due to this pressure to create what’s popular, rather than what sounds pleasant. It causes artists to conform to the “new trend”. It’s a depressing downward spiral which none of us can put a stop to.