Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your music sucks.

But so does mine.

I walked into work today (or yesterday, I can't remember; every day is more or less the same anyway), and the radio was playing.  I didn't recognise the tune.  I didn't like it.  And I felt all smug and superior about how top 40 pop music these days is all focus-grouped and over-processed, collaborative, derivative garbage.

In short, I was my dad.  Or your dad.  Or any grumpy old bastard lamenting the decline of Western Civilisation.  There has never been a Golden Age, people.  There were no Good Old Days.  They just sucked differently.

And let's be honest.  Today's top 40 radio pop does suck.  But so did my top 40 radio pop.  And so did your top 40 radio pop.  So does all top 40 radio pop.

It's all (with notable exceptions that I'm sure would populate my comment thread if anyone actually read this, and having read it, commented) designed to sell. Engineered to get into your head.  Written, not to express some deep philosophical point, a moving and compelling argument, or a fundamental truth, but to move records/tapes/discs/downloads.

It's called the music industry for a reason.

It isn't the failure to recognise this that makes us feel so superior.  We know that the music industry is a money machine, designed to take ours and redistribute it to promoters, managers, producers, and occasionally writers and performers.  But what we seem to think is that it's much worse than it used to be. That it's more commercial.  That what we had was somehow purer.  As were our cartoons, our video games, or comic books, and movies.  But it seems to me that lamenting quality of modern pop music while rhapsodising about the Monkees or waxing poetic about Whitney Houston or Heavy D disingenuous at best, and more probably somewhat severe cognitive dissonance.

So, yeah, the music that was playing when I walked into work today (or yesterday), did suck, and it was interchangeable with virtually all other pop music being produced today, and it's not surprising that Beyoncé sounds like Kelly Clarkson, or that Niki Minaj and Lady Gaga (happy birthday, by the way) seem to spend more time on image than writing.

It has always been this way.  Take it from a guy who owned Kris Kross's album.


  1. Nooooooo. You owned Kriss Kross? Lol. There are definite skeletons in my musical closet, for instance, I know ALL THE WORDS to Jump Around by House of Pain and am kinda proud of that fact.


  2. I also know all the words to Jump Around. They are not comparable. Kriss Kross sucked, while Everlast was pretty awesome.