Hi there. Here are some thoughts I thought and then wrote down.
I recently watched a countdown of current popular songs on MTV and it left me thinking about the pop music industry.
It seems that the main problem with it is that it is an industry — run by large corporations for profit, rather than for love of music. But at the same time, you can’t dismiss all pop artists for that fact; most of them no doubt have a lot of passion for their music and put a lot of effort into it.
Of course, you’ve got artists like Usher, whose every song is as vapidly unoriginal as the last, but even so, I don’t think I could believe that he is only making music for fame and fortune.
(Note that I don’t mean any offence to Usher fans; he’s just one of many good examples of bland, generic pop music — a fact that even his staunchest supporters must surely agree with on some level.
Also, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with bland, generic pop music. It’s great as background music in a supermarket or on the radio at low volume when you’re not listening… Hell, there are plenty of bland, generic pop songs which I like. There are also artists whose every song sounds the same whom I like.)
(And yeah, I just enclosed two paragraphs within one set of parentheses. Whatever; I’m hardcore like that.)
But that’s not the point I was getting to at all; it’s just a glimpse at the rather excessive amount of time I’ve spent (wasted?) thinking about all of this.
The point I was getting to was this: the pop music industry runs like any other entertainment industry; you’ve got your franchises (popular artists) which the record companies know will make them big money — they put a lot of money into getting as much radio time as they can for those franchises to keep them strong.
But just ‘cos it’s a franchise, doesn’t make it bad. Taylor Swift is a franchise; I still like her music. (Whatever; I can be a teenybopper if I like. I’m hardcore like that.) Owl City songs all sound pretty similar, but I still love them (and I’ll never apologise for it).
I guess what I’m trying to say is that pop music isn’t bad by virtue of being pop. A lot of it is boring, some of it outright rubbish, but amongst all that, there are always some gems.
So, at the end of all that, I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is that rather than be mad that most pop songs suck, I should be happy that some of them don’t. Maybe I should even be happy that so many of them do suck. Music is very personal and every song I think sucks is probably someone else’s favourite thing ever. Hell, in some crazy twisted alternate universe, maybe I’d even like Nicki Minaj. (All possible offence intended to fans of Nicki Minaj; she is just awful.)
– Ben xoxo