Editorial: Think Global & Listen Local Blog By Rob K.

“Is pop music too complex? Music’s deviation from its natural progression (Part 1)”
Today, on the Think Global & Listen Local Blog, I want to discuss the increasing complexity of pop music. The first installment of a multiple-part expose that will highlight “the deviation from the natural progress of pop.” In today section, I will layout the hypothesis for my argument but first a little back-story to why I am writing this.
Our group of friends, Mike and I were always looking for “a quick way to get rich and famous.” We tried several times, and very unsuccessfully, to produce a “hit” song, but we always believed that pop music was evolving to a simple formula:
Hot Beat + Catchy Hook = Hit Song (see: A Bay Bay, Laffy Taffy, Nirvana’s Teen Spirit and anything by Mike Jones)
If you noticed, nowhere in the “hit song equation” were the words LYRICS! Because, they are a very small factor in developing a commercially successful hit song – almost to the point of being a non-factor.
Quick Pop Quiz – Name three songs that you can sing all the lyrics too without looking them up?
(insert Jeopardy music)
I bet most of you can’t do it!
After, a painstaking about of data collection at local bars (though more than slightly inebriated), radio and cable music channels– we found a less shocking trend:
“Big Music Companies want their music to sound and look similar to the hottest trends in their genre (see: the boy band era of the 1990s; and the rise of “hairbands” in the 1980s; Rockstar influenced Hip Hop of the mid-2000s)”
I know life-altering conclusion, right? Well it leads to the hypothesis of the expose:
Sometime in the early- to mid-2000s, Music deviated from a natural course of specific genres that saw few “significant musical crossover” to pop music that is regularly being produced using elements and styles from drastically opposing musical genres.
Now that you have the Hypothesis, what do you think? Feel free to comment!
In next week’s installment, I will discuss the difference between “major and minor” musical crossovers.

One comment

This is definitely true for cookie cutter pop BUT, it always takes one person in a genre to redefine it’s future. When Lady Gaga hit the scene, her style (heavily based on lyrics and original content) was different. Taylor Swift came from out of nowhere and started a stream of a million 18 year old country girls trying to make it big. Katy Perry also helped redefine pop music. My question to you is, what do you think happens behind the scenes at the record labels that allow something new to hit the airwaves and eventually the shelves?

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