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Old 12-13-2020, 03:11 PM   #871 (permalink)
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That's a bit contradictory. There's the opportunity to publish "truly" creative music, but artists are more likely to be discovered if they have reference points for listeners to discover them by. The modern music industry might drive creativity but I think it favours creative reworkings of familiar ideas (100 Gecs and Dorian Electra come to mind) as opposed to the avant-garde fringes of creativity. Many artists are working to get on a major playlist since it's one of the only ways to realistically get paid with streaming and these playlists often promote genre uniformity as opposed to the standouts. This isn't totally new but it does seem to be steepening.
Well you can think of it in terms of evolution vs. revolution. Most of the time when I'm looking for something new I'm looking for a new take on genres and musical styles I already listen to and understand. So I'm looking for the next evolution in that formula. And I think a lot of bands are trying to stand out in the genre but within certain identifiable constraints. Then there are the times I'm looking for something totally new and avant garde, for something revolutionarily different. And I think that is obviously more risky for an artist, and has always been. But I feel like there is more creativity overall today, even if perhaps there are fewer revolutions.

I agree with you that a lot of new ideas are just reworkings of familiar ideas but I think that is in part because there is only so much you can do with a guitar or synth or drum machine. There are only so many effects pedals you can combine to get a unique sound, or vocal effects or whatever. And as time goes on it's just harder to do something different that no one's thought of or heard before. There are only so many permutations possible with those tools. So I think that leads to more diversity within genres as musicians put their spin on them rather than creating something totally revolutionary.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:01 AM   #872 (permalink)
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Default Do you think that music should have a purpose other than just entertainment nowadays?

Notably, with the amount of music out there and the number of hits that are getting global recognition - less and less music these days is handling hard topics but rather all about fun, sex and teener topics.

The top charts that were filled by pink floyd in the 70s, ozzy in the 80s, nirvana in the 90s are now more about just fun.

What do you think?
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:10 AM   #873 (permalink)
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I reckon on a very basic and simplistic level you have two types of music: the first being what you might call, not meaning to be unkind, wallpaper music, that is, music you just listen to for the tune, beat, melody or to dance to, and don't pay or have to pay or are expected to pay much attention to the lyric. Your average dance or pop tune (though not by any means all of them) would probably fall into this category, as would a lot of disco music from the seventies, much of which was just concerned with getting people out on the dance floor and telling them in the lyric to have a good time.

Then there is the more "serious" music, with deeper, more meaningful lyrics and a message to impart. You get this in everything from punk to prog and metal to new wave. Most songwriters, if not just writing to a formula to get into the charts and make money, like to write lyrics that make people think. They have something to say, and they want to say it. This sort of music can be enjoyed on a deeper level, the kind of thing where people listen to and even learn the lyrics and perhaps then contemplate what they're about. In general, I would think, this is more the music than can move you emotionally - positively or negatively - and which may mean more to you.

Both types of music are fine, but I prefer music that has something to say. Of course it should entertain, or at least be listenable - that's probably the primary goal of music, from classical on down - but personally I believe it should also have something more in the lyric than ooh baby i love you etc.
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:03 AM   #874 (permalink)
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You are totally correct but the question here is

why do you think the "music to entertain" that is just without any message and basically very similar to its predecessor staying in the charts when "serious" music is not climbing the charts as often anymore while in previous decades it was the other way around?

Is the world becoming more tired? more robotic? dumber? or just a coincidence hehe?
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:15 AM   #875 (permalink)
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radio used to be the only show in town so some "serious" artists worked pretty hard to get on there and change the medium and larger culture

now I don't even know who radio is for other than the lowest common denominator still looking to be told what to listen to
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:46 AM   #876 (permalink)
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You are totally correct but the question here is

why do you think the "music to entertain" that is just without any message and basically very similar to its predecessor staying in the charts when "serious" music is not climbing the charts as often anymore while in previous decades it was the other way around?

Is the world becoming more tired? more robotic? dumber? or just a coincidence hehe?
Here's a couple thoughts, just my opinion of course.

There's more music now at the fingertips of the largest music listening demographic (young people) than there ever was before. Couple this with the medium in which much of the conversation/sharing of the music takes place (social media), and artists have to do perhaps more than they used to in terms of maintaining attention.

The average attention span of young people is becoming shorter and shorter, hence why probably most young people don't hear a song they like and immediately think "I have to figure out what album that is from and buy it and listen to the whole thing!". Instead, they simply add it to their spotify playlist. One way to combat short attention spans is with immediate and rewarding hooks. For young people, if you don't give them that quick dopamine hit, they'll look elsewhere for it. Why do you think forums like this one are dying off while a site like Twitter is growing bigger and bigger?

Another thought - when it comes to "messages in music". Messages of social and political import are everywhere these days, from corporate guidelines to mass media marketing to those *******s you grew up with in high school on your social media feed - everyone and their grandma today has a "message" - perhaps many young people tire of this and look towards music as an avenue where they can relax, have a good time, and not worry about the broader context of society and culture for a brief time?

That's not to say that music with a message is no longer being created and produced - it still is and it's still popular.



But, like with the song above, you need to have something more than just a message to be popular - it needs to be stylized, it needs to be catchy, it needs to be unique and perhaps a bit flashy. Sympathy for the Devil won't cut it anymore. Without having something to differentiate yourself in a meaningful/political song, you're apt to be lost and ignored as a sea of catchy songs like this eclipse you:



Disclaimer: I wouldn't group any of the young people here into my descriptions above and not all young people are like this. But as a young person, with many young people I've met, these descriptions tend to have truth to them.

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now I don't even know who radio is for other than the lowest common denominator still looking to be told what to listen to
I think satellite radio (e.g. SiriusXM) is stil still pretty popular. But yeah, terrestrial radio is basically moot. I suppose down-on-their-luck autobody/woodshop owners might still use them. And maybe soccer moms too, listening to Good Morning America on their morning commute.

Last edited by SoundgardenRocks; 03-04-2021 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:13 AM   #877 (permalink)
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Fun, dancing, general joy of life are valuable messages too. Reflecting on the evils of the world is just boring ass misanthropy if you can't appreciate what's under attack.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:15 AM   #878 (permalink)
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Fun and joy of life are valuable messages too. Reflecting on the evils of the world is just boring ass misanthropy if you can't appreciate what under attack.
Very true - it doesn't all have to be hedonism and nihilism. Not everyone needs to be Elliott Smith and Bob Dylan.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:26 PM   #879 (permalink)
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"Sympathy for the Devil" never cut it.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:39 PM   #880 (permalink)
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"Sympathy for the Devil" never cut it.
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