This article has been updated on January 18th 2023
The following video summarizes my thoughts contained in the article below:
Now, on to the article itself…
Here’s a popular video on YouTube that discusses the quality of today’s music compared to that of decades past:
The video cites a 2012 study by the Spanish National Research Council that concluded that modern music seems to be getting worse every year. Specifically, the researchers took 500,000 recordings of all genres of music between 1955 – 2010. They ran every single song through a complex set of algorithms. These algorithms measured three distinct metrics: (1) timbral diversity; (2) harmonic complexity; and (3) loudness. Here’s what they found:
- Over the past few decades, the timbre of music has dropped drastically. “Timbre” is the texture, colour, and quality of the sounds within the music being listened to. Timbre variety peaked in the 1960s and has since been steadily declining. Songs increasingly have less variety in their instrumentation and recording techniques. Instead of experimenting with different instrumentation and recording techniques, the vast majority of pop music today use the same instrumentation: a keyboard, a drum machine, a sampler and computer software. Consequently, all modern pop music sounds the same.
- Since the 1960s, the melodies, rhythms and vocals of songs have increasingly sounded similar to one another, with many modern pop songs using the exact same sequence of notes in a given key: from the 5th note to the 3rd and back to the 5th. That is, music has become less harmonically complex. Why? Because this is a familiar musical sequence that music listeners are comfortable with.
- For the past 20 years, music producers have been intentionally making songs louder by using compression effects in the studio. Compression is the process of boosting the quietest parts of a song so that they match the loudest parts, thus reducing the dynamic range or “distance” between the loudest and quietest parts. The effect of this application is to make the entire song sound louder, no matter how loudly the listener sets the volume. This is done to make a song “stand out” among a pack of similar sounding songs – i.e., for competitive purposes. The trade-off is that compression reduces the timbral quality of the song.
Moreover, the video makes some additional observations:
- The lyrical quality of songs has gotten worse over the past 10 years – lyrics have become more mundane and simplified.
- Because technology allows music fans to have access to so many songs, today’s pop songs are laden with hooks that appear in a song as soon as possible in order to keep the listener listening, otherwise, he or she will skip to the next song.
- The timbral, harmonic and dynamic homogenization of today’s pop music (as described above) is a result of risk aversion on the part of the music industry. Because it takes so much money to invest in developing new musical talent (many of whom are discovered on talent shows such as America’s Got Talent or X-Factor), record labels want to bet on a sure thing by taking no artistic risks.
- The music listening public has been “brainwashed” into liking this music because it’s being played everywhere – on the radio, in shopping malls, on the internet, in films, and on television shows. The video’s narrator describes this as the “Mere-Exposure Effect” which is “a psychological phenomenon by which people develop a preference for things they see and hear often“. More specifically, our brain releases dopamine when we hear a song that we’ve heard a few times before, and the effect gets stronger with each listen.
I pretty much agree with all the observations made in this video. However, the question that doesn’t get answered in this video is “why is this happening“?
Why has music become so intentionally awful during the past two decades? What changed between the end of the 20th century (i.e., the 1990s, which in my opinion was the last great decade for music) and the beginning of the 21st century?
It Started With Napster
Napster came into existence in 1999 as a peer-to-peer file sharing network developed by brothers Shawn and John Fanning and Sean Parker (who went on to become the first president of Facebook). Registration for a Napster account was free and users had access to free audio files that could be shared with other Napster members. At the height of Napster’s popularity, approximately 80 million users were registered on its network.
Napster was eventually shut down as a result of a lawsuit filed against it by the Recording Industry Association of America for the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. However, the genie was out of the bottle – millions of people didn’t want to pay for music anymore when they could just download it for free off the Internet.
A Broken Recording Industry
During the first decade of the 21st century, the recording industry was seemingly in its death throes – between 1999 and 2010, U.S. music sales plummeted by 50%, from $14.6 billion to $6.3 billion in 2009. It was only with Apple’s introduction of the iPod and iTunes in 2003 that people started paying for music again. However, Apple took a hefty cut of approximately 30% of each sale on its iTunes platform, leaving less revenue for record companies that sold songs through Apple.
As we head toward the end of the second decade in the 21st century, the music industry as a whole is doing well – it generated $43 billion in revenue during 2017, with $20 billion of it generated from online streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music as well as live music. However, of that $20 billion, record labels took home only $10 billion, with musicians taking home only $5.1 billion.
Why do I emphasis only $10 billion? Isn’t that a lot of money?
Let’s do some math – in 1999, the recording industry took home $14.6 billion. After adjusting for inflation, that would be the equivalent of $21.4 billion in 2017. As stated in the previous paragraph, record labels only took home $10 billion in 2017. So in real terms, the revenue of the recording industry was cut by half between 1999 and 2017. Why? Because today you need to sell your music online and the owners of these online platforms take huge cuts from sales of music. Using Apple Music and Spotify as examples, here’s how these companies make money off artists’ music:
In the popular digital realm, a $9.99 download on a program like iTunes nets artists a modest 94 cents — less than a 10% cut. The record company takes $5.35 and Apple keeps the remaining $3.70.
Spotify has been accused repeatedly of failing to compensate artists fairly. Bands such as The Black Keys, Radiohead and Talking Heads have all criticized the service for underpaying artists, especially independent musicians.
The streaming service revealed in 2013 that it only paid record labels on average a fraction of a penny per play (somewhere between $0.006 and $0.0084) – and that’s just the money going to labels, not the artists who receive even less.
From a business standpoint, if your revenue drops by 50%, you’d need to reduce costs by 50% to maintain the same level of profitability. So where did the recording industry cut its costs?
Exit the A&R Executive – my coffee with Ted
Some years ago, I met a former A&R executive who I’ll call “Ted” (not his real name) through some mutual acquaintances. I say “former” because Ted had just been laid off by his employer, Universal Music Canada here in Toronto, Canada. He was planning to relocate to the United States and work with his brother selling used cars in Texas. Selling used cars after being an A&R exec at an international record label was obviously not his ideal career move, but he had to find some way to survive.
He seemed like a good guy, so I invited him out for coffee to discuss the state of the recording industry and the crappy music it was pumping out. Regarding the crappy music, Ted explained to me that this was because in order to cut costs, the record labels got rid of all the A&R execs who were the defacto “ears” and gatekeepers at the record labels. He felt that this was a short-sighted cost-cutting measure because a good A&R exec acted as a filter against the hack musicians and as a scout for the rare artist with real talent. He pointed out to me the direct correlation between the layoffs of A&R execs and the deteriorating quality of music being produced by the recording industry. That is, according to Ted, without the A&R execs, the hack musicians have infiltrated the record labels.
So, what is an “A&R exec” (Artist & Repertoire executive)? It’s a really cool job in which said person is charged with:
…finding new acts for record labels, signing them to contracts, and then supervising their artistic development. They oversee the recording process, including the selection of producers, songs and singles, and liaise between artist and label. Thus, these largely anonymous gatekeepers have quietly influenced the soundtracks of our lives.
As Ted described to me over coffee, the few remaining A&R executives have become risk averse and less willing to take on promising talent because:
“I think these days A&R execs at major labels are scared to put their life on the line and sign new artists for fear that if a new artist’s CD doesn’t sell a million units, that could be the end of their job…”
So is it any wonder that the music industry keeps pumping out safe but crappy music?
There’s still great music being made
If you’re a lover of good music, there’s still plenty being made out there today – you just have to know where to find it. Here’s a nifty article over at Lifehacker that provides a list and description of useful websites that will enable you to find the music you’ll love. Good luck! 🙂
Did you enjoy this article? Then you’ll absolutely love these:
Fake It Until You Make It – A Guide For Aspiring Popstars (2021 Edition)
Why It’s Hard to Get Your Song on a Spotify Playlist
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Wonderful article. Why has music become so intentionally awful during the past two decades? What changed between the end of the 20th century (i.e., the 1990s, which in my opinion was the last great decade for music) and the beginning of the 21st century? The short answer is why everything that used to have a modicum of quality now in the toilet: a monopoly on the music industry. Billionaires have shit taste in music.
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Yogi, I’m hoping this is a temporary phase. Hopefully the record labels and even the artists themselves can create their own mechanism for delivering their music to listener and bypass Apple, Spotify, etc so they can keep more money for themselves and invest it in finding real artistic talent.
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I sure hope so. I was listening to a 70s, 80s mix with the likes of CCR, Billy Idol, The Stones, and the Doors. All of those were considered mainstream during their day, but they sounded so much better than “Havanananana.” Lyrics were original and thought provoking (All we are is dust in the wind). Avant garde bands of the 80s like Pixies, Kraftwerk and Violent Femmes (just a few bands off the top of my head) would not have the same audience today as they did then. Our instagram culture has limited our attention and imaginations. Just and old guy rant for what its worth.
Stereo, if it’s a “temporary” thing, it’s the most permanent ‘temporary’ thing ever to happen (30 years and counting) with the de-hairing of men’s bodies about the second and death of films soon to be the 3rd! Society can’t change it can only stagnant more or stay the same so everything will. The only thing changing is the worsening quality of the world we live in.
Cultural decline is ugly and there is no cure. Our 21 st century is fraught with mayhem and decline from mass shootings to environmental collapse to pandemics to bad music. We as a civilization (or barbarism) are in steady decline and the final outcome is extinction.
John (the plumber) to Paul (the cab driver) – “have you finished the lyrics to that song ‘Yesterday’ yet? Paul responds “No, I just haven’t had time this week and can’t get together tonight as I am working late.” John then says “I had this wonderful idea to add orchestral strings to that song and asked a guy called George Martin to score those strings for us but he wants $5000 to do that.” Paul says “who is going to pay those string players to record their parts?” Then George the guitarist says “And how are we going to get all those guys up in my bedroom?” John says “Well, maybe we just use another drum loop on that song and leave off the strings” …….
Yes, you are right. Modern music lacks quality because nowadays musicians just want to become famous overnight. They do not have formal training in music. Sadly there are many who don’t understand good quality music and they support these untalented musicians.
no youre wrong because people have been saying “todays music is trash” since the beggining of time
You are right. Modern music is awful because they are made by musicians who are just interested to become famous overnight. They are not focused to create quality music.
Great article. I’d recommend getting a better singer for your music though.
Well Ron, if I could find a great singer that’s easy to work with (i.e., no ego and reliable) I would. But unfortunately they’re hard to come by. So I’m stuck singing my own songs for the time being 😊
I think you sound great. I have focused on vocal training but to me you have an interesting voice. The Highwaymen haven’t got perfect singing technique. Hasn’t stopped them being huge. Good songs and good songwriting. You have it nailed.
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Thanks John 🙏🙏🙏
The repeating of familiar music for the purpose of popularity and increased sales you refer to mirrors the political environment here in the States, and perhaps elsewhere too. The politicians and their media shills make up lies and repeat them over and over until people believe them. The lies become familiar and comfortable – just like the crappy music. This technique was developed and perfected in the Hitler regime by Joseph Goebbels, his minister of propaganda, in the 1930s and 1940s.
Used this for an essay, good work! I really think that this page is one of a kind
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You used this for an essay?! I am truly honoured sir! 😊
The 90s the last great decade for music? LOOL! Alright buddy, I’d rather go by legends like George Michael and Prince who said music of the 90s sucked.
The 80s were the last great decade for music. But I recently found out you’re a young’un so your age plays a huge role to this.
So Nirvana and other bands during their creative peak in the 1990s such as, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and Guns N Roses all sucked? And I’m sorry, 1980s music for the most part sucked – most of the music of that era sounded completely fake and processed…
I’ll wait for the Metallica response (because anyone who was actually alive then would tell you their peak were in the 80s).
But like Prince said, the 60s, 70s and 80s were the golden era. Shame you weren’t there to live it
Did you just include Metallica when discussing the 90s? That let alone tells me you simply know nothing at all young little millennial. Metallica’s peak were in the 80s. Shall I name the album’s they released during the 80s which are highly acclaimed as some of their greatest work ever? The 80s were their creative peak. Ah yes grunge the same era that tried to recreate 70s rock era didn’t even last
80s sucked as a whole? So explain why pop music, rap and r&b music were sampling a lot of 80s music? I’m of a certain age to have seen it all. Remember that.
Michael, whether Metallica were at their creative peak in the 1980s or early 1990s is a matter of opinion. Regardless, the Black Album was Metallica’s breakthrough into the mainstream. So one can reasonably argue that they were at their peak (at least commercially if not artistically) in the early 1990s.
Stuff like isn’t an opinion when their fans and critics have cited the 80s being their peak. Breakthrough commercially doesn’t equate to artistry. It just means they were going to be bigger in mainstream… Same thing can be applied to Queen, the 70s were their peak between 73-76 but their 80s stuff sucked (even Brian May felt their output in the 80s were bad).
But like Prince said 60s-80s were the golden era of music (you can hate on the 80s all you want) but it was better than what’s been happening in the last 26 years
Another “modern music is garbage” article, only this time with some spurious “evidence” that modern music is shit. If algorithms are so good at telling if music is great or not, why don’t record distributors perform the same analysis? Because measuring “timbrality” has fuck all to do with whether a song is good or not.
Before you blame Napster for ruining the music industry, bare in mind that a lot of people listened to the radio because they had no other choice if they were moving around. Portable TVs and video players stopped sucking balls at about the same time as Napster came along, so people started exploring other avenues than just listening to music while they travel, watching a DVD on a laptop was really becoming practical at the same time and is a much nicer way to pass the time than listening to the few CDs you could afford over and over again. Music was facing competition and losing almost every time in the portable entertainment game.
Then there’s the fact that most songs are forgettable, and are therefore forgotten, we only remember the songs that we like or that really annoy us, which means that remembering what music was like in the 80’s we only tend to remember the highlights, and forget the lows.
“Hey Mickey, you’re so fine! You’re so fine you blow my mind Hey Mickey!”
“I can’t stop this feeling, deep inside of me… OOGA CHUCKA”
“It’s a nice-a day, hey! whadda you got to say? Ah shuddup a you face!”
“Wake me up! Before you gogo, don’t leave me hanging on like a yoyo”
and who can forget the wonders of “the Birdie song” by “the Tweets”
All of the above are examples of shockingly shit music from the 1980’s. Don’t try to tell me it was some fucking golden era of musical creativity, I was there.
Most music has always been shit, it takes a rare talent to create really good music and if anything those people have better access to equipment and audiences than they have ever had, You’re just getting your music from mediums that are dead or dying, YouTube and Spotify are full of amazing music, but as always it’s awash in a sea of shite made by people who should have either known better or never been given time in a studio.
Thanks for your thoughtful and well written comment Steve – cheers 🍻
Jesus Christ. First off, this comment section is full of a bunch of filthy entitlement and music elitism that it almost makes me want to throw up. So let me break down some of the main important points. While the research in there seems to point out statistical changes in different songs from the eras, the main goal of the article is that it wants to prove that modern music is bad, but there are plenty of the things the researchers are doing horrifically wrong here. Let me break it down.
First off, you have to define what “good music” is. Because what it seems like this article is is that they want to define good music as music that has: harmonic complexity, complex melodies, drastic chord changes, great and creative hooks, and pretty much most of the other types of norms found in classical music. Sure, it’s cool to have these norms, as I am a classical musician myself, but those aren’t norms that make pop music great. Not every pop music song has to have the exact same qualities as older music or as music that is supposed to be harmonically complex. To judge music by its value is a subjective thing. And many of these is these things are subjective. There are many genres that have complexity and there are others that don’t. It doesn’t mean one is better than another, it just means that people are subject to different tastes. Even though there are things I wish would come back, the material that I have listened to and judged for myself are normally what I would do as a constructive criticism. I praise great things that I find but I also criticize and analyze things that I don’t feel like are that great to me and make suggestions. Basically what this entire article just does is that it tries to crap on modern music by just listing that “good music” has to have these qualities, modern music drastically decreased many of these things, and whatnot.
Second, to prove that modern music isn’t great is also a subjective thing. This isn’t a scientific experiment that everyone should agree with. Sure, it makes factual points by analyzing the differences between popular music from 1955 to today, but what the article and video should have done is use it as a “differences in popular music from 1955 to today,” and not use it as proof to shame modern music and people’s tastes. Because that’s what this article and the video is doing. And honestly, it’s the worst kind of musical elitism. It’s trying to use scientific data with certain rulesets, list the differences between them, and ultimately use them as an excuse to prove modern music is bad without taking into consideration with other subjective factors. Thus, the research done here is only a moderate attempt at trying to sound genuine, but there is a lot of loopholes here. It’s not taking into consideration that music tastes exist, there are many videos of popular artists performing well in the studio without effects, and while there are some artists that do not have much musical talent or training, they instantly deem them as bad and untalented people. People have to realize many artists didn’t have proper music training. Johnny Cash, Big Mama Thornton, and many famous jazz singers like Louis Armstrong. Yet, people don’t tend to shame them. And they are genuinely well-liked and artists and musicians that have shown different musical talent. And while there are many who don’t have musical talent, if you listen to songs from that artist, it doesn’t undermine your music taste. Because as said, music is subjective. The only objective things about it are the talent of an artist musically and in performance, and the observable musical qualities in songs (melody, harmony, effects, production, vocals, etc.).
The industry is starting to get bad? It’s always been that way. It’s not like it magically is growing bad over time. It has always been bad, since it’s main goal is to make money and there are many stories back then of the music industry doing the same problems today, as well as artists getting manipulated by their labels, and women back then not getting much opportunities in a male-dominated industry.
To conclude, while this article has copious research that I can honestly observe and be open-minded about, this article and song only made a fruitful attempt to be genuine and trying to prove and deem modern music bad, instead only proving surface-level observations in songs, trying to make a basis on what “good music” is, not taking into consideration of the other subjective and other musical qualities of music, and other things. Yes, there have been many bad ventures that labels and artists did in music, but it has done it all the time in history. It doesn’t mean one era is better than another. It just means other people are more prone to those tastes. It doesn’t help that the comments reek of musical elitism, only trying to claim that one era is an actual “golden” era, stupidly shaming younger generations for not living through it, harassing other people’s music tastes just for liking modern music, and treating opinions like facts. Unfortunately, both the article and video are trying to do just that, which is selfish and unprofessional. While it is your opinion in the end, it is very unacceptable to judge other people’s opinions and their musical tastes, as well as music from another era. I will conclude with this mindful quote:
“If you like the music and genuinely enjoy it, then it is good music.”
– Louis Armstrong
Oh, here we go with “Good music is defined by the listener horse dung”. Which is why the tripe that has been playing for the last 25 years won’t be heard in 25 years while classical music, the Beatles and Miles Davis will still get regular air play. Already happening. When was the last time you heard anything on the radio from singers of the Top Ten of 15 years ago? All forgetable.
Couldn’t have said better myself. Nice you included the Louis Armstrong quote, he was awesome.
I’ll validate your feelings, and put in a word or two about these abusive people accusing you of stupidity and rigidity. It is impossible that everyone who feels this way, “simply grew up and no longer loves new music! Kuh! Duh!”
That’s simply untrue; obviously on a biological level, children are quite impressionable to ingesting new rhythms due to lack of experience and autonomy. For others to sit here and scoff all musical tastes away as being a lack of understanding, or a Pavlovian childhood mind-trick, however, is extremely reductionist with zero scientific basis. I’ve read arguments about how “everyone has been saying new music sucks since the beginning of time!” If you are so narrow to put point A to point B and then leap to conclusions about point Z, then – yes – all music is “simply the result of mental programming”.
But, in truth, it isn’t. Our appreciations are not universally driven by nostalgia.
If something is thought provoking and musically beautiful, it is possible for people of all ages to appreciate this; this doesn’t even require a scientific accompaniment and yet I feel violently defensive simply uttering these words, because the topic is profuse with hateful people quick to attack anyone who might suggest that there is any such concept as “devolution in corporatization of commercial tastes”. You mean to tell us, that it is simply impossible for corporate capitalists to devolve in their musical tastes, or to veer off course? Anything they say goes, and all trends or music they put out are divinely orchestrated, of upmost quality, equitable to all decades, and are nothing more than a mere summons to divide generations or to push others into “learning to like something they otherwise hate”?
So, if somebody hates the musical trends or collection of artists being shoved in their faces by forces outside their control, they must be too old, whiny, and ignorant? This is your scientifically tested, failproof logic and reasoning? Well, show me your thesis and we’ll see just how “sound” your proof is. Otherwise you will not be taken with even so much as a grain of salt, let alone an ounce of seriousness.
How do I know music isn’t just a Pavlovian mind-trick or niche luxury of the “musically appreciative”, apart from the preposterousness of the assumption or claim? Because I’ve listened to all genres of music my entire life, and there was specifically a moment when music stopped being interesting to me … around the age of 12. I’m sorry, but does that make me too old to comment? Did I age out at the age of 12? I guess all musical tastes are conditioned by 12, you guys; so if anything is released after that age, you must be an old disgusting loser who needs to shut his mouth and get out of the music scene. It’s time to come out of the “old man” closet. Unless you’re a prepubescent child, you may not comment on the validity of music; your education is nothing but clever utterances of hot air professing to be wise.
Only 12 year olds get to decide what is cool, or real. Or maybe there’s just something wrong with me. I must have been so traumatized or got hit in the head. I can see the arguments rolling in now:
• Music is only for niche appreciation
• Only prepubescent children can determine what’s hot and happening
• If you got hit in the head or had trauma, you don’t know music
• You’re annoying and whiny
• You’re probably a narcissist fishing for attention by attacking music
Well, those arguments are clearly the most scientific and fail-proof arguments I have ever read, so case-closed.
Let Me Tell You The Reality:
Napster did change the music scene; there were also laws passed around 1996 like the Telecommunications Act which allowed monopolies to takeover the radio. Radio became digitized, also, online.
Instantly overnight, Disney began determining our musical tastes; it was no longer about having a great sound or inspiring people, but rather appealing to strange appetites like sex with an image of wholesomeness. While these tricks had been employed by various artists throughout the last century, it was never to this extent.
Somehow Britney Spears, Aguilera, and Timberlake among other Disney stars began dominating the airwaves. They tookover MTV and we were told this was “organic”, and by request. Even at the age of 12, I could see this was pure fiction being passed off as a new form of reality we couldn’t shake away like a bad daydream. They’d film girls and guys screaming to hear former Disney stars, requesting songs written by teams of writers with highly-sexualized practical children pushing poppy smut not worth listening to let alone watching their music videos.
It never stopped, either; other genres of music continued to present varying artists of high caliber, but these genres also began to be replaced by “triple threats” handpicked by corporations to fit the new era of “temptation dribble” being continually spun out.
Lyrics degenerated; barely legal adults were clearly puppets for creeps. Britney Spears dressing like a slutty school girl, bragging about breaking your heart while sheeple were too incapable of comprehending the messaging. And that’s just it; there are people who are incapable of analyzing music. They’ll take whatever is “popular” and latch onto it. If something is popular, they will assume that by proxy they too know what is good and may, in their ignorance, fight to the death about this theory.
Anyone with half a brain of critical reasoning could see that music had no longer become about sound, but rather about Internet sensations, popularity, narratives (often artificially generated by teams of executives and paid-for, rather than generated naturally through public opinion), image, sex appeal, shock value, and dance.
And so slowly over the next several decades, other genres had become zombies of their former selves; dance music made a comeback and tookover the radio. I don’t mind it because I do think the 2010s was, by far, one of the greatest decades of music. The simplicity and appeal to dance is something I do appreciate.
The 2000s were terrible, though, except for a few songs here and there and some niche genres or bands. The latter half of the 1990s were rigidly devoured by corporations, cleverly claiming they were not puppeteering to the extent that they were.
People are shocked that Britney Spears is “breaking free” and claiming she was a puppet all along … Are you kidding me? I saw it from day one. Maybe not to the extent in her private life, but the music was most definitely not something she wrote and sang from her heart; it was designed to destroy, and to appeal to carnal temptations and desires to reach a wider audience of children (who would grow to lack musical tastes, many of them).
Now the kids who grew up on Disney’s takeover of the mainstream are deciding “what is good”. Some of the newer artists like Selena Gomez had some great hits, but she is now spitting out strange Hispanic tunes which are very clearly not about the lyrical needs of America anymore, or melodies; I’m sure she’s wonderful and others love her music, but a racy Spanish beat isn’t going to emotionally move us with evocative melodies and musical accompaniments, let alone elaborate English lyricism (which it isn’t). So it is, many of the stars the “Disney music generation” have loved, are no longer even creating music for Americans. This influences their musical preferences, as well; we have uneducated audiences growing up on Britney Spears who literally just sued the pants off her dad and said she was essentially a media sex slave from childhood … And yet, the demons who puppeteered her … Do you think the music they wrote and forced her to sing and dance to will ever be erased?
No, it won’t.
There is some level of Pavlovian nostalgia for many people, but for those of us who think critically and feel with our heart, we’re waiting for the demons who puppeteered the Mickey Mouse Club’s influences to go away, the secondary influences to vanish, and for their followers to turn around and realize what really happened. It’s not enough to cry for Britney — you need to throw away her old CDs, and start asking yourself why Selena Gomez, who has moved on from American culture (and for good reason), is still influencing your tastes. Do you speak Spanish? Then why is her Español music trending in America?
Maybe I’m past the age of 12 and I’m “too old and gross and evil to realize how important Disney child sex-icons and Spanish songs I can’t translate/understand are”.
There’s many problems with music today; the people claiming all music is Pavlovian are projecting. They’re inadvertently tattling on themselves; they’re obsessed with the music-slave generation and can’t realize how Disney has devoured and destroyed countless mediums (quite intentionally, may I add), including music. It’s disgusting what this corporation has done to society. Go look at the extents they’ve gone to control everything, as well; they are absolutely influencing the flow of commerce, advertising, and cultural recognition (and they’ve programmed many people’s musical tastes).
This corporate structure has expanded too; almost all mainstream musicians today are now funded by the very kids who were too blind to recognize how Disney was brainwashing them (and it happened; I was one of the lucky ones). Other mainstream musicians are selling their souls to corporations who are working hand-in-hand with Disney, or are just as evil. The options have dwindled.
Many of the Disney artists are so angry at the exploitation of their childhoods that they’re pumping out scattered and confused, rebellious music that isn’t necessarily good, either. Sometimes it’s a banger, other times not.
Anyone who can look at Britney Spears and see that she was a child slave of gross corporations, then not correlate the rest of the slaves and the pigs pulling the strings to the fallout of musical liberation and tastes over the last several decades … Is living in a great delusion. How you can mend the gap in your mind is beyond me, and must take a great deal of mental gymnastics or simply a lack of critical-thinking skills in general. One of the two. Yes, music can devolve when money gets involved and big-tech.
It happened, it’s happening, and no people are not “too old after the age of 12”. There’s great music out there but it’s getting worse; we are still watching the catastrophic consequences of the Disney monopoly, along with the crazed fanbase of children whose parents told them that Disney stars were “all good and wholesome” because they thought Disney = family-values. How Britney Spears in a skimpy school-girl skirt singing about “oops I did it again, I played with your heart” followed by the degeneracy of lyricism across the board, launched several generations of kids whose parents allowed them to listen to this garbage is beyond me.
And, yes; somehow there is something more wholesome about Nirvana singing “Rape Me” just a few years earlier than what happened to Britney Spears. No, I did not become old overnight. Something happened; Disney has grossly used its trillions of dollars to change laws to its advantage multiple times, including changing the statutes on public-domains to “protect their cartoon characters”.
They prostituted children out; you all ate it up like candy, and now you wanna cry about her being abused but you don’t want to take responsibility for funding it and calling the entire pantheon of labels and handlers, including the music they paid these child stars to create (who were trapped in contracts), out for what they’re doing. People don’t want to take into account that the problem goes bigger than Mickey Mouse; they’ve destroyed and attacked good music as a standard: Lyricism, emotions, timbre.
What a disgrace, and good riddance to anyone who wants to rage about child predators, yet still want to keep the CDs & culture funded and hand-selected by creeps. You get what you paid for, including your own blissful ignorance which will hopefully end in you falling into a pit so the rest of us can get on with life and hopefully weed out this vile, useless trash polluting the culture. We want emotion, soul, authenticity, lyricism — and dare I say — timbre, back.
Brainwashed an entire generati
Gen X and millennials will rant that it’s a generational thing but lack of timbre is a great reason why rap and hip hop have been bottom shelf quality for decades.