4 years ago5,000+ Views
I just found an article written by Tom Barnes of Music Mic that actually had me laughing out loud. He focused on the top songs on Spotify for 2014 and remarked that our taste in mainstream music has gone from bad to worse. The top track of the year went to Iggy Azalea's Fancy which you can't say you didn't sing along to at least once! Barnes, however, questioned the nation's sanity when it comes to hip hop. "This was the fourth single released from Azalea's New Classic album. All of her previous tries flopped because none of them were good. "Fancy" was also not good." Okay, okay so the lyrics were horrible and the beat was a rip off of an actually good song a few years ago, but at least we react to a good hook, right? Wrong. What we're consuming is not what I would call music, but hits. The lyrics and beats are made specifically to be catchy a viral-able, not to make any real statements or changes to the music industry or social landscape. They're just radio noise. I'm not denying that this song is catchy and fun to sing along to, but to call it music? That's a whole-nother argument. Then we move on to the most streamed artist, and its one of the most controversial mainstream rappers of the hour - Eminem. Who, according to Barnes, "hasn't released a good album since 2002 and yet continues to make headlines for threatening women and just generally being a horrible person." He doesn't even waste his words on Eminem, and I can't say I really blame him. But he does leave us with something to think about. With Spotify opening up the world of music and letting you listen to nearly everything under the sun (except for Taylor Swift) we need to take advantage and start listening to some real music. "There are some incredible artists — many of them on Spotify — making some groundbreaking music. But they're being drowned out by all of the noise. The only way good artists will survive in this climate is if American listeners start supporting musicians with real artistic integrity. That's the only way we'll ever see change in the top-down, status quo system currently governing the industry."
@MyNameIsSimeon I think my problem with music and musicians today is that we don't separate the music from the performer. Take Madonna. She's a great performer (great singer? thats another story) but not a musician. There has been a strong case against iggy for using ghost writers, so again I'd call her a great performer, not a great musician. We can even go back to Frank Sinatra! He was a great interpreter, a fantastic performer, but can we call him a musician for singing songs that he never touched a note of in writing? I find artists that write and play every note of their music much more inspiring than people who interpret it, but you're right, who am I to define music :) I appreciate your 'book length' comment haha music is very near and dear to me too^^
First of all let me apologize for writing a book in your comment section. This, music that is, is a topic which is very close to my heart and very fascinating to me. I'm a little bit leery about deciding what is music and what isn't but what I can say is that I agree with the fact that we are consuming catchy music as opposed to music that was struggled over and applied some deep artistic process to birth it. Even with that I'm not quite sure I am correct because I don't know what Iggy Azalea went through to write her songs, all I know is that in the end a lot of people enjoyed it. I think it's safe to say that we have moved to a part of musical history what talent it's not something that is found only in the artist other songwriting but also in the producer because we have more artistic avenues for people to express themselves and you don't necessarily need to be a great singer or a great rapper or even a great songwriting to make a hit song. Perhaps we need to look at music as a multifaceted art form which expands farther than just genre now. A lot of real work goes into a song, let alone an album. With technology being as crazy as it is these days pat it is change music for ever making the artist less important and other parts of the process perhaps need to get more attention . It used to be that an artist had to have amazing musical ability but now they really don't need it. With auto tune and other producers secret weapons any one of us could become a hit. And we can't leave out the fact that we sell an image more so than we sell music these days as well. We can't be sure but I would bet that if Iggy Azalea were a person of color, her reception might be different. I honestly think she has talent and is beautiful, and she's settled in a niche she's found for a white, GOOD, female rapper. Can't blame her. What I don't want to do is become those old people who say that music died in my day. Perhaps we need to look at music differently because of the times change people change and what we look for is totally different than what we used to look for. Some things, like the content of our music, is disheartening as we see it reflect our culture and then our culture reflect our music, glorifying the ugly. Other things might just take us deeper into the journey of music to ask why it exists, can it be bad if someone likes it, and other questions. We have come a long way from banging sticks and Gregorian chants. We go farther still.
This is so true!!! I started listening to Kpop because you actually have to be talented to do it haha. Many of their pop artists in Asia can SING THEIR ASS OFF without any tuning or mixing. The problem over there though is that the labels are WAY greedier than over in western music and there have been a lot of lawsuits for unfair treatment in the past year. But nonetheless the artists are AMAZING!!!
I wonder how much they made and how much it was compared to their other revenue sources
great points! I could do this for hours!
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