I heard someone from the music business saying they are no longer looking for talent, they want people with a certain look and a willingness to cooperate.
– Joni Mitchell
Change, evolution, and even revolution have been core elements in the development of popular music since its birth in the mid 1950s.
- The 1950s gave us rock ’n’ roll.
- The 60s gave us rock, psychedelic rock, flower power, and soul music.
- The 70s gave us disco, punk, funk, and heavy metal.
- The 80s gave us pop, modern rock, electronic music, and hip hop.
- The 90s gave us grunge, indie music, alternative rock, and britpop.
The 2000s and 2010s gave us NOTHING.
At least nothing valuable, and this trend continues until today:
The 2000s were for the most part, nondescript, as pop music fragmented into smaller trends. Unlike many past decades, the 2000s did not see the creation or emergence of many styles. – Wikipedia
In other words:
Since the 1990s, all artistic innovation is gone. There have been no new genres, no new styles, no real revolutions.
Just incremental updates, or even downgrades if you want. The 2000s and 2010s will be remembered for pitch correction, iTunes, YouTube, streaming, talent shows, as well as for the lack of meaningful and relevant artists, albums and songs.
Two public opinion polls listed the 2000s as the least favored tune decade of the last 50 years. Surprisingly, even the youth (18-24 year olds) seems to prefer pre-2000s music.
The main reasons for this seem to be obvious though:
- The most important problem is the lack of really great and outstanding records (albums and songs).
- There are no more artists that really make a difference.
From the 1950s to the 1990s, tons of great and innovative artists brought us new ideas and created new genres. Of course the music industry also supported new genres and trends, but it always required an artist to create something innovative and new, or to push things onto new levels or even to the limits, and thus to kick off revolutions. It seems that the music industry is no longer willing to support revolutionary artists, and those who wish to get signed or to get some support by their record company will have to strictly follow predefined trends, which are all irrelevant.
It is no longer allowed to go against the rules, while breaking the rules led to all great innovations in the past.
And the most shocking fact is that even the very few new good artists no longer seem to challenge the music industry. They seem to simply accept the situation and they seem to feel just fine, pleasing the masses while being imprisoned in the cage the music industry built for them.
Today’s music has become an irrelevant mass-compatible product.
Artists should challenge the current state, but that’s not what the music industry wants. Record labels don’t want artists with brains, as such artists will only attract a quite limited part of society. They want mass-compatible products, and they don’t want artists who can only be linked to some smaller subgenre or niche anymore. That's quite a stupid plan, as those have always been the ones who thrived innovation. Of course this phenomenon already existed a long time ago, and real artists have always just been a niche phenomenon, but the problem today is that almost all music belongs into the mainstream category, while mainstream is a low quality domain.
Music just isn’t lovable or desirable anymore, and nowadays nobody wouldn’t die just to get that latest new record.
There have been lines in front of Apple stores to get the latest iPhones during the past few years, but nobody really goes crazy after the latest albums.
In the mid 2000s a retro trend emerged, and a few new female artists rose to fame, such as Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey, and Adele. As mentioned a few times already, it’s quite interesting to see that their music has been very successful, and Adele’s album 21 has even been the most successful female album since 1985.
But the few acceptable (but not even innovative or revolutionary) trends are going under in the masses of easy and cheap to produce electronic, pitch corrected music that’s being produced for kids and retards.
Today’s charts are being filled with music created by Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, Headhunterz, Wildstylez, Da Tweekaz, Years & Years, Clean Bandit, Major Lazer, Chvrches, Knife Party, Avicii, Max Martin, Alesso, Owl City, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Eric Prydz, ShockOne, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, David Guetta, Lights, Avicii, and many, many similar producers and entertainers. It’s a simple continuation of the low end pop and dance music trend we saw in the late 1980s and in the 1990s already.
But those are exactly the kind of entertainers the music industry likes, as their actions are highly predictable, and they won’t cause any trouble. They entertain, and they bring in enough money to keep the machine rollin’. They’re no crazy artists, they’re pure entertainers and businessmen, whose primary focus is to make money, to be popular among the masses, and thus to make it into the charts. The music those people are doing may sound modern, hip, cool, or dope on the surface, but that’s an illusion.
In the end today’s music is all CONSERVATIVE.
It is conservative, even if it appears to be “cool” and “modern” on the surface, because it’s mass-compatible music that strictly follows rules and trends, and thus prevents any real innovation or revolution.