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    Pizza for everyone, every day

    Ok, here’s something I need to get off my chest. And I hope I can get some “amens” along the way.




    What’s wrong with pop music today?

    Is it just me getting old? Probably.




    But there’s also something else going on. It’s been seeping in ever so slowly, maybe going back as far as 2000.

    And it is what I would call a process of dumbing down.

    More precisely, the “same-ification” of verse and chorus.

    Now, there have always been songs where the chords of verses and choruses are the same. Think no further than Owner Of A Lonely Heart.

    But I think, it used to be an exception and now it is the rule.

    Take any hit chart you like, and check how many songs have identical chords on verse and chorus. I’d be surprised if it’s less than 90%.

    It’s worse when it comes to having a bridge in a song. That thing is virtually extinct. (OOALH had one) The most you can hope for is a breakdown, where almost everything drops out.

    But, you may say, there’s lots of songs with all kinds of things happening in them. Yes, but then we’re talking about arrangement, production, that kind of thing. I think that either subconsciously or consciously lots of effort goes into that to try and compensate for the loss of variety in the melody.




    Getting back to the title of the thread:

    We’ve gone from hamburgers, pasta, pizza, curry, and the occasional haute cuisine to nothing but pizzas for everyone every day. But with lots of different toppings!




    But what does this mean? Is there no hope? Are we doomed?




    No!
    1. There’s still half way decent songwriting and even good songwriting. You just have no chance of finding it in popular music anymore.
    2. From the mid fifties to the mid sixties you could hear little else than 12 bar blues based rock and roll and the also extremely formulaic doo wop and twist and all that stuff. But pop music got over it. Which eventually gave us Yes...

    #2
    The Golden Age of songwriting was the sixties with the Brill building giving us Bacharach, Hal David, Carole King and eventually even Steely Dan. Add the Beatles and the pop charts were filled with rolled gold classics. Watch Beato and the Professor of Rock detail all this on youtube.

    Rock did expand in the 70's and then contracted back to dance music and eventually dissolved in to hip hop.
    Now gaming takes the most Entertainment dollar, even live contests followed around the world. Bands are lucky to get on Auto Theft soundtrack.

    All the major pop artists today are people I know 1 or 2 songs of. None of them are culture revolutionaries. The naive hope of social justice led pop stars of the 80's has passed. Bono. Geldof. Are viewed as yesterday's men. The moment was squandered by corruption along the charity line.

    But all this may be just being an old fuddy duddy, bemused by articles in the Guardian about hot,new artists. Pop consumption seems fractured. Any song available. Niche markets. Diverse genres. Maybe that's a good thing.

    Then a pandemic crippled the concert scene. Hopefully in 22 we get back to normal living with an endemic. Just got booster (pfiser) so am staying sensible but determined to live my life.

    Comment


      #3
      I don't see that at all. Plenty of interesting popular music being created. I don't know about chart hits and the like. I've not looked at them since the early 1970s, but weren't they mostly reflecting the prevailing fashions of the day, or whatever got the most marketing anyway?

      If there was a 'Golden Age'of popular song-writing, it seems to me to have been the 1970s when it flourished and bloomed, though the seeds of it were planted in previous decades, and yes in blues, doo-wop, jazz, the folk-music revival and the rediscovery of songs going back hundreds of years, as well as Brill Building denizens churning out MOR stuff for crooners and vocal groups.

      That was certainly the way it was here in Britain, All of that, and the tradition of popular song-writing, is still very much with us. It just depends where your look and listen. It may not find its way into the confines of the mainstream, whatever that is; you might have to delve a little further into the fringes, off your own beaten track a little.


      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

      Comment


        #4
        ^
        my example of the guardian article about new music
        was that girl you listened to recently. The one who was recording in the Mojave, then Iceland then Wales.

        Did sound interesting. Psychadelic. Have I enough energy to pursue such music? BigBigTrain, DBA have all been new discoveries so perhaps I should.

        The stream that include this forum, Progears, Steve Hoffman seems to be guiding me nowadays.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Gilly Goodness View Post
          ^
          my example of the guardian article about new music
          was that girl you listened to recently. The one who was recording in the Mojave, then Iceland then Wales.

          Did sound interesting. Psychadelic. Have I enough energy to pursue such music? BigBigTrain, DBA have all been new discoveries so perhaps I should.

          The stream that include this forum, Progears, Steve Hoffman seems to be guiding me nowadays.
          Cate Le Bon. She's from Wales.
          I'm also liking Chrysta Bell (from Texas I think), who's collaborated with David Lynch on two albums, and put out two or three of her own. I'm a big Taylor Swift fan, brilliant songwriter. Janis Ian has just released a new album, which she says will be her final studio album. Friends of mine have a band, Mountaintop Junkshop, wrote and recorded an album of great songs. Radiohead offshoot Smile too. New Saint Etienne album last year, still trying new ways of doing it.
          I see nor hear no evidence that the craft of popular song-writing is in decline at all. As someone who's as likely to be listening to C19 lieder alongside Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, St Vincent, Billy Bragg, Jacques Brel, Françoise Hardy, Tom Waits, as well as Taylor Swift, I think popular song-writing is in rude health.

          PS: I've never eaten anything from MacDonalds or Burger King. Pizza is an occasional treat.

          Crysta Bell - Heaven (from the album We Dissolve)
          https://youtu.be/xQcKNEp89Js
          Last edited by Ash Armstrong; 01-31-2022, 03:35 PM.
          Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
          Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Gilly Goodness View Post
            The Golden Age of songwriting was the sixties with the Brill building giving us Bacharach, Hal David, Carole King and eventually even Steely Dan. Add the Beatles and the pop charts were filled with rolled gold classics. Watch Beato and the Professor of Rock detail all this on youtube.

            Rock did expand in the 70's and then contracted back to dance music and eventually dissolved in to hip hop.
            Now gaming takes the most Entertainment dollar, even live contests followed around the world. Bands are lucky to get on Auto Theft soundtrack.

            All the major pop artists today are people I know 1 or 2 songs of. None of them are culture revolutionaries. The naive hope of social justice led pop stars of the 80's has passed. Bono. Geldof. Are viewed as yesterday's men. The moment was squandered by corruption along the charity line.

            But all this may be just being an old fuddy duddy, bemused by
            articles in the Guardian about hot,new artists. Pop consumption seems fractured. Any song available. Niche markets. Diverse genres. Maybe that's a good thing.

            Then a pandemic crippled the concert scene. Hopefully in 22 we get back to normal living with an endemic. Just got booster (pfiser) so am staying sensible but determined to live my life.
            I've found that overall the Guardian is NOT a reliable barometer of trends, culture, history, or accurate reporting of current events. While there is usually an amount of truth in their articles, that amount varies wildly. When I read something from The Guardian that seems sensationalistic, doubtful, or ill-written, I'll usually look for another source.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by pianozach View Post

              I've found that overall the Guardian is NOT a reliable barometer of trends, culture, history, or accurate reporting of current events. While there is usually an amount of truth in their articles, that amount varies wildly. When I read something from The Guardian that seems sensationalistic, doubtful, or ill-written, I'll usually look for another source.
              Poor pet. Sensationalism? Hope your tender eyes never read The Daily Mail or The Daily Telegraph or The Sun or The NY Post.

              Comment


                #8
                Maybe more than anything else, my post reflects just how much I grew up on 70s and 80s hit radio. Although that’s never been my only source of music, it was a given for a long time. Let them eat cake or pizza. I’ll keep digging for truffles. As we all do around here.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Pop music is slippery, because it is the popular idiom, and therefore depends so heavily on context, historical and otherwise. What was popular for us, and our parents (if you're a Millennial) isn't the same now, it's so generational. Even though standards/American songbook type songs are coming back, if you were a teenager in the '70s you'd rather die than listen to that shite! And only some kids in the '70s were into music from the '50s even, although American Graffiti helped to revive it for a while, anyway.

                  I like that Pop music is formulaic but the formula always changes. Like, I've been getting into hyperpop more and more, especially now that SOPHIE is gone (because I'm still grieving for them), and I like the way it warps conventions, comments on them, sort of eats itself stylistically. It's catchy, but challenging.

                  The most successful Pop, to me, is something that can borrow or quote but also go beyond. These days I feel like I hear things that heavily quote other genres/eras for an almost-perfect recreation, but that's it. And it's fun but ultimately it's not satisfying. Then again, there has been some utterly beautiful Pop music created in the last decade. I think there will always be inventive people working in Pop music but not all of them will be rewarded in the same way as those working in the '60s and '70s, hence the homogenization - and the business is entirely to blame for that.
                  Last edited by luna65; 02-02-2022, 12:33 PM.
                  Rabin-esque
                  my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                  rabinesque.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                    Cate Le Bon. She's from Wales.
                    I'm also liking Chrysta Bell (from Texas I think), who's collaborated with David Lynch on two albums, and put out two or three of her own. I'm a big Taylor Swift fan, brilliant songwriter. Janis Ian has just released a new album, which she says will be her final studio album. Friends of mine have a band, Mountaintop Junkshop, wrote and recorded an album of great songs. Radiohead offshoot Smile too. New Saint Etienne album last year, still trying new ways of doing it.
                    I see nor hear no evidence that the craft of popular song-writing is in decline at all. As someone who's as likely to be listening to C19 lieder alongside Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, St Vincent, Billy Bragg, Jacques Brel, Françoise Hardy, Tom Waits, as well as Taylor Swift, I think popular song-writing is in rude health.

                    PS: I've never eaten anything from MacDonalds or Burger King. Pizza is an occasional treat.

                    Crysta Bell - Heaven (from the album We Dissolve)
                    https://youtu.be/xQcKNEp89Js
                    Oh. No. What. How. Why. 😳😟😳. 😉

                    No one should go through life without the perfect 2 Big Macs*, large fries, and a Chocolate Shake lunch!

                    *Feel free to substitute 2 Double Beef Whoppers with cheese. 👍👍

                    Note - when I say “no one”, i mean no disrespect to the Vegetarians. 😊. Although i don’t subscribe, full respect for your choice.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Gtkgasman View Post

                      Oh. No. What. How. Why. 😳😟😳. 😉

                      No one should go through life without the perfect 2 Big Macs*, large fries, and a Chocolate Shake lunch!

                      *Feel free to substitute 2 Double Beef Whoppers with cheese. 👍👍

                      Note - when I say “no one”, i mean no disrespect to the Vegetarians. 😊. Although i don’t subscribe, full respect for your choice.
                      I'm not, nor have I ever been, a vegetarian. I just don't like hamburgers.
                      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                        I'm not, nor have I ever been, a vegetarian. I just don't like hamburgers.
                        Gotcha - was just jokin 😁

                        To quote a famous steak sauce ad “it’s not chopped ham, its chopped steak!” 😆😆.

                        ......just being silly......again.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Gtkgasman View Post

                          Gotcha - was just jokin 😁

                          To quote a famous steak sauce ad “it’s not chopped ham, its chopped steak!” 😆😆.

                          ......just being silly......again.
                          I made the mistake this afternoon of buying a couple of vegetable samosas from a little wholefood shop in town. They used to be sooo good! Not been in for a long while, probably not since the pandemic, and I'd been told they weren't as good.
                          Understatement! Revolting: bland, stodgy, tasteless. I'm glad I'm not a vegan, nor even a vegetarian...
                          I brought them home to eat, and they made me feel quite queasy afterwards. Ugh 🤢
                          Such a pity. Put me off making anything to eat tonight, though I may have some chicken soup in a bit, for therapeutic purposes.
                          Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                          Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                          Comment

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