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“Today’s Music Sucks”

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“Today’s Music Sucks”

Does music today suck? If so, why? “Today’s music sucks” has become common rhetoric these days. But why do people feel this way? Is it because the music industry really has declined? Or is it just a nostalgic bias people feel for music from generations before. To answer the question bluntly, the answer is the latter, and here is why.

When people say “bad music” they usually mean industrial music. Now when I say “industrial” I don’t mean like construction, I mean music industries (Sony ATV, Universal, etc.),  but plural. For example, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, I would all consider industrial musicians. Now is it bad? Not necessarily. Of course what you enjoy is subjective to you, but these types of songs tend to lack emotion and are more focused on making profit. Now in my opinion, I have nothing wrong with that. There is always a time and place for things, and sometimes emotionless white noise can be satisfying enough.

You can make a (flawed) comparison like Nirvana to Calvin Harris as “proof” that music has gotten worse. But that’s like comparing apples to oranges. Like I said before, all music is not created equal. Someone’s motives for creating a song can drastically change the outcome of a song. And saying that today’s music sucks, would imply that there’s no more emotionally motivated artists left today, which I find absurd. To find good music you just have to look.

Social Networks and Medias are a large part of society today, and with that, finding less mainstream music can be obstructed by large advertisements, promoting those who can pay for it. You really can’t go to a record store or watch MTV to find new music anymore. Most industrial music is through advertisement. So as a result, the bigger names get the advertising spotlight more. The more you pay, the higher priority your advertisement, so it’s more likely to pop up for you on Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, or other platforms. A lot of smaller artists can’t keep up with the large musical icons (industrial musicians) in advertisement space, so their music is not readily available. That’s when you have to do a little digging. You could argue that the market is infatuated with fake artists, and all the readily available music is “bad.” But to that I would say that’s more of an advertising problem, and not the fault of the amount of true artists today.

In fact, the amount of musicians have not decreased or stayed neutral, but have increased by a mile. New forms of music, new genres, new kinds of people. In the past 5 years, new styles of music have started to take shape, such as  “Sample Music” which is basically taking sound bytes from other things in news and pop culture to create new songs. And being in the 21st century, people can share and distribute things like never before. With this, we’ve seen a resurgence in folk, underground hip-hop, and grunge-core to name a few.

When it comes down to it, I believe that no, music is not the same as it used to be. It’s better.  There’s still music that is the same, but that’s the beauty of it, it’s not the same as it used to be, because it is everything it used to be, old and new. Plus new styles coming out from artists everywhere, not just from California, or Tennessee or wherever else. We have the potential to hear ideas from people all over the world. Yes, subjectively you can get a lot of trash… but along with it there’s a lot more gold underneath, as long as you’re willing to do a little digging.

Justin Bieber was photographed by police while in custody on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach Florida.

Justin Bieber was photographed by police while in custody on January 23, 2014 in Miami Beach Florida.

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“Today’s Music Sucks”