My co-worker in the cubicle next me listens to music all day. Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue. I can tolerate most genres. I listen to everything. I love The Bee Gees. I will argue for hours over the validity of The Monkees. My iTunes even includes Tiny Tim’s “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” so I am more than qualified to judge bad music.
The problem is, she listens to terrestrial radio; a dance music station to be exact. And, not the cool, indie, electronic or disco dance music; this is modern rap and pop music.
All I hear all day long is Rihanna, Beyoncé, DMX and Taylor Swift. One day, over an eight hour workday, I heard “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift FOUR times. If I never hear Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” ever again; I’ve still heard it too many times.
As I type this, Blank Space has once again come up on the rotation.
Ahhhhhhhh! I can’t take it anymore!!!!! Someone make it STOP!
I don’t begrudge anyone their musical tastes but today’s popular music doesn’t even try to be good. It relies on repetitiveness, not quality. If you repeat a song enough, people become conditioned to like it. “Well, if they play it so many times then it must be good.” (Yes, those words were actually said to me.) Yeah…not always.
A few days ago I grabbed Pearl Jam’s Ten to play on my commute. I hadn’t listened to it in close to 10 years. By time I got to the middle of Black, I was like a 25 year old, curled up in her bed, in the dark, after a break up, listening to it on repeat. From the opening note, the despair seeps through the speakers and sucker punches you. You’re hit with raw, visceral emotion. You feel the heartbreak and regret and the realization that it could easily be yours.
That’s what I want. I want to be sucker punched. I want to feel the honesty, pain and raw passion coming through my speakers. I don’t feel that in today’s music.
I want integrity and truth. Popular music is lacking in both. I don’t hear it with Maroon 5, Rihanna or Fall Out Boy. Nickelback offends me with their mediocrity.
As long as the masses are content with that mediocrity, that’s exactly what they will get.
The major labels don’t get it. Pirating isn’t what is killing them. They’re causing their own demise by regurgitating the same old garbage. It’s the reason more and more people are gravitating towards internet and satellite radio. They offer more choices.
And, I don’t hate pop music. I’m a huge Sarah McLachlan fan. I like Linkin Park. I actually own some Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
I’m not saying there isn’t a place for modern pop music. There is. Just not in the cubicle next to me.