A Few Thoughts on Popular Music

I don’t pretend to know much about music. In fact, most debates about it confuse me. It seems like most arguments about why one artist sucks are only backed up by “because she sucks, that’s why!”

I think I can see a trend running through popular songs, though. Doesn’t it seem like break out hit songs have really clear, easy to understand vocals? Here’s what I mean. “The 10 Dumbest Ke$ha Lyrics” is an article that’s gone viral on buzzfeed. Would this article be funny without anyone knowing that she “brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack?”

High-pitched, well enunciated vocals seem to be the common thread here. You’ve got the same thing going with Eminem, Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, and especially the Beatles. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t at least have one Beatles chorus stuck in their head as they read this sentence? I’m not saying the high tenor is the key to musical success, but at least it’s part of the formula.

One thought on “A Few Thoughts on Popular Music

  1. Melissa Quinn

    I do prefer popular music that I can sing along with. Caveat — as long as the lyrics aren’t too repetitive. Most of Rhianna’s stuff is pretty awful, “Umbrella” being a particularly egregious offender. Can’t stand Beyonce’s “Halo” either. Ice pick, stabbity stab. Ah that’s better. Stopped listening to Mariah Carey years ago for this and other reasons. There are exceptions though, like Black Eyed Peas’ new album, The E.N.D. It’s got that repetitive thing going, but maybe because the vocals switch between 3-4 different performers, I can let it slide.

    The other pop music trend I can’t tolerate is “Look, Ma! I know 3 chords and I’m in a band!” which is closely followed by the “I have emo hair, and can’t carry a tune in a bucket.”

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