Popular music has never made too much sense to me. I have been told more times than I can count that my music is weird, or that I have eclectic tastes in regards to what I fill my ears with.
I have chosen to ignore these claims based on one simple thought: I rather enjoy what I listen to.
I am a fan of pop punk, ska, and oldies. Those are the primary genres that I listen to. I could add a few more that you’ve probably never heard of, like nerdcore hip-hop for example. I will listen to almost anything except music that I consider shallow and lacking real substance in the lyrics or music. Though I am known to enjoy something silly every now and again.
Though I may not be a fan of popular music, I am aware of the trends that have begun to take over the music scene. Dubstep has become a popular genre, especially in advertising these days. You hear it in most trailers and all Microsoft commercials. It has a powerful beat to draw people’s attention to the screen, and so it works.
Electronic beeps and boops have never seemed to have the musical acuity that music with lyrics have. Telling a story set to music has always been the bar to which my music has been judged, and repeating the same line over and over again has seemed to be deemed ok, as long as the song sounds good while you’re on ecstasy.
Or maybe the new musical trend is just catchy beats.
Just take a look at Gangnam Style, a pop culture phenomenon. How many people actually knew what the song was about the first time their friend showed them the video on YouTube?
It’s probably not the highest number. The music was poppy, the lyrics flowed and became easy to imitate. It took over for a bit there, rocketing Psy to the highest heights before slowly depositing him back to his life making music that Koreans love.
I have to admit, even I find the music catchy, and the video is silly enough to justify its existence and popularity. I liked the video for the first few times I watched it, but as it became ingrained in everything I did, I began to grow tired of hearing people struggle to sing the lyrics to a song they can’t understand.
It’s easy to write me into the simple role of a hater, just someone who just dislikes things because they’re popular. That may be true, but that’s not the only reason I happen to dislike the new trends in music.
The music has no meaning. It has no heart.
I want my music to tell a story. Whether it is about love and loss, or maybe a struggle with depression and self-realization, music is supposed to show what is happening inside the artist when they wrote the song. It’s not supposed to be about how great it is to shop at a thrift store.
Who knows, maybe I’m just jaded, too old and bitter to enjoy this music. I think I’ll just have to go back and stick with some old fashioned music, like Blink 182 or Reel Big Fish. The music I grew up with.
Maybe I don’t like it because it doesn’t speak to me like the music I do enjoy. But I guess it’s speaking to someone or else it wouldn’t be so popular.
It doesn’t mean I have to like it.