This past week I’ve been rolling through my week and listening to music (pretty much every week for me) and a song came on and you could obviously tell that auto-tune was the main base for the entire song. 3 plus minutes of an automated voice messaging system being disguised as a song. Now, the music industry is ever changing and labels are always looking for the next best thing. But I wonder, who decided that turning everyone in robots was a good thing?

This got me to thinking about just how much music has changed over the past 30 years or so. I mean, we can obviously go back past that, but I’ve only been on earth about that long. I lived through the major boy band phase (and yes, I think I MIGHT have to hit up that New Kids, 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men concert). On the church side, I lived through the powerhouse choir stage. I remember growing up in church during that time when choir rehearsal was the main event of the week and it was a workout. You were tired when that was all over with.

I remember what quality music meant back then and I wonder sometimes how we got from there to auto-tune. How we got from a group of guys or girls like Dru Hill and SWV to people singing their own backing tracks for everything. Do we not even trust other people as musicians anymore? I can’t even begin to know why I’m asking all these questions today other than this is what was going through my head this morning as I sat down to type. Could it be that we don’t have as many true musical minds as we used to have? Could it be that there aren’t as many people who understand the theory behind music? Or is it simply just the changing of the times?

Sometimes I sit around and can’t believe the changes that have happened since I was little and started falling in love with music. But with this large of a sample size you can really look at how we got here. It’s an interesting musical study. I can only wonder where music will be 30 years from now. At 32 I already find myself saying things like, “What is this mess they are playing on the radio now?” and “You call this music? [Insert group here] used to make REAL music!”. I shudder at the thought of what I might sound like 20 or 30 years from now.

What are your thoughts on the changes in music over the years? And don’t act like you don’t have any, because musical preference is one of the most personal things we have today.

 

  1. Ryan Said,

    I very much empathize with you on this. Pop music is a wasteland right now. It’s more of a product than an art form – and I really fear how much worse it will be in 30 years…

    However, when I think about it, I am actually surprised by how much music has STOPPED evolving. Well, pop music, that is. Think of the difference between pop music in the 60s compared to the 70s. Or pop music from the 70s compared to the 80s. Or the 80s to the 90s. Those were major stylistic shifts.

    But not any more.

    Yeah, there are differences now from ten or fifteen years ago, but no where near as many as there used to be. Honestly, pop music hasn’t changed that much. It’s stopped changing. Take autotune. Yeah, the overuse of autotune has changed music, but Cher’s “Believe” came out in 1998. That’s fifteen years ago!

    The music industry has stopped changing because it’s found its magic formula. Like McDonald’s burgers or Michael Bay films, why change the formula it when it can be easily mass produced and sold in droves? Who cares if it’s no good – it makes money! The relatively few people who don’t drink Bud Light will keep the indie beers in business, but they are not “our customers”.

    The only thing that actually has changed in the music industry in the past 15 years, is how fast they are willing to move on to a new face. It took Madona 20 years to become too tame, and then they found Britney. It took Brittney about 10 years, and they found Gaga. After about a year Gaga became too tame and they found Ke$ha and Manaj. So they replace their products faster, and they push the envelope faster – but really, the formula isn’t changing. And neither is the music because even though the performers change, it’s still the same writers.

    But why should the music change when it’s not even about the music anymore!!? The “music” is an after thought. The costumes, the dance moves, the persona – the show is far more important than the music.

    Now, of course, I’m only talking about pop music. Look deeper and you’ll find hip-hop, alt-country, “indie rock” and other genres that have all continued to evolve in the “independent” circles. In fact, music in these circles is thriving because these are musicians who love music, all types of music, and are willing to experiment and take risks…and most importantly, make music with passion. Here music is evolving and new sounds are coming out – and it is very good. These are no mere performers, these are the artists.

    But the “industry”, well that has stopped changing. It has it’s product, and it just puts on a new label every couple years. But really, it’s all just Bud Light – watered down, mass produced and taken as self-medication to get you to stop thinking about your problems.

  2. worship180 Said,

    I LOVE that you just compared Pop music to Bud Light. You may have made my month. I agree with you that. I would venture to say that some hip-hop has gone ridiculously gross as well. But again, a lot of that is so ‘pop’ as well. I just listened to a song by 2 Chainz a couple nights ago and couldn’t believe that someone let him make that song. It was stupid. I love this post. Next time I’m gonna let you guest post because this comment is a great post all by itself.

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