What Happened to the Music Industry

Turn on the radio to any “Top 40” or country station and your ears will soon be bleeding with the dreck they regularly broadcast. (That is if the constant screaming about the virtues of debt peonage when you buy a NEW CAR from advertising doesn’t get to you first.)  If you think music today all sounds alike, that’s because it does.

Art has been completely divorced from music. Hits are now designed by a computer which draws up an algorithm based partly on what made a hit in the past, and partly on input from focus group lab rats. As reported in The Independent:

Predicting a No 1 song used to be a mug’s game. But today a team of data experts and computer geeks will generate a scientific model which promises to help EMI’s star acts craft the perfect hit.

Well…perfect for the bottom line, maybe. Artistically, it’s shit. The result is this:

The dumbing down of music represents another part of our culture which is being lost. Each of those 5 songs is exactly like the other song except for a few aesthetic changes. Tellingly, it also took a team of 6 “writers” and 4 “producers” to come up with Run the World (Girls.)

Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)
Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)
Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)
Girls, we run this motha (yeah!)
Girls!

Who run the world? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!

Who run this motha? Girls!
Who run this motha? Girls!
Who run this motha? Girls!
Who run this motha? Girls!

Who run the world? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!
Who run the world? Girls!

Some of them men think they freak this like we do
But no they don’t
Make your checks come at they neck
Disrespect us no they won’t

Boy don’t even try to take us
Boy this beat is crazy
This is how they made me
Houston, Texas baby
This goes out to all my girls
That’s in the club rocking the latest
Who will buy it for themselves and get more money later

Blah blah blah…Grrl power and I don’t need a man, and men are evil, etc. Other than the misandry inherent in that song, the lyrics only show low, grade-school level chanting in all its glory.

This is not just a subjective criticism. A 10-year study of popular music conducted by Seat Smart found the lyrics of the biggest hits have remained at a child’s vocabulary level over the past decade.

Well, this research is, if nothing else, great news for third graders. They may have a long way to go in terms of unlocking the deeper meanings of great literature, but hit music lyrics are right in their zone.

Did you miss that? Yes, I said third graders. Because only 2005 and 2006 would have given a reasonably competent third grader a tough time. Sure, we know hit music lyrics aren’t the peak of sophistication, but who knew the bar was this low?

The graphs of pop and hip hop vocabulary are fascinating. (Country and rock fared no better.) See the full article on lyric intelligence here.

The U.S. music industry also turns seemingly positive role models like Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) into grotesque parodies of themselves once they pick up the mic and become “artists.” All so they can break through the “clutter” or some banal excuse the industry uses to turn young women into sluts, while condemning the objectification of women. This industry has a pattern of objectifying women going all the way back to Britney Spears in her heyday, and even before that with Madonna. You really have to marvel at the duplicity, cognitive dissonance, and shamelessness of a music industry that does this to women.

Young women respond more to cultural messages than do young men, so what message do young girls receive psychologically when a wholesome Hannah later becomes a totally degenerate whore named Miley?

The music industry has morphed into an industry that looks for an image to fill a role, because any true musical talent is not really important in an industry that synthesizes music and auto-tunes the voices of their “artists.” When heard without this extensive synthesizing and post-production, the artists sound terrible, just as Ashlee Simpson did during her 15 minutes of fame at the Orange Bowl a few years back.

This degradation of music is happening because of the economic corruption of the music industry. Understandably, the music industry is a business and it wants hits. The problem comes when it sacrifices art in service of ever-increasing quarterly profits. There is literally NEVER enough money for a corporation. It treats musical roles the way a casting company would treat a Hollyweird role, it just wants a pretty face to throw up as the new musical posterboy or postergirl. Advancing the art or artistic integrity is never considered. In this way, the economic interest becomes a sort of cancer which cannibalizes the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg.

The antidote, I think, will come from the internet and the death of the centralized music industry model. Anybody can now record and upload a song. We as listeners just have to be willing to turn off the intravenous drip-drop of the sluts and idiots the big record companies shove in our faces and go looking for real talent.

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2 comments

  • I can think of a few reasons why popular music may be so bad.
    1. The main consumers are teenage girls (or younger). I have no evidence to support this contention. Some adult women seem to love this rubbish, too.
    2. It is pitched at the middle market, including 3rd world markets, which would be IQ 80 – 100 consumers. This can also help to explain the dumbing down and lack of dialogue in Hollywood movies. Still, I know some ostensibly intelligent people, mostly women, who like this music. I cannot explain their taste. Incidentally, I happen to know a woman who works in London for a company that writes pop songs. Some of them have reached the top 40. She is extremely intelligent and well renumerated for her efforts. She turned away from studying medicine to pursue this career. She is extremely musically talented herself and is trained in classical Indian singing. Puzzle that one out.
    3. It is a deliberate attempt to demoralize and destroy our culture. The problem with this theory is that the marketers and creators are still raking in the cash, which would seem too much of a coincidence. If this theory has any truth, look on the bright side. We have invented a weapon that could utterly destroy any civilization that dared challenge us – if only we could wield it!

    Like

    • Relampago Furioso

      In general, I think it’s a combination of those factors, and of course Cultural Marxism. Good observations.

      Like

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