THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

‘Cause all the music you loved at sixteen, you’ll grow out of’

“Music today is way worse than it used to be. I only listen to music from the 70s and 80s because that’s real music.”

Though this statement seems exaggerated, most people have heard it in some form or another. The general social consensus is that current music—in any genre—is worse than and inferior to music from past decades, most often 40-50 years ago. 

However, recent songs aren’t as boring as we make them out to be. Sure, the four-chord pop loop that dominated the 2000s is formulaic, but it’s no different from popular music structures of other decades. 12-bar blues, which has one chord less than a four-chord loop, is a classic style that’s been around for a century. A repetitive song structure is an easy way for artists to engage the audience and make their work catchy—though many people label it as “boring,” music would be even less popular without it.

Unfortunately for opponents of the songs of today, people’s music tastes tend to solidify in their teens. That means we’ll all be stuck listening to the same music being released right now well into the future.

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“[T]he music streaming service Spotify gave me data on how frequently every song is listened to by men and women of each particular age,” said Seth Stephens-Davidowitz for The New York Times. He organized several very popular songs (like “Creep” by Radiohead and “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison) by age group and discovered that “the majority of us, when we are grown men and women, predictably stick with the music that captured us in the earliest phase of our adolescence.”

The widespread use of streaming platforms has made music a larger part of our identity than previous generations. This universal availability gives people an exponentially larger volume of music to choose from, also helping artists reach a much larger audience. Your music taste is tailored exactly to you. 

Recently released music isn’t as terrible as we make it out to be. It’s on par with the quality of music released decades ago. As a society, we need to stop gatekeeping music tastes and instead appreciate the infinite library of music we now have access to and enjoy it for the rest of our lives.

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About the Contributor
Hannah Wobrock, Head Copy Editor
Hannah Wobrock is a senior and the current Head Copy Editor of The Smoke Signal. This is her first year in journalism and she's super excited about it! She is an active member of Hart Show Choir through Sound Vibrations, the acapella group Hartbeat and the program's student leadership team. When she's not attending various rehearsals or completing copious amounts of homework, Wobrock enjoys writing and arranging music, knitting and educating herself on a range of subjects - from Victorian fashion trends to organic chemistry.
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