31 December 2020

Another Try at Pop Music

So now that Christmas is over, the Christmas songs (most of them anyway) have dropped out of Spoify's US Top 50. So I thought I would survey some of the songs.

Actually I wanted to listen to a portion of each song, but I don't have the stomach for it. Most of them are just awful.

Even when I like the singer, and they are not screaming at me, I have trouble getting through the songs. Take Taylor Swift for example. She apparently released an album recently because her songs are sprinkled around the top 50 like birdseed. She has a beautiful voice. The production quality is top notch. The songwriting is simpleminded. OK I haven't listened to them all, but the arrangements are thin (that is the way of Pop Music today), the chord changes are non existent, or nearly so. There is nothing interesting about the music, aside from her voice, and that is not enough.

I had to get all the way down to number 40 on the list to find a song I could actually say I liked. And it isn't great, but I don't hate it. It is a song by Ed Sheeran. I don't like most of his work, because he suffers - in most of the songs - from the same bland songwriting that seems to have taken over.

So I didn't get through all 50. Not even close. I did find some redeeming value, not very much as it turns out.

This song is "Afterglow" by Ed Sheeran. Currently it is only a single.

OK. There was a country song, "Forever After All" by Luke Combs, which I won't say I liked, but it was better written than most things in the tops 50. It was #31. It was marginally better songwriting, and the arrangement was better, but that isn't a stretch. And try as I might, I cannot warm up to Country & Western.

Here is a link to possibly the only Ed Sheeran song I actually like, "I See Fire." The best thing to come out of the Three Hobbit movies.

I hope everyone has a better 2021 than 2020 was for us. But I don't hold out much hope.

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