26 January 2022

New Music Sucks - That Seems to be the Consensus

At least based on how much people listen to it. And if you only listen to "Popular Music." Is Old Music Killing New Music? - The Atlantic. And so we have a non-music-based musical interlude.

I listen to a lot of New Music, that most people have never heard of, sadly. But then most people only listen to the 100 or so songs that were popular when they were in high school. Everything else is trash. Any technique or style or genre that wasn't popular when they were in high school is ridiculous. Almost by definition. It is why Oldies Stations are one of the few types of radio still surviving. They are fossilized in 1970, or 1980, or whenever they were in high school.

That said, a lot of new music is trash. It is because of how the music industry has devolved.

Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm.

The problem isn't just the new music, it's that people expect to find music today, the way the found music 30 years ago. I listen to exactly 1 radio station, and it is several hundred miles away from where I live, because my local radio stations suck. The radio station I listen to is WXRT from Chicago. And because FM can't compete with the fidelity of a high-quality stream from someplace like Spotify or Pandora or Amazon or YouTube Music or wherever. And there are a lot of choices besides the big names, like Napster and more. And then my entire CD collection has been ripped to FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files, some of which are always downloaded to my phone, for playing in the car.

There are various anecdotes on the status of new music. and a few data-backed observations like the one above.

One of the anecdotes is about what happened when the Grammy Awards were postponed recently. What happened? Nothing. But then who cares? Rick Beato had a video - I will leave you to find it - on the songs nominated for a Grammy this year. For the most part they are forgettable, a few are aggressively awful. No one cares.

For myself, I have thought that the Grammy Awards were meaningless from the time, many years ago when Jethro Tull won an award for best Metal/Hard Rock song or performance. Jethro Tull was neither Metal nor Hard Rock. But that didn't stop the music industry from proving that they were clueless. But then I think most awards shows whether Grammy Awards or Oscars have become meaningless.

This article has inspired a couple of videos from musicians. I think they are both good, but then I love music, new or old, as long as it is good.

Rhett Shull has a video on this article from the point of view of a working musician. Old Music Is Killing New Music (why it's a GOOD thing). The video is about 15 minutes long. Managable with a cup of coffee, or something stronger.

Rhett mentions an album he was involved with, that was recorded in a more old-school way, instead of the over-processed way most new music is created. It's country, but it doesn't sound like traditional country, really. You can find that album at the following link: Blue Wall by Noah Guthrie.

Rick Beato also has a video on this article. Why Old Music is Killing New Music. This video is more like 30 minutes.

Remember, not all of the music that needs to be written has been written.


  1. Thanks for writing what I have been saying and thinking for several years. I actually played music in a rock band, back in the early 90's. We played everything from 50's, all the way up to the 80's, with just a couple of modern things, along with a few country songs that were popular in places like bars and at weddings, etc. I played mostly saxophones, and a bit of guitar and vocals.
    The reason that people say that music was better in the 70's was better is that it WAS better in the 70's. Ok, maybe not completely fair, but pretty close. The way that music is made now, is a damn site different than the way it was made back then. Now, you have a band that has a good sound, and some really good tunes, that they have spent a year or two coming up with, and built a following, and a record company signs them, and boom, their songs and their sound goes out the widow, and the company takes over everything, and remakes them into the mold where they are guaranteed to make money from the moment they hit the road on the first tour.
    No more putting out an album and touring to make the sales of the album build up. The recording company doesn't risk any money on a new group, with the possibility of maybe making their money back. They only want to invest their money on guaranteed return on their investment. If the wanted anything else, the could just invest in the stock market. I suspect that a lot of them have no real love for music, but to them it is just another way to make money.
    So when you see an artist like a Taylor Swift, who while she is not my cup of tea, is talented, they all want to bring out any artist who they can make sound and look just like her, and suddenly the next 5 or so new singers out are clones of Taylor Swift.
    Then you get a Sam Smith or one of the other male singers, and a sudden flurry of singers who all sound the same, and to be honest, I can't tell which one is him, or Charlie Pugh, or any one of the other ones.
    I would like to think that at some point, it will come back around to where it will be the people who can sing and play an instrument, who somehow are able to catch a break, and get a contract with a producer who is willing to allow them time to develop their sound, and to build a following, like maybe an Adele, or one of the others, who have been allowed to make their sound their own, and to own that piece of what makes people love music. The tiny something, that resonates with people, that ability to give a part of themselves through their music to others.
    That is what I always am looking for when it comes to new music. I often find it, but not in the stuff on radio, I find it on youtube or other places where artists go to attempt to find an audience. For every group or artist who makes the big time, there are thousands who are better, but are just playing and waiting for a break. That is where the good music is being made right now.

    1. The reason I listen to a lot of European music - particularly Symphonic and Power Metal - is because there are musicians playing real instruments, writing real songs. Musicians who can perform live, without AutoTune.

      Do I like all of it? No.

      But then I always say that most music from the 70s was trash. Even if you discount Disco, which was also trash. Yes, there are good songs from the 1970s, and I still listen to a lot of them, but I did not find them on the Top 40 radio stations of the day. There were on the college station in the town I grew up in, or the experimental FM stations from Chicago. (Which I could pick up with an outdoor antenna.)

      I am old enough to remember when FM was new, and stereo over the radio was completely wild, and the small stations played stuff like Pink Floyd and Yes that you would never hear on the 50,000 watt WLS from Chicago on AM


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