Is it just me, or is there something a bit off with the charts lately? Week in and week out it seems to be the same song with a slightly different beat in the background and lyrics that are just splattered over the song with no regard for profundity or sometimes even sense. Don’t get me wrong, not every song has to be about the meaning of life, but when hardly a single song with substantial lyrics makes it to the top ten in the charts; it says something about the population. It’s not just the bad lyrics, it’s the kind of formulaic feel that every song has to it. Almost as if the producers choose a pretty face with a voice that can only just pass for decent, choose a generic beat, get a DJ to come up with a slightly different tune from their last one, click on repeat and there you go; a number one single. Now all they need is a saucy video where the girls wear skimpy clothes and perform a dance which centres on their “protrusions”. The guys have it even easier; they just look into the distance while the wind blows through their hair, shirt optional.
It seems the music industry has abandoned its noble roots and turned itself into a money making machine, a mockery of memorable music (enjoy the alliteration). This great being preys on your typical teenage insecure girls and vain (and insecure) guys, always looking out for whatever the latest thing is, whether it’s dem noo expensiv shoos or speaking like an idiot. Of course, these people will be the first to buy the next supposedly up and coming single, they must be at the forefront of the latest, or risk being left behind and being branded uncool. This demographic constitutes the bulk of the manufactured music industry’s market.
Of course there are some who buy it after, with no intention of increasing their social status. They simply enjoy the song. Now sometimes it is because they genuinely like the song and other times it is because it has forcefully grown on them through the radio’s replaying it without respite. Sure you could change the frequency, but what if you want to go out to a club? Or even in bars, these generic number one songs are played incessantly.
Even still, that shouldn’t stand in the way of proper music. These songs are fine for a shallow dance and a drunken night out, but if you want music that will almost literally blow your mind with its beauty or prowess and that you will never grow tired of then veer away from Rihanna, Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole, JLS or Akon and listen instead to something that has some value; something that isn’t practically a perversion of an art. Of course, as you might have guessed, I am biased but there is something to what I am saying and you know it. There are, of course, songs that get into the top end of the charts that are respectable and actually have some substance. Some examples are Adele, Plan B, Kanye West and a number of others, who are actually respected by not only their peers but also by critics. If you were curious about my personal tastes, you should try bands like Fleet Foxes, Animal Collective, The Maccabees, Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire. These bands make beautiful music.
Alas, the charts today do not represent the best music around. This may be due not only to what I have already said but also to the fact that people who like the better music tend to illegally download it. These musicians do not have the same kind of fan base, as a lot of chart toppers nowadays seem to have fans that root for their idols as well, rather than simply enjoying their music and buying it. This would explain how the music industry seems to have sold out. But it is we, the people, who keep buying their music. We used to sing songs about peace, politics or society and now all we do is dance to songs about bitches and hoes, partying all night and spending all our money.