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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:33 AM   #61
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Originally Posted by Slutiana View Post
But at the same time, as dybbuk said, pop music is pop music for a reason. All pop music is written to appeal to the masses and the vast majority of music back in the day wasn't much better and just as disposable as what we hear today.
I always thought pop was short for popular. It could be from any genre like Lady Antebellum, Nicki Minaj, The Black Keys finding success on the same chart.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 01:54 AM   #62
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

The thing that pisses me of about pop music nowadays is that there is good pop music out there that just isn't being played on the radio. The record labels have so much influence it's not even funny. Occasionally you'll see an indie hit, but it is the rarity. I remember when Bulletproof caught on over here like a year after its release and I had a glimpse of optimism. But that's clearly the exception.

Robyn's last 2 albums shit on virtually everything when it comes to pop music and she got NO airplay. Like WTF? That is what infuriates me. Katy Perry is having so much success and it's not because her songs are that good. Gaga even releases not the best songs on her album and they do relatively well on the charts. It's just bonkers.

There are great songs out there and I am happy when they do get airplay. I loved Rolling in the Deep the second I heard it. But it took a good 6 months to catch on. I guess I should feel lucky it caught on at all but now you can't turn on the radio without hearing songs of hers that are nowhere as good.

I guess the market is just dumbed down or something. I remember in the early 00s I used to love listening to the radio because it was good song after good song. Nowadays, not so much. And I love my pop music so this is very upsetting to me.

This song is 1000x better than any song on the radio but is still plenty poppy. Needless to say I will never hear it on the radio.

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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 03:23 AM   #63
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
This is music structure and music theory, what data do you want? They don't do numbers for this kind of stuff.

You misread my argument. I admitted I'm going to play the music snob. But there's a difference between a pop snob and a general music snob. Pop snobs are ridiculous just by definition. And if you don't believe my claim that I'm a pop fan far more than a classical music fan, would you like the link to my last.fm?

Wuthering Heights and Beatles songs have much more in common with Katy Perry songs than just immediacy. The basic form they use is the same, the song. And because they both use the same form the structure is going to be nearly identical in every pop song. Some artists may play with the structure more than others, but it's going to be mostly superficial, it's the same form all around. Other forms of music like classical European music and jazz play with form and push it much more and end up with vastly different structures. (For "stats" here, compare Ornette Coleman or idk, Debussy to the Beatles at their most experimental. The boundary pushing structurally isn't on the same plane) .

They also share also general chord progressions. Have you never watched the videos where a guy with a guitar starts off with a Beatles song, then switches to a Bon Jovi song, then to an Aerosmith song, etc. and they all sound eerily similar? It's because the chord progressions. This holds true for the large majority of pop songs, even the largely respected ones. Conformity in chord progressions is something that makes pop music what it is. It's much more than just "immediacy" that makes pop songs related to other pop songs. To pretend otherwise, well to put it nicely you have no musical ground to stand on.

The Beatles and Kate Bush obviously are light years ahead of Katy Perry, I would never argue otherwise. But they do the same bread and butter things in more exciting ways and in far better ways. There is not the serious difference in the basic makings of their songs from the average trashy pop on the radio, like you're trying to pretend. I enjoy pop music for what it is, I don't go the Pitchfork route and try to put it on a pedestal as a srz bzns art form. Pop music is fun and touching and catchy and can be great, but once you start down the pop music snobbery path of "Music sucks now, I miss when pop music was smart and pushed boundaries, etc" then you're opening yourself up for being shown how ridiculous that path is.
Oh, you really ARE a SNOB. I had a quick read, and I agree with you more than I thought I would. If you mean the "pop format" as in the 4 minute song, then you're absolutely right, and it's also one reason why I can't those who celebrate indie artists..etc and then shit on "mainstream" pop, missing the point that essentially the 4 minute song that everyone seems to follow IS pop. If that what you mean by "pop snobbery" then I think you're pretty much right - though for me that still doesn't mean that yeah ok, pop is all the same, don't even try to tell who's better and who's not.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 03:33 PM   #64
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delicatecutter View Post
I guess the market is just dumbed down or something. I remember in the early 00s I used to love listening to the radio because it was good song after good song. Nowadays, not so much. And I love my pop music so this is very upsetting to me.
ita! just look at the radio hits from 10 yrs ago (highlighted my fav's):

Quote:
112 - Peaches & Cream - Bad Boy/Arista
3 Doors Down - Kryptonite - Republic/Universal
Aaliyah - Rock The Boat - 12-01 - Blackground
Aerosmith - Jaded - Columbia
Christina Aguilera - Genie In A Bottle - 11-01 - RCA

Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink - Lady Marmalade - Interscope
B2K - Uh Huh - 12-01 - Epic
Mary J. Blige - Family Affair - 11-01 - MCA
Blu Cantrell - Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!) - 04-01 - RedZone/Arista
Mariah Carey - Never Too Far - 12-01 - Virgin
Mariah Carey Feat. Cameo - Loverboy - 07-01 -
Case - Missing You - Def Soul/IDJMG
City High - What Would You Do? - 07-01 - Booga Basement/Interscope
Corey - Hush Little Lady - 12-01 - Motown
Crazy Town - Butterfly - Columbia
Creed - With Arms Wide Open - Wind-up
Creed - My Sacrifice - 12-01 - Wind-up

Craig David - Fill Me In - Wildstar/Atlantic
Destiny's Child - Independent Women Part I - Columbia
Destiny's Child - Survivor - Columbia
Destiny's Child - Bootylicious - Columbia
Destiny's Child - Emotion - 10-01 - Columbia
Dido - Thank You - Arista
Dream - He Loves U Not - Bad Boy/Arista

Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott - Get Ur Freak On - The Gold Mind/Elektra/EEG
Enya - Only Time - 11-01 - Reprise
Eve Feat. Gwen Stefani - Let Me Blow Ya Mind - Ruff Ryders/Interscope
Nelly Furtado - I'm Like A Bird - DreamWorks

Nelly Furtado - Turn Off The Light - 10-01 - DreamWorks
Ginuwine - Differences - 10-01 - Epic
Lee Greenwood - God Bless The USA - 10-01 - Curb
Faith Hill - The Way You Love Me - Warner
Whitney Houston - The Star Spangled Banner - 09-01 - Arista
Enrique Iglesias - Hero - 10-01 - Interscope
Incubus - Drive - Immortal/Epic

Michael Jackson - You Rock My World - 09-01 -
Jagged Edge - Promise - So So Def/Columbia
Jagged Edge With Nelly - Where The Party At - So So Def/Columbia
Janet - All For You - Virgin
Janet - Someone To Call My Lover - Virgin
Ja Rule Feat. Lil' Mo & Vita - Put It On Me - Murder Inc./Def Jam/IDJMG
Ja Rule Feat. Case - Livin' It Up - Murder Inc./Def Jam/IDJMG
Ja Rule Feat. Ashanti - Always On Time - 12-01 - Murder Inc./Def Jam/IDJMG
Jay-Z - Izzo (H.O.V.A.) - 09-01 -
Joe Feat. Mystikal - Stutter - Jive
Jonelle/Method - Round & Round - 11-01 - Def Jam
K-Ci & JoJo - Crazy - MCA
R. Kelly Feat. Jay-Z - Fiesta - Jive
Alicia Keys - Fallin' - J
Alicia Keys - A Woman's Worth - 12-01 - J (BMG)
Lenny Kravitz - Again - Virgin
Lifehouse - Hanging By A Moment - 04-01 - DreamWorks

Lil' J - It's The Weekend - 11-01 - Hollywood
Lil' Mo Feat. Fabolous - Superwoman Part II - 06-01-
Lil' Romeo - My Baby -
Jennifer Lopez - Love Don't Cost A Thing - Epic
Jennifer Lopez Feat. Ja Rule - I'm Real - Epic
Madonna - Don't Tell Me - Maverick/Warner
matchbox twenty - If You're Gone - Lava/Atlantic

Christin Millian - AM to PM - 09-01 - Island
Moby Feat. Gwen Stefani - South Side - V2
Mya - Case Of The Ex (Whatcha Gonna Do) - University/Interscope
Natural - Put Your Arms Around Me - 10-01 - MTCM
Nelly Feat. City Spud - Ride Wit Me - Fo' Reel/Universal
Nickelback - How You Remind Me - 10-01 - Road
N'Sync - Gone - 10-01 - Jive
O-Town - All Or Nothing - J

OutKast - Ms. Jackson - LaFace/Arista
Pink - Get The Party Started - 11-01 - Arista
Elvis Presley - America The Beautiful - 10-01 - RCA
LeAnn Rimes - Can't FIght The Moonlight - 08-01 - Curb
Danie Rodriguez - God Bless America - 12-01 - Manhattan
Shaggy Feat. Ricardo 'RikRok' Ducent - It Wasn't Me - MCA
Shaggy Feat. Rayvon - Angel - MCA
Shakira - Whenever Wherever - 12-01 - Epic
Staind - It's Been Awhile - Flip/Elektra/EEG
Strik 9ine - Dansin Wit Wolvez - 10-01 - Fden
Sugar Ray - When It's Over - Lava/Atlantic
Aaron Tippin - Where The Stars And Stripes And The Eagle Fly - 09-01 - Lyric Street
Toya - I Do!! - 05-01 - Arista
Train - Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me) - Columbia
Uncle Kracker - Follow Me - Top Dog/Lava/Atlantic
Usher - You Remind Me - Arista
Usher - You Got It Bad - 12-01 - Arista
Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance - MCA Nashville/Universal
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Old Dec 22nd, 2011, 05:10 PM   #65
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

The thread is about popular/mainstream music. Those who are going on about "pop" music are showing a lack of attention to detail.

Quote:
The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, even though the former is a description of any form of music which is popular (and can include any genre), whilst the latter is a specific genre of music which has qualities which would make it appealing to a large audience
Quote:
David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop music as "a body of music which is distinguishable from popular, jazz and folk musics".[8] Although pop music is often seen as oriented towards the singles charts it is not the sum of all chart music, which has always contained songs from a variety of sources, including classical, jazz, rock, and novelty songs, while pop music as a genre is usually seen as existing and developing separately.[9] Thus "pop music" may be used to describe a distinct genre, aimed at a youth market, often characterized as a softer alternative to rock and roll.
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Old Dec 25th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #66
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
Pop snobbery is one of the most laughable things I can think of. And when I speak of pop snobbery, I include everything from rock to R&B to hip-hop, etc from the last several decades. I love pop music from all decades, but this idea that artists nowadays have nothing on the TRUE artistry of yesteryear is so embarrassing. As someone who grew up playing classical piano for most of his childhood and adolescence, I just lol at people who talk about how amazingly talented and artistic pop performers used to be. I love pop music far more than I do classical music, but it just takes someone with a modicum of knowledge of music theory and and workings of pieces of music to see how simplistic almost all pop music is. And this includes even most pop acts that get lauded for writing their own music and playing their own instruments. This isn't to say that all pop music is always very simplistic and the artists untalented, but the fact remains that pop music is pop music because it is simple and straightforward and unchallenging. This isn't a criticism of it, it's just the simple facts.

Pop music is much more samey then it used to be, and the artists are probably less talented than they used to be in general. But there's still a ton of great music if you just look for it, and stop with myopic nostalgia about how great pop music used to be. When you start down that road about how great it was in the 90s, then you can talk about how much better it was in the 80s than in the 90s, then about how much better the folk rock singer songwriters were than the 80s pop stars, then about how much better the old classic pop/jazz singer were than the 60s songwriters, etc. It'll never end until someone just gets snobbish enough to bring in classical music or experimental jazz (ie: me). Just let the pop trends go where they will and enjoy what you will.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dybbuk View Post
This is music structure and music theory, what data do you want? They don't do numbers for this kind of stuff.

You misread my argument. I admitted I'm going to play the music snob. But there's a difference between a pop snob and a general music snob. Pop snobs are ridiculous just by definition. And if you don't believe my claim that I'm a pop fan far more than a classical music fan, would you like the link to my last.fm?

Wuthering Heights and Beatles songs have much more in common with Katy Perry songs than just immediacy. The basic form they use is the same, the song. And because they both use the same form the structure is going to be nearly identical in every pop song. Some artists may play with the structure more than others, but it's going to be mostly superficial, it's the same form all around. Other forms of music like classical European music and jazz play with form and push it much more and end up with vastly different structures. (For "stats" here, compare Ornette Coleman or idk, Debussy to the Beatles at their most experimental. The boundary pushing structurally isn't on the same plane) .

They also share also general chord progressions. Have you never watched the videos where a guy with a guitar starts off with a Beatles song, then switches to a Bon Jovi song, then to an Aerosmith song, etc. and they all sound eerily similar? It's because the chord progressions. This holds true for the large majority of pop songs, even the largely respected ones. Conformity in chord progressions is something that makes pop music what it is. It's much more than just "immediacy" that makes pop songs related to other pop songs. To pretend otherwise, well to put it nicely you have no musical ground to stand on.

The Beatles and Kate Bush obviously are light years ahead of Katy Perry, I would never argue otherwise. But they do the same bread and butter things in more exciting ways and in far better ways. There is not the serious difference in the basic makings of their songs from the average trashy pop on the radio, like you're trying to pretend. I enjoy pop music for what it is, I don't go the Pitchfork route and try to put it on a pedestal as a srz bzns art form. Pop music is fun and touching and catchy and can be great, but once you start down the pop music snobbery path of "Music sucks now, I miss when pop music was smart and pushed boundaries, etc" then you're opening yourself up for being shown how ridiculous that path is.
One random bump to say that I agree with the gist of Dybbřl's posts in here.

Once you bring classical music into the equation, and become aware that the gap between it and pop music in terms of craft and form dwarfs any sort of similar partition you may attempt to create between different styles/genres of pop music, then the mere thought of looking down on other people because they happen to enjoy different sort of pop music than you do becomes pointless. This was a discussion I often had with the indie snobs back when I still cared about such things.
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Old Dec 25th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #67
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Originally Posted by Corswandt View Post
One random bump to say that I agree with the gist of Dybbřl's posts in here.

Once you bring classical music into the equation, and become aware that the gap between it and pop music in terms of craft and form dwarfs any sort of similar partition you may attempt to create between different styles/genres of pop music, then the mere thought of looking down on other people because they happen to enjoy different sort of pop music than you do becomes pointless. This was a discussion I often had with the indie snobs back when I still cared about such things.
I agree that if you are willing to sell a product with lyrics in 4 minutes, you have a lot more in common with Britney Spears than what you think. I initially didn't take dybbuk's meaning in pop as in the whole song format, but rather the more common use as in chart success.

Anyways, I think music snobbery as a whole is a pretty stupid thing. There's nothing that you could call objectively better. And while it's true that some forms demand more effort, an acquired taste and possibly more intellect, who said this makes them "better"? Some of the most potent music is the melodically simple, catchy but hugely expressive, and I think classical music is not an exception either. Whatever. People will do all kind of things to build their superiority complexes and that is especially true for internet twits like indie hipsters who think they are so above it all because they listen to artists who are not so widely popular.

Then again, back to the topic of this thread, having an opinion that the music on the charts used to be better on average has nothing to do with being a snob.
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Old Dec 25th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #68
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

I feel like music is music. I can't tell the difference between pop songs from 60s, 80s and now. There's always good and bad stuff in every genre.

When people ask what sort of music I like, I just tell them 'I like all sorts'. Keep it vague and simple. But in reality I prefer classical, specifically opera, specifically 'bel canto'.

If anything a better question would be "Do contemporary popular/mainstream films mostly suck?" The question would be yes. I'm no film snob but there are just so many crappy films out there.
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Old Dec 25th, 2011, 11:14 PM   #69
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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I feel like music is music. I can't tell the difference between pop songs from 60s, 80s and now. There's always good and bad stuff in every genre.

When people ask what sort of music I like, I just tell them 'I like all sorts'. Keep it vague and simple. But in reality I prefer classical, specifically opera, specifically 'bel canto'.

If anything a better question would be "Do contemporary popular/mainstream films mostly suck?" The question would be yes. I'm no film snob but there are just so many crappy films out there.
Yes. I saw one last night called The Roommate that made me want to throw the remote at the TV it was so horrible. I can't remember how well it did at the box office but the fact that films like this get made makes me exceptionally selective in which films I take time to watch.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #70
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Re: Does contemporary music mostly suck?

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Originally Posted by M.S.F View Post
Not really, it's just less innovative.
This is an argument music critic Simon Reynolds puts forward in his book "Retromania."* Neither this decade (so far), nor the one before it produced a brand new music genre. Reynolds' claim is that, starting with the 2000s, popular music stopped evolving. He says that, unlike past decades (eg. '50s rock and roll, '60s psychedelic rock, '70s post-punk, '80s indie rock and college rock, '90s rave, etc.), the 2000s produced no new music genres. There's no innovation in pop music, there's just a return to past trends. In the early 2000s, you had a return to garage rock (The Hives, the Vines, The Strokes, The White Stripes, etc.). Then you had a return to post-punk (The National, Interpol), which slowly morphed into new wave (The Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, French Films, Future Islands), which was probably the key popular genre in the 2000s. This cycle was reminiscent of how in the mid-'60s you had garage rock, in the late '70s you had post-punk, which eventually morphed into '80s new wave and dominated the '80s. There was also a return to folk somewhere in-between (The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Devendra Banhart). Then, in the early 2010s, you had a return to space rock in the vein of ELO or Ziggy Stardust (Smiths Westerns, The Antlers). PJ Harvey also recorded a dream pop/space rock album. You also had a return to dream pop (Beach House, St. Vincent) and blues (Jack White). I'd say all of these acts are pop acts compared to experimental acts like, say, Ariel Pink, Laurie Anderson or Annette Peacock. So yes, pop music these days lacks innovation. Sure, not a new concept. But I'd say there still is variety within pop music, which is more important for me. It's just more difficult to dig out good pop music because you don't have a unifying concept like "radio", "vinyl" or "CD" anymore. The Internet made pop music more dispersed.

* A great read, and it has a great cover. I also recommend his book on post-punk.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #71
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/07/27/...much-the-same/

A team of Spanish researchers specializing in artificial intelligence dug through the freely-available Million Song Dataset — in which algorithm-happy researchers from Columbia University turned a million hit songs from 1955 until 2010 into mineable data bits — to determine what the musical trends are in today’s most popular songs.

Their findings: Pop songs are louder and more “blah” than ever before.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #72
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Re: Does contemporary music mostly suck?

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This is an argument music critic Simon Reynolds puts forward in his book "Retromania."* Neither this decade (so far), nor the one before it produced a brand new music genre. Reynolds' claim is that, starting with the 2000s, popular music stopped evolving. He says that, unlike past decades (eg. '50s rock and roll, '60s psychedelic rock, '70s post-punk, '80s indie rock and college rock, '90s rave, etc.), the 2000s produced no new music genres.
lol. I was thinking about that the other day. I was thinking of "black music" and how stagnant it has become. A little research shows that one characteristic of black music until about a decade ago was it's constant innovation.

At times, I've also been thinking that the world as a whole seems relatively stagnant. Sure things are put out with new flavors but there hasn't been anything truly innovative in a while. With apologies to the Apple-heads . . .no.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #73
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Pop snobbery is one of the most laughable things I can think of. And when I speak of pop snobbery, I include everything from rock to R&B to hip-hop, etc from the last several decades.
I don't see how pop snobbery is different from general music snobbery. There is no contradiction because they both exist on different planes of taste. I know a lot of people who are fairly reasonably trained in classical music and surely have much better appreciation of that than I do but have horrible taste in pop music, preferring very mainstream unexciting stuff.

On the other hand, I also know people who live and die by Pitchfork, do not know any mainstream acts to even begin to make a comparison.

My understanding is that "taste" is not something that can be solely acquired by formal education. It's ultimately a cultural product. Exposure makes a difference; and by extension, social class makes a difference. One would like to think that there is also some measure of the inner aesthete thrown into that mix to bring legitimacy to the whole idea of taste.

Anyway, I would argue that pop snobbery is much more relevant than music snobbery these days by virtue of the very accessibility of pop.
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A single flow'r he sent me, since we met./All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet - One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;/'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet/One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet/One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get/One perfect rose.

Last edited by moby : Aug 15th, 2012 at 05:13 PM.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #74
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Pop snobbery is one of the most laughable things I can think of. And when I speak of pop snobbery, I include everything from rock to R&B to hip-hop, etc from the last several decades. I love pop music from all decades, but this idea that artists nowadays have nothing on the TRUE artistry of yesteryear is so embarrassing. As someone who grew up playing classical piano for most of his childhood and adolescence, I just lol at people who talk about how amazingly talented and artistic pop performers used to be. I love pop music far more than I do classical music, but it just takes someone with a modicum of knowledge of music theory and and workings of pieces of music to see how simplistic almost all pop music is.
Talk about snobbery. So simple vs complex is what you see as the sole or primary arbitrator of quality. Not to mention that some pop is more complex than some classical.
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Old Aug 15th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #75
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Re: Does contemporary popular/mainstream music mostly suck?

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Talk about snobbery. So simple vs complex is what you see as the sole or primary arbitrator of quality. Not to mention that some pop is more complex than some classical.
Girl, weren't you the one trying to tell me there is so "song form" and apparently no songs follow it? And then I, along with others, proceeded to laugh at your obvious lack of knowledge about music? I already made you look like a fool once, but like always when you are made a fool you stop responding to the thread.
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