Where has the integrity of mainstream music gone?

If you find yourself dissatisfied with mainstream music today, then you’re probably not alone.  Yet given the widespread popularity of what can only be described as mundane music devoid of any artistic credibility, you’d think you were standing alone.  As a lover of classic rock and roll, I’m going to have to try hard not to be biased, yet there are times when I think I might be the only living member of Gen Y with any musical taste left.  Of course there are many gen Y’s out there who love older music and share my opinions of the present, yet it seems the musically ignorant are the target of a music industry intent on appealing to this market.

But why has it come to this?  Is it a simply a case that the gold mine of musical creativity has dried up, or has the drop in creativity been driven by the consumers.  Personally, I don’t accept for one minute that the ideas have run out.  In the last ten years there’s been loads of great music, much of which has come from either artists outside of the mainstream, or from artists who were well established 30 years ago.  But despite this, it seems that the musically ignorant still have priority over the rest of us.  As a result, I and many others like me are force fed with pop music that supposedly everyone likes.  

It’s sad to think that the pop stars of today are even considered to have talent, when the noise they make can hardly be classified as music.  Today the emphasis is on image over sound.  How many of today’s mainstream pop stars can even play a musical instrument?  I’m sick and tired of seeing guitars used as props!  Seriously, if you’re not going to play the thing, don’t hold onto it in a film clip!

  1. I agree with everything you’ve said. I think the rise of ‘talent’ competition reality programs like Idol and the Voice, and even more abysmally X Factor and Got Talent, is a large part of the problem. Mainstream artists are moulded and built into something commercially viable, something ‘pop’, often without the musical prowess one would expect of a professional musician. You just have to look at arguably the biggest musical act of the moment: One Direction. They were born of Simon Cowell’s Frankensteining, none of them (to my limited knowledge) can play an instrument or right a song, they’re given a ‘good-British-boy’ aesthetic with just enough differentiation between them that 13 year old girls can argue about their favourites, and they’re a merchandising commodity. I lost all faith in the world when I heard that you can buy a One Direction onesie. Disgraceful.

    • Whoops, got carried away and wrote “right a song”, instead of “write a song”.

    • I used to hold so much disgust for one direction, however recent footage of fans on primetime news television has led me to believe that the boy band stands not as a musical group, but rather a bunch of idolised pop stars. Their fans aren’t concerned with music at all, just the whole fame, pretty boy crap that has come to define so many of these throw away pop music commodities over the past 20 years. I agree 100% with your comment. The problem these days is popular music lacks integrity. What was once a world of true artists is now a world of sellouts.

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