The TRUTH Why Modern Music Is Awful

The TRUTH Why Modern Music Is Awful

Hey Thoughty2 here. On the 6th December 1966 four guys from Liverpool
stepped into Abbey Road Studios and began to record an album. 333 hours and many questionable substances
later, The Beatles had emerged having produced their eight album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It would go on to sell over 32 million copies
worldwide and be named the greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine and
many other publications. It was highly experimental, using mould-breaking
techniques and a huge array of unusual instruments. The band had produced an emotional masterpiece
that epitomised the so called summer of love and was a true masterpiece of its time, yet
it remains just as relevant and powerful today. Fast forward 44 years to 2010 and Justin Bieber
released his hit single “Baby”, this is generally considered to be a bad move. So what went wrong? How did we go from Bob Dylan to Britney Spears,
from Led Zeppelin to Lady Gaga and The Kinks to Katy Perry. But who am I to criticise the musical tastes
of the vast majority of today’s youth? Personally, my musical tastes are stuck in
middle of last century, but you may think that just makes me old fashioned, stuck in
the past and I should move with the times. But here’s the thing, there is far to this
than simple nostalgia and when your parents keep telling you that the music died long
ago, they may actually have a point, because it turns out science agrees with them. Over the past thirty-plus years researchers
have been studying how trends in music have changed. And a recent study in 2012 by the Spanish
National Research Council revealed that the suspicions of somewhat antiquated individuals
such as myself are very true, music IS getting worse every year. The researchers took around 500,000 recordings
from all genres of music from the period of 1955 to 2010 and they meticulously ran every
single song through a set of complex algorithms. These algorithms measured three distinct metrics
of each song, the harmonic complexity, timbral diversity and loudness. The most shocking result that the researchers
found was that over the past few decades, timbre in songs has dropped drastically. Timbre is the texture, colour and quality
of the sounds within the music, in other words, timbre is the song’s richness and depth of
sound. The researchers found that timbral variety
peaked in the 1960s and has since been steadily declining. The timbral palette has been homogenised,
meaning songs increasingly have less diversity with their instruments and recording techniques. This divide is clearly evident if we take
what is widely considered to be The Beatle’s masterpiece, A Day In The Life, which was
recorded using an orchestra of forty musicians. But this is not classical music, this is pop. The five minute piece contains violins, violas,
cellos, double bass, a harp, clarinets, an oboe, bassoons, flutes, french horns, trumpets,
trombones, a tuba and of course the four band members playing their usual instruments over
the top. In contrast Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines uses
but one instrument, a drum machine. And yes this a rather extreme example, a song
known for it’s one-dimensional but punchy baseline. But it represents an overall trend with modern
pop music that the researchers found in their data. Instead of experimenting with different musical
techniques and instruments, the vast majority of pop today is built using the exact same
combination of a keyboard, drum machine, sampler and computer software. This might be considered as progressive by
some, but in truth it sucks the creativity and originality out of music, making everything
sound somewhat similar. Do you ever flick through the radio and think
to yourself “all these songs sound the same?”. What the researchers found is that the melodies,
rhythms and even the vocals of popular music have become more and more similar to each
other since the sixties. One facet of this homogenisation of popular
music was pointed out by musical blogger Patrick Metzger. Metzger noticed that hundreds of pop artists
were using the exact same sequence of notes that alternate between the fifth and third
notes of a major scale. This is usually accompanied by a vocal “Wa-oh-wa-oh”
pattern. Metzger named this the “Millennial Whoop”
and it sounds like this. The Millennial Whoop can be found in hundreds
of chart-topping pop songs created over the past few years, and its usage is becoming
more frequent. From Katy Perry’s California Girls to Justin
Bieber’s baby, literally every single major pop star today has included the Millennial
Whoop in at least one of their songs. But why? Well, quite simply, familiarity. Our brain likes familiarity, the more we hear
the same sounds the more we enjoy them. The millennial whoop has become a powerful
and predictable way to subconsciously say to the masses, “hey listen to this new song,
it’s really cool, but don’t worry you will like it because it’s really familiar, you’ve
kind of heard it a hundred times before”. And in this wildly unpredictable world, this
makes us feel safe. Sticking to the same cookie-cutter formula
comforts people and that’s important. But what about lyrics? Well, I’m afraid it’s bad news there too. Another study examined the so called “Lyric
Intelligence” of hundreds of Billboard chart-topping songs over the past ten years. They used different metrics such as the Flesch–Kincaid
readability index, which indicates how difficult a piece of text is to understand and the quality
of the writing. This was the result, over the past ten years
the average lyric intelligence has dropped by a full grade. Lyrics are also getting shorter and tend to
repeat the same words more often. We’ve gone from the absolute poetic beauty
of Bob Dylan and Morrissey too well… this… and this… What if I also told you that the vast majority
of chart-topping music in the past 20 years was written by just two people. What do Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Ellie
Goulding, Robin Thicke, Jessie J, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake,
Maroon 5, Pink, Leona Lewis, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Kesha, The Backstreet
Boys, Westlife, NSYNC, Adam Lambert and all have in common? The answer: their songwriter. I’m not saying 100% of their songs, but a
good chunk of all of these artist’s songs were written by the same Swedish man, Mr.
Max Martin. This one man is singlehandedly responsible
for over two-dozen number one singles and thousands of songs in the top 100 charts over
the past decades. He has written universally recognisable tracks
such as “I kissed a girl”, “Baby one more time”, “Since u been gone”, “California Gurls”,
“Shake it off” and so, so many more. And if Max Martin didn’t write it American
signer-songwriter Lukasz Gottwald most probably did. Known professionally as “Dr. Luke”, together
with Max Martin, they account for the lyrics and melodies behind the vast majority of pop
music today. You’ve likely never heard of them and that
is very intentional. These two men are the hidden pop factories
behind virtually every single band that is played on the radio today and probably every
music act you grew up with, if you’re under thirty-years old. And you wondered why everything sounds the
same. There are still popular, chart-topping musicians
that write the entirety of their own music today, but you have to look really, really
hard. Research has also shown that the hook, the
part of the song that really grabs us and pulls us in, is occurring sooner in modern
songs and they happen more often. Researchers believe this is because when it
comes to music, our attention spans have drastically shortened, unless a song instantly grabs us
our brains tend to shut off and ignore it, often skipping to the next song. This shortened attention span is a trend amongst
people that has only occurred in the past ten years and it’s believed to have been caused
by the instant access to millions of songs at our fingertips. It used to be the case that if you wanted
to hear a song you had to go out and buy that one single or album, take it home and play
it. You would probably play it countless times
because you had spent so much money on so few songs. Over time you would learn to appreciate all
the subtle nuances throughout the album. And then the iPod happened granting access
to thousands of songs on one device, which eventually led to streaming. Today we flick through songs on Spotify without
much thought to each song’s subtleties and unique talents. This has caused musicians and record companies
to favour punchy bass lines that demand our attention and to stuff each song full of so
called “hooks” to instantly grab our attention and keep it for as long as possible. And they’ve been doing something else in recent
years to grab our attention, something subtle but very powerful, yet so very, very wrong. For the past twenty years music producers
have been engaged in a war. The “loudness war”. The aim of this war is to produce louder music
than your competitors. But how do you make music louder when the
listener is in control of the volume, not the producer? Well, they use compression. You may have heard of dynamic range compression,
it’s the process of boosting the volume of the quietest parts of a song so they match
the loudest parts, thus reducing the dynamic range, the distance between the loudest part
and quietest part. This makes the whole song sound much, much
louder than the un-compressed version, no matter what volume the listener has set their
device to. It’s like me standing in the middle of the
street and mumbling nonsense to myself, occasionally whispers and sometimes speaking a bit louder. A few people might notice and avoid me. But then if I were to compress my dynamic
range I would suddenly be bellowing out every single word at the top of my voice, loudly
and proudly. Suddenly everyone turns around to look at
the crazy man shouting in the street and the police would be called. But this is exactly why producers do it, as
the market has become increasingly crammed with similar sounding pop music, making your
song shout louder than all the others ensures it will be heard amongst all the competition. But there’s a big price to pay for loudness. Dynamic range compression, when abused, as
it often is today, is an absolute travesty when it comes to the art of creating music. Where physics is concerned, the rule is that
you can’t make a sound louder than the volume it was recorded at, without reducing its quality. Compressing a song’s dynamic range strips
away its timbral variety. It muddies the sound, subtle nuances that
would have before been very noticeable and could have been appreciated are now, no longer
nuanced, they sound exactly the same as the rest of the track. Listen to this short recording without any
compression. Now hear what happens when the dynamic range
is compressed to match that of modern pop music. Hear how everything sounds less punchy and
vibrant, the drum beats stand out less, everything just makes less of an impact. But there’s very real reason why popular musicians
and producers today don’t stray away from their safe-haven of repetitive, monotonous
drum machines, unimaginative, factory-produced lyrics, rhythms stolen then from the previous
popular song then chopped up and changed slightly and of course, their ever popular millennial
whoops. It all has to do with risk. In the fifties, sixties and seventies record
labels would receive hundreds of demo tapes from budding young artists every week. They would sift through them and the most
talented acts would be offered record contracts. Even if they weren’t that special it didn’t
matter too much, the record label would just through a few thousand pounds into marketing
and if the public liked their music they would gain traction organically and make it big,
if not, they would fade away into the night. And this is crucial because importantly, the
public were voting with their ears for the best, the most talented musicians, singers
and songwriters. We, the people were the final judge and jury,
the ultimate arbiter. And so musicians had to be really bloody talented
to impress us enough to stick around and make more music. But this was risky, because many times record
labels would pump thousands of pounds into an act that weren’t destined to be and their
gamble wouldn’t pay off, losing their investment. But when they signed the really big acts it
would balance the books. However today promoting a new band is more
expensive than ever. Over time the cost of breaking in a new artist
onto the global music scene has sky-rocketed. In fact the IFPI reports that today it costs
anywhere between $500,000 and $3,000,000 TO sign a new act and break them into the music
scene; that’s a hell of a lot of money. Would you want to gamble with three million
dollars? No? Neither do music producers. So the industry has reacted by removing the
risk. Instead of trying to find genuine musical
talent they simply take a pretty young face, usually from a TV talent show and then simply
force the public to like them, by brainwashing them. Instead of allowing the public to grow to
like an artist and make their own mind up about the quality of their music, the industry
now simply makes you like the music, thus removing all the financial risk. Brainwash you say? How on earth do they do that? Have you ever noticed how “that” popular new
song seems to follow you around, everywhere you go. It’s on every radio station, it’s played in
your favourite stores, the supermarket, online and its even in the latest Hollywood movies
and popular TV shows? This is no coincidence. What that is in fact, is the record label’s
$3 million making sure that that new single is quite literally everywhere, completely
unescapable. Remember I was talking about the power of
familiarity? It’s called the Mere-exposure effect, a physiological
phenomenon by which people develop a preference for things they see and hear often. Our brain releases dopamine when we hear a
song we’ve heard a few times before and the effect only gets stronger with each listen. Can you remember the very first time you heard
your favourite pop songs from the past ten years? Whether it be Gangnam Style, Happy, All About
That Bass, Blurred Lines, Hotline Bling, did you truly like it the first time you heard
it? Or where you kind of repulsed? Did you have this brief moment where you thought,
what the hell is this? But then you heard it a few more times and
you began to think, well I guess it’s kinda catchy. And they your friends are all listening to
it and you hear it a few times and boom, it’s your favourite song and you can’t stop listening
to it. If this has happened to you then I’m afraid,
you have been brainwashed. The mere-exposure effect has gotten to you. Surely if a song is truly a great song, then
you wouldn’t need to force yourself to love it, you wouldn’t need to be won over through
a period of repeated exposure, you would just like it the first time you heard it. We all have different musical tastes but they
are sadly being overridden, diluted and emulsified by the brainwashing activities of big record
labels, the repeated and constant exposure to manufactured songs that we’ve heard a hundred
times before. Don’t get me wrong, there are many fantastically
talented bands out there, but in today’s industry virtually none of them will ever be signed
because they are simply too risky to promote, because they don’t fit the usual pop formula…
they are different. But being different is important. You may be thinking, “so what if I’m being
brainwashed, I enjoy contemporary popular music and isn’t that what’s important?” Yes, of course, music is an expression of
your personality and it should be enjoyed, no matter what others think. But it’s also really important to not let
creativity and originality disappear. Music as an art form is dying, it’s being
replaced by music which is a disposable product, designed to sell but not to inspire. So we shouldn’t be so complacent in allowing
systematic, cold, factory produced music to dominate or else the beautiful, soulful and
truly real music that we’ve all at some point loved and has been there through our darkest
times and our happiest times, could soon be a distant memory, never to be repeated. Thanks for watching.

local_offerevent_note November 22, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


100 thoughts on “The TRUTH Why Modern Music Is Awful”

  • Before I got into bands like The Beatles The Stones, Led Zeppelin etc, I liked modern music and it took me a few listens and I liked it. But only for like 2 months but I never get sick of stairway, or gimme shelter or let it be anymore and I’ve listened to them so many times. That is what real talent is

  • Pretty sure every generation music is different. Like I'm not about to listen to Elvis but I'm all over some 5SOS. Everyone has different tastes too. This channel is absolutely full of opinions, I'm unsubbing

  • The "mere-exposure effect" doesn't work on me thankfully. If I don't like a song straight away and it's played everywhere I just get annoyed by it. If however I like a song straight away then I will happily listen to it a lot. I don't listen to mainstream radio. I like a song to strike a cord in my soul, I like the vocals and instrumentals to make me feel chills. 20's through to 60's fills me with chills and happiness, old school rock and metal gets my energy levels up and has great lyrics and rhythm. There are some great modern artists whom I thoroughly enjoy too, but I can't stand modern pop, rap, RnB, hip-hop etc because it's nearly all about sex or violence and doesn't speak to my soul or sound good. It's just a bunch of noise to me. I'm proud to be immune to the "mere-exposure effect".

  • My favorite musicians: marshmello, alan walker, avicii, skrillex, deadmau5, martin garrix
    I like djs more than singers tbh, i also make music btw XD

  • amazing i just googled " why is music so bad now?" and this video was my first result.. This was after spending almost 1 hour trying to find a new good music on youtube but with no luck. There is now so much swearing.. buts.. and rap.. its not funny anymore

  • 0:10 Free-hundred and ferty-free hours later and many questionable substances later the Beatles had emerged having produced their afe album. It would go on to sell over ferty-two copies worldwide.

  • You mean to say that Edward Bernays is still having an effect on, what we thought was, our own decisions? 🐏🐏⚡

  • Lyric intelligence is important to me. I love rap. And rap is about the lyrics. Its why mumble rap and ghostwriters are so hated

  • what about heavy metal, is it getting bad aswell, some of this modern ones are really good
    13:20 I need to strangle someone now, compressing a song ruins everything

  • Absolutely agree. So many amazing musicians producing superb and original music that will remain on the local/background/cult gig circuit that don't fit the 'business plans' of the labels. We just get dealt the same old crap over and over again. Great vid.

  • Some terrible rapper: * talks in foreign language not even a single person can understand *

    17 y/o: ”Dame. Thats deep”

  • The first recording is really good as it’s sharp but it doesn’t have a slight drop in the beats from a bass, I mean by maybe 1 or 2 decibels. I would like a slight muffle by that same amount and small distortion can be good if it’s hard to hear it.

    The second one is too compressed, quiet bass and too muffled after a few seconds, too hard of a drop in the guitar.

  • Blues Traveler said it best. "It doesnt matter what I say… as long as I sing with inflection" "Cuz the hook brings you back"

  • Not all modern music sucks. I use Spotify to listen to my music and there are many genres and categories. Spotify is much richer than you believe. YouTube trends are past for me years ago.

  • Physiologically we all get brainwashed , for a few decades this has happened by media . Thankfully I my eyes opened about 10 years ago . Very hard for me not to pick up on the subtle random repeated messages . Take everything with a pinch of salt , question everything .

  • S. Peepers was all recorded on a 4 track recorder, also this was pre-auto tune , pre-time align , pre- digital DAW which people use to "cut and paste" "songs" together. Back then it was a performance ,some times a song took up to 5 days to "nail" the song not processed bits and pieces like today. They're not artists in any way shape or form they're people whose "music" is processed than American fast Food and American "cheese".

  • Did anyone notice that female singers seem to have a lot less clothing nowadays when singing? And male singers seem to appear dripped or more Justin Bieber?

  • I remember having mp3 players way before "and than the ipod happened". This statement to me wakes the same feeling as listening to the radio.

  • If you work a retail job, you have no choice, but to have the same latest 10-15 top 40 pop songs shoved down your throat. eg. Panic! At the Disco's High Hopes is just one of those damn songs you can't escape no matter where you go. You go to any big business corporation whether it would be a fast food joint, a retail store, gas station, etc., or basically any place where tons of normies hangout at, you're gonna hear those songs over and over again, and you're either gonna love those songs, hate those songs, or love to hate those songs so much that you can't wait to see them die a slow, painfully, and agonizing dea….GOTTA HAVE HI-HIGH HOPS FOR A LIVIN'!!!!!….fuck!

  • Give me the music of yesteryear any day
    I can count the music that I like today on, if they lucky, on two hands and no toes compared to yesterday’s music and that I would need all the cars past and present to use to count
    Today’s music SUCKS

  • Every time I heard something about re-exposure, I remembered that every new Sonic game just had to have a new cover of Green Hill.

  • I find this pop music absolutely depressing, unless absolutely necessary I will buy the physical copy over the digital one black metal will always be art and I like to own the art . black metal dsbm pagan metal etc will never die

  • I think nowadays its harder for people to appreciate good music in the first place since its so easily accessible and with the patience and attention span most people have that grow up in these recent generations they cant sit down and listen to music without getting bored because they use it whenever there doing things like cleaning or working out. It is one of the most frustrating things i deal with i try to get people to listen to the music i listen to which i know not every body is gonna like the same music im just trying to show people the appeal and that even if you dont like it it took genius musicians to make but most of the time their mind wanders off and they cant pay attention. When i try to show someone something i learned on guitar i tell them "ok i've been working on this song for while and can you just try to listen and pay attention" i shit you not every single time they start doing something else like get on their phone, start petting my dog, and fidget with things. I then play and start looking at them like wtf and still no reaction it truly makes me hate "today's world" i guess because i can never get through to anyone either its like im speaking a different language anyways sorry for my terrible literary skills i never payed attention in english class just trying to make a point

  • I didn't like those songs the first time I heard them and I don't like them now. I am a 40 year old grunge kid who grew up with her dad's amazing 70's rock and his dad's amazing Motown records. Luckily my kids realize most of today's music sucks too so we don't listen to it in our house/car. I say most because there are artist we love like Brandi Carlile, Katie Herzig, Jason Isbell, Gregory Alan Isakov, Ben Howard and plenty more. Just most you sadly don't hear on the radio.

  • Brainwashing huh? I've always said today's music is mindless dribble, has 0 substance and definitely NO Heart… and as far as rap go's, it's crap… A lot of people aren't even aware that the majority of the content of that is written by Jews not the black gangsta thugs that the "Industry" portrays… People don't have freedom of expression anymore, the Powers That Be has bought everyone off…

  • Found some real Music? ?😆 check out Cale Pearce Songbook! !!😉😲 Top little songwriter? ??😆 pure😍 illuminatti proof !!!! 😉 nice 1 from Sunny England? 😆

  • "Can you remember the first time you heard your favourite pop songs from the past ten years? Whether it be Gangnam Style, Happy, All About That Bass, Blured Lines, Hotline Bling, did you truly like them?"

    No. I did NOT like the Gangnam Style and I will not ever. I haven't heard the others from the list and I'm not going to as I assume that's of the same kind.
    "But then you heard it a few times and then … it's your favourite song and you can't stop listening to it".

    If I hear again the song I don't like I will not start to like it. I will start to hate it each time I hear it. I don't think psychology doesn't work on me nor do I think explained method is really working on everyone.

  • Nice Job, its so cool!, See this New Album 'Monish Jasbird – Death Blow', channel link , you may like it 🙂

  • How can they dare call rap 'music'? it doesn't even have instruments in it. It's repetitive beats that comes from a drum machine and machines don't have feeling. What do hypnotist use to hypnotize their patients? repetition. As far as hip hop goes well, people don't have standards nowadays especially the youth because they don't know any better and they don't have a good musical compass to be able to tell the difference between what's good and what's not. If the kids now grew up in the sixties or seventies most of them would think twice about what they're listening to and would be able to discern between what's talented and what's not. A lot of people nowadays just allow themselves to like anything, just because it's been jammed into their heads so much ("if a lie is told often enough and loud enough it will be believed" – Hitler) and that's a danger because pretty soon some bands going to come along and just because they have a catchy name and a flashy look and cute, bubbly faces, some people will enjoy the sound of them banging on garbage cans because the media glorifies it, then the masses will follow, what a bunch of Sheeple. I drew the line around 1980 cuz that's when MTV came around and ruined music "Video Killed The Radio Star" was the very first video on MTV how ironic.

  • Music made today doesnt have the filter of being played in a basement or garage for 5+ years with the struggle to open a show or to play in a club or even going on a non sponsored tour of advertising your sound. It's made on a computer laptop while taking a sh*t and it's mostly just that sh*t. Hearing todays music on the radio makes me want to gouge my eardrums with pencils like a sharpener while hoping for histerical blindness so I dont know the song title for fear of more exposure to my brain cells. Pop has killed any kind of decent sounding music.

  • Tbh I hate most mainstream songs but I always end up finding that one I adore, Jillian Aversa and Celldweller are really fun to listen to, and I actually liked gangnam style the first time I heard it but I also never had constant exposure cuz usually when I get overexposed to something I dont like I start to despise it like most songs found in commercials that are popular songs that I didnt even really care for, still its sad to see the state of the music industry but honestly this is every industry these days and its gonna take a lot of work to fix them, will basically need alternatives to the normal big corporations or trend hoppers that are willing to take risks

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