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If music keeps getting worse, should you embrace the stupid?


Answer: Yes and no.

There are those who say that as time goes on, popular music (with big emphasis on popular, as in manufactured to be popular) continues to get worse and worse.



Since 2000, popular music has been seeing a slow but steady dive in sales. To the best of my knowledge there has not been a single year since 2000 where music sales have actually gone up.

It used to be true that the music industry could milk a song for months before it fell out of favor with the masses. It was not uncommon to hear something such as, "This song has spent 12 weeks (3 months) in the top 10 in the country!"

Today you would be lucky for a song to remain popular for 2 weeks, never mind a month.

Because of ever-decreasing attention spans, the music industry has dumbed down music to the absolute lowest form of entertainment possible. This is why modern popular music is about nothing but boobs, butts, sex, dumb dances, "culture", cheating on people (always gets a reaction) and not much else.

Does all modern popular music sound the same? Yes. Listen to any popular music right now, and you will think to yourself, "I know this is a new song but I've definitely heard this before". That's because you have heard it before. The music industry has absolutely run out of ideas so they just keep repeating the same crap.

Note that I didn't say the musicians have run out of ideas. The music industry has. As in that very small group of people who "write" all the "hit" music currently. Yes, it is totally true that what you hear in popular music right now is nothing more than a perfectly auto-tuned, blown-out audio leveled, cold, calculated steamy piles of crap.

There has always been crap music... but not to this level

I can point out songs like Surfin' Bird or Disco Duck or Oh Yeah. Crap songs. Entertaining for a little bit, but crap.

I can point out that the majority of '70s disco was crap. I can point out that the majority of '80s glam rock was crap. I can point out the majority of '90s grunge rock and "alternative" rock was crap.

I can point out a lot of crap that's happened over the years. But the thing that's different now compared to then is back then you could find good new music, whereas now you simply cannot...

...not for popular music, anyway.

What can you do about it as a songwriter?

This is the best part.

Because of the unbelievable amount of popular music crapola out there, the playing field has leveled out.

The fact your music is not a polished, perfect piece of sonic perfection actually gives it character. It is its imperfections that make it stand out in a positive way.

What I'm saying is that even if your songs suck, release them anyway. Post to YouTube or SoundCloud or BandCamp or whatever.

The old guard music industry is dying and you know this is true. Take advantage of this and release some music. Chances are what you think is "bad" is still better than the crap the music industry keeps churning out.

Remember, your song doesn't need to be good. Just catchy. This means you can write a stupid 3-chord song and totally get away with it, provided it doesn't sound like plastic crap from the music industry.

If you want to know if your music sounds like plastic crap or not, ask yourself this simple question: Does your music sound like it was written by a computer? If you answered no, then your music is not plastic crap. Now go release it.


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