Pop music & Gimmicks

I have a love/hate relationship with pop music. On the one hand, it can be simplistic and all about sales and completely overplayed ad nauseum. On the other hand, there have been some amazing pop songs to come out in the last century. And at the end of the day, my favorite music has pop sensibilities and at least a little bit of melody and catchiness to it. Not only that, but as a musician you start to have a real respect for people who can write a big, hooky pop tune. It's not easy, and anyone who says otherwise oughta give it a shot and see. It's a specific set of skills that not everyone has.

My real issue with newer pop stars and pop music is that any of the originality and artistry that might've been there has been completely stripped away. Sure, everything's been done, but to lump the amount of praise onto some of the current heap of stars is just ridiculous. And my biggest issue is the gimmicky sensationalism and attempts at being "risque." Madonna, David Bowie, Prince, Michael Jackson all had gimmicks but they had the music to back it up. They had songs - great songs, timeless songs. Nowadays it just feels like there's a desperate need for attention and worship but a disregard for the craft of songwriting. It's really hard to tell if anything in the mainstream right now will hold up in 10, 20, 30 years. But I guess we'll see.

Hate to sound like an old man bitching and moaning (get off my lawn!) but I'm writing this blog after seeing one of these "artists" in a new video. I just simply don't get it. The imagery is ridiculous but I wouldn't care if the songs were great. And that's all we're seeing nowadays in the pop world. Hopefully the next crop of pop artists will bring some amazing songs to the table, a little artistry and add some more icons to the pop culture landscape. Nobody said it's easy to write "Billie Jean" or "Changes" or "Purple Rain," but in the meantime can we maybe limit the gimmicky assholes to their 15 minutes and one overexposed song/video? -dan

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