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State of the music industry and sound quality... rant... participation encouraged

insider9

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I listened to US Top 100 yesterday. 331 minutes of music in about an hour. In fairness UK Top 40 I listened to a couple of weeks ago took me longer to listen to. Yesterday when I finished listening I felt really depressed.

I won't lie I had to skip a fair number of tracks. I'm not exactly a music snob but grunting in a first couple of seconds, as if you're constipated isn't a good sign for me. I made a lot of effort in the past to get into Rap and Hip Hop and it's fair to say 90% of it isn't for me.

A few observations I would like to share. Production values of new music and sound quality is for most part incredible. I guess it's there to make up for lack of emotion which may work for some, but it's not for me. Loops and beats and samples are ever present and rapping is the name of the game for most part, again not my thing. Most songs sadly sound the same. Very few actual instruments are being used. Thank you Taylor Swift for still playing guitar (even though I don't dig your last album)!

Lyrically it is a graveyard. If you can be offensive and use words like B*tch, P*ssy, N*gga apparently get you a bump in streams. I'm not against swearing but normalising use of such language and then complaining how others are sexist/racist/objectifying women is not on.

Very few songs deserve a mention but I will include a few. Olivia Rodrigo "Drivers Licence" 👍 Songs by Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, The Weekend (apologies don't remember titles) 👍

Sonic Silk "Leave the Door Open" 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍 Major exception to the rule and light at the end of a tunnel. Masterfully written and delivered cheesy 70's style pop track (Earth, Wind and Fire anyone?)

Please don't misunderstand my rant as a rant against new music. There's lots of good new music coming out. Sound quality of which varies, especially compared to charts. Nevertheless it is good music. But most never makes it into charts.

The big question is this where does it leave us and the music industry? When most people are happy to listen to the same chord progressions as long as there is lots of ear candy (seriously some of the tracks sound like they've been written by people with ADHD). When mediocrity sells so well. The big bugbear of mine is the fact these chart topping songs sound sooooo good. But you really don't want to listen to them again. Well, not most of them.


Have you got any thoughts on the subject?
 
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muljao

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There's still great music there. It's just now it's easier to put stuff out, no physical media costs required so you get a lot of poor stuff easily to release. Might be an earworm and get play for a bit before forgotten.

Years ago it would have cost a lot more to get a song heard by a big crowd.

I suggest you look elsewhere than the charts for good music
 

insider9

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I wasn't really looking for good music. I listen to new releases a lot of the time and I appreciate how much good new music there is. But why is it that none of it is making into charts?
 

muljao

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Ya I don't know. I'm not even sure how the charts are compiled now, there isn't that much sales of music.

Maybe it's an age thing, young people (teenagers) generally have more time than adults to themselves, maybe their input/ listening habits decide what is popular or not.

Also it's often the case something may not grab a listener until a few listens, maybe the charts is a big pot of gold, we just haven't realized it yet 😜
 

insider9

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Also it's often the case something may not grab a listener until a few listens, maybe the charts is a big pot of gold, we just haven't realized it yet 😜
A pot of gold? More like a pile of... 😂

Charts are compiled based on sales (physical+download) and number of streams. So they reflect what music is being consumed.

The best way to make a song a hit is for it to make it on as many playlists as possible. If people don't skip it within first 30 seconds it counts as a play. That probably explains all the ear candy.

I'm not sure it's an age thing. I'm not yet 40, not young anymore but I am open minded. And really was curious. I do it once in a while.

Not surprisingly the songs that do the best are actually rather decent for most part. It's such a shame that for all the great sound quality we're getting the songs are not just forgettable but often unlistenable.
 
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muljao

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Just to be clear, I wasn't saying you were an old codger 😜😃, what I meant was younger people listening and surfing the web more generating hits listening to earworm piles of (whatever your 3 fullstops meant?
 
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insider9

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Hahaha, I didn't think you were saying that. Although I've been told many times before I appear older. Insistence on using full sentences and being able to spell would create that impression 😁
 
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DougK

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Stick on a Doris Day album, Insider, that'll cheer you up mate :)

My music collection starts around the 50's and stops around the middle of the 90's, anything after that just doesn't appeal to me. I know it's not what you're discussing, just sayin' :)
 
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insider9

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Stick on a Doris Day album, Insider, that'll cheer you up mate :)

My music collection starts around the 50's and stops around the middle of the 90's, anything after that just doesn't appeal to me. I know it's not what you're discussing, just sayin' :)
Cheers Doug. I just might listen to some Doris Day in the morning. What saddens me the most is the lack of variety. There literally isn't a Rock track on there. Mostly Hip Hop and Pop.

It's bad when a song comes on and you think this isn't too bad and realise it's Justin Bieber 🙂
 
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jjbomber

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But why is it that none of it is making into charts?
Music is a fashion accessory these days. People buy what is mainstream so that they fit in with the crowd. Even worse is concerts. How often are we stuck next to people who have just gone along with their friends and then talk all the way through? Music is a fashion accessory, not an art.
 
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DougK

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Stick on a Doris Day album, Insider, that'll cheer you up mate :)

My music collection starts around the 50's and stops around the middle of the 90's, anything after that just doesn't appeal to me. I know it's not what you're discussing, just sayin' :)
Wasn't being flippant, I have a very eclectic collection and do actually own a Doris Day album which on the right day find quite a good listen, I also have an Andrews Sisters album . Music industry and charts have changed massively over the years, or maybe I have... one hit wonders seem to be the name of the game these days.
 
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nopiano

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Haha, my friends thanked me. I've not done the US charts for a while and thought how bad can it be? Bad. Bar nearly the whole album by Taylor Swift only 2 or 3 Country songs. Not good.
I’m not surprised you felt the way you did, as the last time I heard the British charts there was plenty I could scarcely tolerate. But occasionally I tune into those old repeats of Top of the Pops on BBC4 TV and though I remember the bands/singers that lasted, there was some awful ‘padding’, one hit wonders and complete rubbish too.
Perhaps Taylor Swift is a bit like Paul Simon from a previous generation, truly talented and forever evolving. The majority are here today and gone tomorrow.
 
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Gray

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Wasn't being flippant, I have a very eclectic collection and do actually own a Doris Day album which on the right day find quite a good listen, I also have an Andrews Sisters album . Music industry and charts have changed massively over the years, or maybe I have... one hit wonders seem to be the name of the game these days.
...that's very brave of you Doug.
Fortunately for me, no-one would believe that I like a David Cassidy track :ROFLMAO:
(I modified the ripped cover art using Microsoft Paint. It says 'Girls' CD').
 
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Gray

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.....occasionally I tune into those old repeats of Top of the Pops on BBC4 TV and though I remember the bands/singers that lasted, there was some awful ‘padding’, one hit wonders and complete rubbish too.
The difference between then and now is that we knew it was rubbish as we watched the original broadcasts.
 

insider9

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Music is a fashion accessory these days. People buy what is mainstream so that they fit in with the crowd. Even worse is concerts. How often are we stuck next to people who have just gone along with their friends and then talk all the way through? Music is a fashion accessory, not an art.
That's just so sad. That's how we end up with people who don't care about music buying music of people who mostly want to be popular.
 

insider9

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Wasn't being flippant, I have a very eclectic collection and do actually own a Doris Day album which on the right day find quite a good listen, I also have an Andrews Sisters album . Music industry and charts have changed massively over the years, or maybe I have... one hit wonders seem to be the name of the game these days.
I wasn't flippant either. I adore most old time singers. And my favourite singer of all time is Ella Fitzgerald.
 
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insider9

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I’m not surprised you felt the way you did, as the last time I heard the British charts there was plenty I could scarcely tolerate. But occasionally I tune into those old repeats of Top of the Pops on BBC4 TV and though I remember the bands/singers that lasted, there was some awful ‘padding’, one hit wonders and complete rubbish too.
Perhaps Taylor Swift is a bit like Paul Simon from a previous generation, truly talented and forever evolving. The majority are here today and gone tomorrow.
Well I don't mind genuine one hit wonders. Remember the summer of 2012 where all you can hear everywhere was Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe". That was a genuine one hit wonder and I enjoyed it. Nowadays there's tosh in Top 100 nevermind 100.

Regarding Taylor Swift, she released two one hour long studio album last year, not to mention 2 more live albums. She writes her own songs unlike most people on the charts and uses real instruments.

Feels like everything else is manufactured with often 5 or more songwriters, and I'm not talking about band members, who are people from industry.
 
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insider9

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The difference between then and now is that we knew it was rubbish as we watched the original broadcasts.
Also the difference between then and now is musicians could play instruments, wrote their own songs and had a unique identity. They were doing it because they loved music and not because they wanted to be famous.
 
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Oxfordian

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I love a good intro to a track, the way that an instrument(s) can slowly build and suck you in to the main part of the track is just great.

However, my kids tell that this is boring and that music today has to get you with a few notes or you skip it and move on to the next track, you keep doing this until you get a hook that draws you in.

The other issue is that for many years music has been hyped beyond belief, gushing DJ’s fawning over the latest wannabe bulling them up only for a very lacklustre track to be played.

With a few exceptions today’s music stars rarely last beyond today, very few make it to tomorrow, those with real talent will survive but for many it is 1 track or at the very best 1 album and then they were gone.

You only have to look at the ‘talent’ shows that you are force fed by TV, who was the last big name to come out of one of these shows, yet the winners in many cases are distant faded memories.

Today is all about ‘Now’, pushed by record companies, tv, radio and social media, a star‘s life is incredibly short, once the next new name comes along you are history.

How many of those names in the charts today will be played in 5, 10 or 15 years time, compare that to those names from the 1970’s,80’s and 90’s who are still being played.

Radio 2 now playing REM’s Man on the Moon from 1992, boy is that a good track.
 

insider9

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I share the sentiment @Oxfordian to some extent hence the rant. And it's interesting to get your kids take on this.

I wonder how long will it take for every constantly dissatisfied person to realise that it's down to expectation of instant gratification.

It sadness me as there are so many incredibly talented musicians out there, but they don't really make charts. Their craft is arguably beyond or at the level of legends we all love. If you consider someone like Tosin Abasi from Animals As Leaders he's a virtuoso, like very few before him.
 
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Oxfordian

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I share the sentiment @Oxfordian to some extent hence the rant. And it's interesting to get your kids take on this.

I wonder how long will it take for every constantly dissatisfied person to realise that it's down to expectation of instant gratification.

It sadness me as there are so many incredibly talented musicians out there, but they don't really make charts. Their craft is arguably beyond or at the level of legends we all love. If you consider someone like Tosin Abasi from Animals As Leaders he's a virtuoso, like very few before him.
A musician is a trades person, they learn their craft over many years of hard graft, empty pubs and clubs at the start before working their way up. Sure some will get lucky but they have to have the talent in the first place.

I wonder how many of todays so called ‘stars‘ will be talked about as influencing the next generation, I doubt very many.

There are many good musicians out there today working hard to fulfil their dreams, hopefully they will rise to the top and push those promoted and overhyped talentless nonentities into the dust.
 

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