When I first started my current job, I noticed the woman I worked for played the local Top 40 radio station. Having not listening to the radio much this year, I enjoyed it – for about a week. After that listening to the same 40 songs multiple times for eight hours a day grew to become akin to torture (I now listen to NPR during the day, which has made all the difference).
I don’t mind the occasional current pop song. If we stay in our comfortable bubble of Stuff We Like we won’t ever be exposed to new and exciting things to enjoy (Midnight in Paris taught me this). So I try not to be too much of a downer or overly nostalgic. But by and large, I am not a fan of today’s mainstream music.
To me, it seems the song lyrics of almost every current popular song are a myriad of variations of the same message: “I want to have sex with you.”
You would think by now listeners would have figured this out (and, to their credit, maybe they have), but apparently it really does sell.
Listening to my music on shuffle today at work, the songs ranged from Mozart to Glenn Miller to The Platters to Jewel. That’s a few hundred years of music in an hour. And when I listen to the creativity in some of the lyrics, it makes me sob a little on the inside that songs like Justin Bieber’s “Baby” or Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid Hoe” were so popular.
By comparison, Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” was banned from many radio stations for its clear allusion to the lynching of blacks, yet she insisted on singing it at all of her shows. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” compared the haves with the have-nots and the injustices faced by the latter. I don’t think many songs today have that kind of meaning or passion.
P.S. I’m posting this on dial-up, so please excuse the lack of YouTube links. I’ll add them when I can later.