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Thursday, June 7, 2018


Modern music is getting worse

 Science has proven that the combination of notes in modern songs 

have been losing their diversity over the past 50 years.

Take the “The Millennial Whoop”

 It’s a sequence of notes that alternates between the fifth and third notes of a major scale, 

typically starting on the fifth.

 A singer usually belts these notes with an “Oh” phoneme, often in a “Wa-oh-wa-oh” pattern.

It makes the songs seem familiar.  

And in an unpredictable world in chaos, familiar feels safe.

It also makes our modern songs stamped out as if by cookie cutter.

Speaking of music processed by cookie cutter ---

Songwriting is an impersonal process these days that would make Henry Ford swell with pride.

In fact, probably every modern song you ever loved was written by ONLY TWO MEN!

Lukasz Gottwald 
and Max Martin 

Max Martin:

As for Lukas Gottwald ...

 When the New York DJ, a former pot dealer who later spent six years as the guitarist for the house band on ”Saturday Night Live,” 

wanted to start producing records, he sought out Martin, who became first his mentor, then his partner.

 Martin and Lukas have had such a strong influence on modern pop music that 

“Swedish hit-makers supplied one quarter of all the hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014

 No wonder so much modern music 
sounds the same!

When I got my first iPod in 2001, I noticed immediately 

that I became more fickle and impatient while listening to music. 

Because I could recharge the iPod for free at any time, 

skipping to the next song wasn't costing me anything in terms of needing to buy more batteries. 

I found myself getting bored with songs quickly and compulsively looking for something more engaging. 

Oftentimes on a run, 

I could easily skip through the beginning of 10 songs in rapid succession if the intro didn't grab me.  

Many, many listeners are the same, 

hence hooks appear almost at the beginning of most modern songs which repeat the same phrase like a mantra.


I'm referring to the practice of using compressors to squash the music, 

making the quiet parts louder and the loud parts a little quieter, so it jumps out of your radio or iPod ...

no matter what setting you set your volume control to.

Since most modern songs sound similar, 

making your song louder than your competitor snares attention ...

at least until another song comes along to blow out your ear drums. 


Once upon a time, pop singers were actual singers. 

The pop charts are now dominated by artists who use Auto-Tune,

the software plug-in that corrects the pitch of those 

who can’t really cut it in the vocal department and turns their vocals into robo-voices. 

Back in the day, pop artists like Frank Sinatra and the Beatles 

used to be able to record albums in just a few days.

These days, artists are able to get by on looks, publicity and aid from Auto-Tune. 


Rap Music, like jabbing a stick in your eye, is an acquired taste.

I don't get the appeal, but then, I do not jab a stick in my eye or ear either.

Will any tune, Rap or otherwise, currently on Billboard's Top 1o 

have the longevity of Hotel California, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, or Sympathy for the Devil?

 I do not think so.  How about you?

Remember the beauty, nuance, subtlety, and stirring beat of the songs last century? 

Do you like most modern songs?


  1. No you know why I haven't listened to the radio in over ten years. And why I prefer progressive rock, especially artists from Europe. They are still unique and growing and changing all the time. None of it gets airplay here because it's complex and not easy to digest.

    1. Like you, I often listen to artists from Europe for those same reasons ... or music from the states when singers actually sang and tunes were actually hand-crafted. :-)

  2. Indie alternative rock still has good songs, especially the younger artists. You just have to muddle through the indie muck to find them.

    I am a drummer myself, as is my son, and we both only listen to well-written songs. He's seventeen, and he won't listen to modern music. His playlist is full of Rat-Pack songs and the like, and his taste is uncompromising jazz.

    We have to remember that fine things were never, never, ever enjoyed by the masses. Consider the degradation in wine as it became mainstream. Beer. Whiskey. Read a book written in the 1800s, and they will describe "the sweet smell of his cigarette." Smoking may once have been a pleasant luxury, but with the advent of commercialization, it lost its fizz.

    It all tastes flat to the more refined palate, but to the masses it is pure unadulterated Bud Lite bliss!

    Even sex has been denigrated by pornography and popular culture. We still need to eke out the finer things in life, if you ever hope to remain at the level of an intellectual.

    So, it's always been like this, at least in the modern corporate era. Cars, motorcycles, clothing, homes that won't last twenty years. All of it crumbles beneath the masses, and you have to dig deeper to find the good things.

    They're still there. Just have to bloody your nails finding them.

    - Eric

    1. Most people won't take the time to do this sadly. :-( I use Pandora to sift through genres I like. So you and you son are drummers? Neat! :-)