I don't think there's been too much of a slump recently; the majority of popular music of the past 60 years has been of generally poor quality, but as time goes on people look back with rose-tinted spectacles.
I think another aspect of it is, that a lot of the pop acts of today are created by record exec's and/or producers. There for they lack that real artistry of a lot of pop musicians from the past. There's nothing wrong with POPULAR music, its just that today we have an unprecidented level of mediocre and superficial music acts making generic music. The music business isnt so much about talent anymore but rather marketing and branding. This is actually an indictment against the system and the masses who support it rather than those music acts.
It's actually getting better from the slump that was 2009-2011. Look at all the good songs that came out recently. Anything by Adele, We are Young by fun. Everybody talks by Neon Trees, Somebody that I used to know by Gotye...
As for the shitty music in the world of pop, you have to realise, the main consumers of singles are kids that listen to whatever is cute or hot with their peers. People with good taste are too smart to waste money on singles and buy albums.
I just want to say I find there is nothing wrong with listening to Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katy Perry and Kanye West. Like who can say they don't like at least one song that has ever been in the top 10? I hate people who hate stuff because it's popular. But whenever someone use mainstream like it's an adjective that matters automatically what they are about to say will sound stupid.
That being said I want to say something else about entertainers. Beyonce may not be the greatest singer in the world but she does a good show, same with Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, none of them were the best singer on Earth but they put on a good show and influenced fashion. I remember listening to an alternative rock radio station, last station in the city to play hip hop, and the host said he, unashamed, went to a Jay-Z concert and had fun, and he thought people are something too caught up in trying to be 'indie,' 'intelligent,' 'smart' or 'underground' that they can't have fun. Call Me Maybe is a pretty dumb song, but if it plays in a stadium during a football game everyone is gonna sing along. I don't think things need to be complicated, serious, smart, or indie to be good, I think people should just like what they like.
Aight, there is something I obviously didn't mention. It's not that I despise EVERYTHING on the radio. I do like Little Talks, along with anything by MJ and (as of recently) pink floyd.
It's not that Lady Gaga is terrible. She can sing. It's that her music and singing is boring, unengaging, and very artificial. Well, Well, her singing isn't literally artificial, but you get the idea.
Ditto for the rest that you mentioned. Though, Pink is pretty decent for today's scene.
It's not only that, it's that the only genres of music I hear on the radio today are pop, rap, and occasionally rock. And don't say RnB is it's own genre.
But back to the topic at hand- the reason I like MJ, Floyd, and the occasional classic like Welcome to the Jungle, is because they don't sound like they were composed by some dude in a turtleneck in some fancy new york building in ten seconds flat.
I agree about the Lady Gaga thing, her songs are pretty shallow, but she puts on a good show, some people criticize her for being too into fashion but honestly I think that's part of her charm that her shows and videos are always over the top. Her acoustic versions of songs are pretty strong sounding.
Yeah I know what you mean. But I feel like because there's a few horrible pop songs everyone has to be like everything on MTV is crap...well what little music they play on it these days.
I think because record companies pay stations to play songs that have just come out by artists. Like Katy Perry released an album, yet not all of the songs become popular right away, although they WILL be popular a year later. I've noticed that when she makes a music video, that song is the one that's instantly popular. So maybe that's how record companies choose the songs they want to promote. Plus, popular songs are really EASY to make. I'm in a music tech class, and it's really easy to make beats similar to the ones on the radio. It can take five minutes just to get something up, let alone finished.
Hmm... Interesting. First off, I am jealous that you learned something in music class. Whenever I tried taking it, all we seemed to do is watch horrible musicals. We never even talked about them! It's just "watch mama mia!".
Secondly, I like your point about popular songs being easy to make. They always did sound horrible and quickly made. Then again, they had to be. More time spending writing songs, means an extra minute goes by and they aren't making enough money. Well, "enough money" in their terms.
Music has always fascinated me. Though, when I was a kid, I was horrified by the crap on the radio. It wasn't until I found some underrated J-pop songs on the internet. You gotta wonder, if it weren't for the internet, it would be almost impossible for the average person to find some decent music. Then again, I did find a Diablo Swing Orchestra album while christmas shopping. Though paying around 20 euros for a CD still makes it difficult.