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Let’s Talk: Is there any personality in music anymore?

Looking back over the years and playing your favourite music from past eras – the 70s and 80s – it is so liberating to hear music strife with personality, creativity and dexterity. With the change in style, creative process and actual genre, you can see the shift how the dynamic has changed, with physical instruments ultimately stripped for processed lo-fi beats, sampled acoustics and recordings. So, what happened? Where did the personality go in music?

There’s often times where I listen to current, topical music and I almost always reminiscence about past music that had “actual” instruments. Hiring a studio and actually playing the parts, rather than delegating sampled beats to each playmaker. You can always tell if a part is true to itself or not, because every drum hit is played differently and every guitar chord struck sounds melodically different. That is, if an instrument is involved.

Two of my favourite musicians on YouTube have recently delved into this subject and it’s quite interesting to look into. As they perused through the top 10 on Spotify, they tried to find any type of “actual” instrument in the song. Whether that’d be an actual drum kit or an actual person playing the accompaniment of the guitar. The result is probably what you’re expecting.

Nevertheless, I’ll leave them below so you can have a look and have a laugh like I did.

Hoped you liked ’em as much as I did. Anyways, this is important insider knowledge to our talk today. Is there any personality in music anymore? Does music have to have actual instruments for it to be personable and more musically adept? Or is it merely old folks who are beating a dead horse and saying that current chart music is crap again? Let me know what you think to this one.

By manvmusic

In one of the most controversial, ever-changing and unpredictable industries, join my rants and ravings as I dissect the music industry word by word through technology, current events, industry stories and problems.

12 replies on “Let’s Talk: Is there any personality in music anymore?”

Studies have shown that recent music has less complexity than music of decades past. Part of it is the formula for what sells. Also, a lot of today’s pop music is written by the same few people, which also helps explain why the music sounds so similar.
Honestly, I love pop, even cheesy, same-y sounding pop. But I can’t deny the science.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/science-proves-pop-music-has-actually-gotten-worse-8173368/
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/is-pop-music-evolving-or-is-it-just-getting-louder/
https://www.mic.com/articles/107896/scientists-finally-prove-why-pop-music-all-sounds-the-same
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0115255#pone.0115255.s001

Liked by 3 people

Yeah absolutely. You’re spot on with that. It’s definitely about the commodity of selling in pop. But ya can’t beat a bit of cheesy pop (even if science tells us it’s gotten worse) buuuut everyone wants to dive into the sewage every now and then 😉
Thanks for the link, I’ll have a look 🤔

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As mentioned above, popular music is being made by an elite group. It is not there is no personality, it is just being made by limited groups of personalities. These trends are so powerful (or well, people’s want of money and success is powerful) that it makes your low level producer strive for what’s popular, deadening any type of innovation. Listeners are the ones lacking either their own personality, their own courage to think outside the box, or from the straight up laziness of our world of convenience, so there is an attraction to what is already familiar, so the cookie cutter producers gain streams. Music today is actually so richly diverse that is has become so saturated that your average listener is overwhelmed, or maybe even suffering a case of listener’s fatigue because of the loudness of modern music, that the top 10 of spotify is just the easiest way to form a taste in music – it is already popular, the cool kids like it, it is literally no work to like these artists. Automatic acceptance into a scene. Yeah, we can blame this sick fuck music industry and their manipulative tactics to maintain control in mainstream media, but it is the listener that forks over the streams and sales revenue that feed the beast. So that leaves us one question – is it music that is getting dumber or is it just people in general that are getting stupider?

Liked by 2 people

Now THAT’S an impressive response to this question. Top stuff, my man.

Yeah you’re spot on with the many points you make, to be fair. I think it’s a hideous concoction of both the music and us getting more accepting of the drivel that is sometimes produces from the industry. I genuinely believe that we’re overwhelmed with so much at our disposal. About 40k songs are added on Spotify every day. That’s enough music to get through in a lifetime … Scary, scary work from the global powerhouses above, indeed. Thanks for the pearls of wisdom!

Liked by 1 person

I will weigh in here too. I agree with That Voodoo’s harsh but true assessment on the state of music.

YouTube is actually a saviour of obscure music, as someone with very obscure tastes I have discovered amazing music there and then interviewed talented musicians on my blog with hardly no followers. There are also micro-communities too, like this neo-pagan folk website which produces incredible music! It’s all there if you look for it.
https://mythologica.com.br/en/

Oh and f*** the boring mainstream hehe

Liked by 1 person

Yeah you’re right. There’s some right little beauties where you know where to look .. it’s just going the extra mile to find them all. And when you do? It surely beats any commercial pop we see in the popular music news. And when you find it itself? It’s even more satisfying (because no one else has heard of it ;))

Liked by 1 person

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