Music of the Past vs Today's Music

February 16, 2011
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It’s obvious that when turning on popular radio stations today, you’ll most likely hear one thing and one thing only- mainstream music. In a way, I can understand how it’s likeable. Most of it has a great beat, catchy lyrics, and the type of music is what we grew up with in our generation. Not all house music is terrible music, don’t get me wrong. But some artists of today have forgotten the main components that make a truly talented artist. Step outside the mainstream box for a second, and take a look at how much has really changed in music over the years. Sometimes, not for the better.

Go back in time a few decades, to the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Lots of the bands from these eras have become internationally famous, and their music has become classic. Artists like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and so many other successful bands. All of these bands became famous, because they had something that’s hard to find today- real talent. Many of the bands of the past wrote music that had real depth to it. Their lyrics were meaningful, they wrote their own music, they played multiple instruments, they didn’t use auto tune or synthesizers, and many other factors. Using something like auto tune was considered an insult back in the day. Today it’s almost on impulse, and everyone is using it so it’s not much of an indignity anymore. It’s more of the new regular, which makes it obvious that some mainstream artists of today lack the real talent of the music of the past.

Many of the lyrics have no real depth to them anymore either. Lots of mainstream artists don’t even write their own. The music is repetitive, and the lyrics sometimes involve swearing and the same typical situations, like “going to a club tonight”, “let’s get this party started”, or the typical thought that every song has to be about love, falling in love, being in love, or something having to do with love. It would be great for some artists to try and expand their music into more than just one topic of “love”, and try writing a song about a different issue or situation in life. This music is great for hearing at a party, or something upbeat to hear. But when you actually want to listen to the music, I’m not sure this is exactly what everyone is looking for.

To finish this, I’ll start by saying that not all music of today is bad. There are lots of underground bands of today – and even some mainstream- that still have the actual depth and talent in their music, to become even greater someday. It disappoints me though, when underground bands with real musical talent are getting less attention than a popular artist that constantly uses a synthesizer or has someone write their songs for them. It is an opinionated topic, but I still think it’s something for everyone to debate, whatever genre or era you’re a fan of.

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icqmnicholas said...
Oct. 30 at 4:36 am
60 - 90 . present day Jimi Hendrix . lil pump led zeppelin . XXXtentacion phil collins . Iggy azalea BB King Selena Gomez
BennyBoy42 said...
Feb. 14 at 1:01 pm
R.I.P. to music with quality content
Jim H said...
Jan. 6 at 11:23 am
I would say the golden age of pop music was between 1968 and 1982. That 14 year period saw more talent then the last 3 decades put together.
The know it all said...
Dec. 7, 2016 at 1:19 am
I thought this was a great article. Its mostly a rant, and of course biased, but true. There are a few and far between great songs in any era. Although rare nowadays. The reason is because its formatted. If you understand progressions based on the major and minor scale, you can learn a handful of them, and play 99% of all new songs. In the 60's. Music was a lot more detailed. If you didn't understand that. If you know that you can paint every house brown and it will sell, you dont... (more »)
Gia217 said...
Jun. 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm
My entire life I grew up loving 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. I think today's music isn't music. Yes their are bands and artists of today write REALLY good songs... But it just make me sad that people rather listen to Justin Bieber, The Weekend, and One Direction. They make me sick. When lead singer, Adam Gotier left Three Days Grace I died a little inside. I noticed that Three Days Grace was barely on any rock music channels. They write real music yet no one cares... I'm disappointed of 2016
JohnDoe replied...
Sept. 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm
The Weeknd*
johnbob said...
May 17, 2016 at 2:46 pm
huh, neat but what about mixing old and new with electro swing?
Antonio said...
Apr. 16, 2016 at 11:06 pm
There's this song by this band called Porcupine Tree ( which are an AMAZING band) called Sound of Muzak, this song points out the music industry today in a peerless way, check it out!
Musical savount said...
Mar. 29, 2016 at 10:35 am
Music has made quit a number of changes, we all know that, but the music didn't change on its own, it was the producers, writer, artist, they made those changes. When music began it began to fit the era of the culture and thus began the evolution of what some people will now a days call music. For those who were born into the early to mid 90's, our parents raised us to listen to what they knew as music but we can also listen to the difference based on what our grandparents listen to. M... (more »)
MusicLover said...
Mar. 15, 2016 at 9:57 pm
And WHAT, prey tell, is wrong with synthesizers?! I'm just messing with ya.
ScarletCity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 6, 2016 at 2:51 pm
Another difference: all the good bands wrote their stuff. All the mainstream bands now have writes who write what sells good.
skyvex1 said...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 11:29 pm
This is more of a rant, but straight out point. Do you truly understand WHY music is bad though. Jesus Christ.
skyvex1 said...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 11:17 pm
Most music is commercialized today, all pop and not serious music like what you hear from those classic rock bands. Very, very, very few people can make that serious music now a days, either mainstream or underground. It's lost its sound over the years.
skyvex1 said...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 11:15 pm
Yes they did use synthesizers.
skyvex1 said...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 11:14 pm
No there are classic rock stations you know
SilentStagePunk said...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm
Nirvana was from the 90's, really. Just letting you know. But I entirely agree with what you are saying. I would love it if people of all ages were able to go to cheaper rock shows or just shows in general, and see bands that are relate able and not-so-mainstream. It's sort of dream-crushing that a synthesized DJ can receive so much more attention than a true artist, someone such as the "classic" bands you've mentioned.
JoselovesMJ said...
Jan. 12, 2016 at 6:57 pm
Most of today's music is so horrible. While compare to 60's, 70's and 80's. The Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Etc all had ONE thing in common, The "T" word (Talent). Elvis and The Beatles were the best of their eras. MJ had talent going back to the Jackson 5(the ORIGINAL boy band) and his "Thriller" album proved to everyone he was one of the best. Meanwhile, going back to today's music, they only care about making $$$, good looks and getting 6-9 year ol... (more »)
skyvex1 replied...
Feb. 2, 2016 at 11:22 pm
No, the music industry forces people to make bad music in a way. It is very very hard to make money now since these streaming services suck up all the money that artists make, taking 60% or over of the profit. Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, you name it. No one really buys music anymore. When was the last time you bought a physical copy of a song. iTunes helps a bit, but why buy the song when you can listen to it for free right? So artists need to pump out songs as quickly as possible, thus having no... (more »)
abala1 said...
Jan. 5, 2016 at 11:13 am
yes this article is pointing a real problem with the music today...but the analysis is incomplete if it does not mention the effect of MTV in the development that we see today, a channel that was created as media outlet for music, have little to do with music today! and its effect on the quality of popular music is just terrible!
ScarletCity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 11, 2015 at 5:04 pm
I think that the music now is tasteless. But think about it... us kids and teenagers weren't around for the '60s and '70s. All the kids now know know the horrible, tasteless music of the twenty- first century. These lyrics are horrible and riddled with profanity. But, the music now is so fast and loud, you cannot even hear the words being spoken.
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