Most people would agree that the most obvious problem with today’s music is its commercialization and the lack of originality. The root of the problem may be in the Hollywood-chic lifestyle that musicians tend to promote in their music nowadays. Ever since music became something else than a way of expressing yourself, it’s been going downhill. Music is now regarded as a way to make good money and get famous. It is no longer about your talent, your ability to sing, play an instrument, compose or write a good song. Music has become a lifestyle choice and an embodiment of fame and mainstream media.
Nowadays, musicians make songs based on what’s currently popular. There is no longer a sense of originality in the latest songs, which makes most of an artist’s songs sound just like something another artist made some time ago. It distances the listener from the music itself and it also makes music appear stagnant, like we are stuck in a never-ending loop.
There are only a few songs you can call memorable when you think of the past few years, as almost all have similar sounding elements in them.
Electronic Music “Leakage”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with electronic music whatsoever. It is a genre of its own that’s worth enjoying and loving. However, in recent years, with technology growing faster than ever before, there’s been an over-popularization of this style of music. It’s “leaked” into all different genres and styles, overtaking the music industry. This has made musicians that had little to no connection with electronic sounds add them to their music because it is “the right thing to do”. Even electronic music enthusiasts can agree that mainstream artists are abusing electronic music for the sake of more profit. Looking at it from an economic standpoint, it is faster to produce music with electronic sounds as a base.
The same goes for auto-tune. In some cases, auto-tune sounds good and even improves the song. But, as with electronic music, it has been used over and over again by the music industry. Even singers and songs that don’t actually need any form of auto-tune use it because they are expected to do so. It can be said that auto-tune has become a must in today’s mainstream music business.
Ranging from product placement to more extreme scenarios, the visual aspect of music has become very important. Although music videos can help translate the message and what the song is about better, it is not uncommon that music videos are used to promote brands and this way try to make up for the lack of originality in the song. It can be noticed that many videos don’t even suit the theme of the song and have no correlation with the lyrics. For example, a love song may feature scenes more suitable for an action movie than for a romance.
These are just some of the trends that the music industry has been going overboard with in recent years. The root of the problem is most probably the desire to make more profit. It is way easier and safer to follow the mainstream than spend a lot of time and effort making a high-quality track just to see it rejected by the audience.