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You should hear what my dad had to say about Elvis!

Not really the same. Rock & roll still had melody and lyrics. Both are continually being simplified every year.

You should read this: https://science.slashdot.org/story/18/01/15/231230/is-pop-mu...

5. A researcher put 15,000 Billboard Hot 100 song lyrics through the well-known Lev-Zimpel-Vogt (LZV1) data compression algorithm, which is good at finding repetitions in data. He found that songs have steadily become more repetitive over the years, and that song lyrics from today compress 22% better on average than less repetitive song lyrics from the 1960s. The most repetitive year in song lyrics was 2014 in this study.

Conclusion: There is some scientific evidence backing the widely voiced complaint -- on the internet in particular -- that pop music is getting worse and worse in the 2000s and the 2010s. The music is slower, melodically simpler, louder, more repetitive, more "I" (first-person) focused, and more angry with anti-social sentiments. The 2010s got by far the most music quality down votes with 42% from people polled on which decade has produced the worst music since the 1970s.

It kind of sounds like you're having a hard time finding good new music. It's out there if you look.

Snarky Puppy - Lingus (We Like It Here) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_XJ_s5IsQc

Hiatus Kaiyote - By Fire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ilr1AY41AA

Alina Engibaryan - We Are https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-dusz1TyD0

These seem like exactly the type of music the article was complaining about. Lots of repetition of short phrases without the kind of melodic structure the author preferred, and a focus on “sonic-texture”.

Except the conclusion isn’t scientific at all. It’s 100% based on opinion. The author identified trends, yes, but that’s about it.

Simpler and more repetitive doesn’t mean worse — it means simpler and more repetitive. Never once have I listened to a song and thought, “Wow, this sucks, these lyrics would compress really easily.”

I do. Something like Hotel California that invokes a vivid imagery in one's mind seems unthinkable today. I don't know whether this affects the imagination or lingual abilities of the listeners, but it certainly can not produce the same emotions.

I honestly don’t know whether you’re praising or criticizing Hotel California.



Think what you want about the song, but the lyrics are descriptive yet metaphorical. I made this example because I assumed everyone is familiar with it. The point is: the lyrics don't just consist of "I did this, I did that, yeah yeah yeah".

Are you saying no recent music contains "descriptive yet metaphorical" lyrics?

No, but it hardly exists in the mainstream and most indie music I've heard is mainly ambience stuff.

The bottom line is that older music seem better because time is a filter - we remember the good stuff. People have always complained that "music nowadays" is crap.

There is a hypothesis that older music seems better because it is cherry picked, and is being unfairly compared against a random selection of new music.

That hypothesis is, unfortunately, starkly false.

Music nowadays really is crap; time is not helping it. If we use our 20/20 hindsight and pick the best music of, say, the past 50 years, it will be heavily weighted toward the first 20 of those years.

Thirty years ago, sure, I thought that a lot of "music nowadays" was crap; but, unlike today, I also thought that a good deal of it wasn't.

> That hypothesis is, unfortunately, starkly false.

OK...why do you think is it false? That you don't care about contemporary music doesn't really disprove it.

Simpler and repetitive does mean worse.

Simpler and repetitive does mean worse - for you. I actually agree with you, but I know plenty of people that love club/dance music, which is about as simple and repetitive as you can get. I think it's important to take the context of the music being played/performed as well: a simple, repetitive piece would likely not be received well in an orchestra hall, while a song with complex melody, deep lyrics, and rich harmony would likely be skipped at a football tailgate party. Music serves several functions in many different environments, and labeling a piece or style as universally worse is almost never true.

Apologies in advance, there must be something wrong with my browser. The link to your source isn’t working.

Try again, this time by reading the page with your eyes open.

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