Recently, I’ve noticed that a lot of artists that I wouldn’t have given the time of day to a few years ago , have piqued my interest as of late. Britney, Chris Brown and even Ke$ha are not getting skipped over instantly in my playlist. Maybe it’s the producers they’re working with, or the remixes that are finding their way to the states. In any case, I’m finding a bit of a growth pattern in the thin, meager rings of the American ‘popular’ tree.
What’s making these horrendous screechings slightly more pleasant to my third favorite headhole? I’ll tell you. It’s globalization. These artists are not just American pop stars like in the good old days of boy bands and sugary one hit wonders like (insert fanboy fave from the ’80s). Music isn’t being ported to other cultural platforms like some kind of second rate, slap draggle anime dub, it’s been strategically formulated to address mass audiences across language, geography, taste level and ethnic background. Thanks to the greedy fatcats at the mega-labels, (you know who you are and who you’ve destroyed) there’s something in each album for everyone. One country-esque ballad, one hip hop head bobber, one repetitive euro pop trance dance dj feeder, and one fan favorite focused brand builder. I don’t like the formula any more than you do, but, it works. Let’s face it, in the iTunes age, all the labels need is for each music lover in the world to buy one single off each album, and it will add up to a pretty diversified roster/stable of youguns for them to exploit/invest in.
Is the music made all the better because of it? Some of it, yes. There’s always some diamond in the rough or disaster gone right that turns up when you mix good music from all over the world together. And that’s where I’m seeing an uptick in the quality of bad music in America. Young artists are actually learning from and being influenced by music that 20 years ago, they would have never been able to access. It’s sparking something in them, and helping them to get better. (ever so slowly)
Who knows? Maybe, a few years from now our pop stars will deserve the money, praise and attention we lavish them with? Naaaaah. It takes a long time for a few scattered audio acorns to sprout and grow into something solid