Pop music is a funny genre. Firstly, because “Popular Music” unlike “Jazz” or “Teutonic Thrash Metal” doesn’t really have specific musical or lyrical characteristics. It’s defined almost entirely by culture and time: what’s currently popular.
Seen more as a commercial enterprise than a creative one, Pop is often belittled by ~more serious artists~. The mass-marketed junk food of the music world. “All Pop sounds the same.” Scoff the hipsters as they sip black coffee from a mason jar, some Alt J vinyl spinning in the background.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Alt J. Sometimes I drink my coffee black. I am occasionally that hipster. But let’s be honest. A lot of alternative music sounds the same too. It happens in every genre.
Heck, every Blues song follows the same exact 8- or 12-bar chord progression. It’s what makes it Blues. Yet Somehow there is great Blues. And there is also crappy Blues. HOW?! You may ask. It’s almost as if genre is not a good determining factor of the quality of music.
I have certainly fallen into the trap of disparaging an entire genre of music. I really don’t like reggae. Or at least I thought I didn’t, until I realized that the Arthur Theme Song, AKA the beloved soundtrack to my childhood, was written and performed by none other than Ziggy Marley, prominent reggae artist and son of the legendary Bob Marley. I was enlightened. Humbled. Inspired to revisit my childhood aardvark friend.
Miles Davis said it best: “Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is.”
Ok, so now that that’s out of the way. I want to talk about some new pop.