The Unspoken Truth That Finally Reveals Why All Modern Music is Awful

Hey Thoughty2 here. On the 6th December 1966 four guys from Liverpool
stepped into Abbey Road Studios and began to record an album. 333 hours and many questionable substances
later, The Beatles had emerged having produced their eight album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It would go on to sell over 32 million copies
worldwide and be named the greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine and
many other publications. It was highly experimental, using mould-breaking
techniques and a huge array of unusual instruments. The band had produced an emotional masterpiece
that epitomised the so called summer of love and was a true masterpiece of its time, yet
it remains just as relevant and powerful today. Fast forward 44 years to 2010 and Justin Bieber
released his hit single “Baby”, this is generally considered to be a bad move. So what went wrong? How did we go from Bob Dylan to Britney Spears,
from Led Zeppelin to Lady Gaga and The Kinks to Katy Perry. But who am I to criticise the musical tastes
of the vast majority of today’s youth? Personally, my musical tastes are stuck in
middle of last century, but you may think that just makes me old fashioned, stuck in
the past and I should move with the times. But here’s the thing, there is far to this
than simple nostalgia and when your parents keep telling you that the music died long
ago, they may actually have a point, because it turns out science agrees with them. Over the past thirty-plus years researchers
have been studying how trends in music have changed. And a recent study in 2012 by the Spanish
National Research Council revealed that the suspicions of somewhat antiquated individuals
such as myself are very true, music IS getting worse every year. The researchers took around 500,000 recordings
from all genres of music from the period of 1955 to 2010 and they meticulously ran every
single song through a set of complex algorithms. These algorithms measured three distinct metrics
of each song, the harmonic complexity, timbral diversity and loudness. The most shocking result that the researchers
found was that over the past few decades, timbre in songs has dropped drastically. Timbre is the texture, colour and quality
of the sounds within the music, in other words, timbre is the song’s richness and depth of
sound. The researchers found that timbral variety
peaked in the 1960s and has since been steadily declining. The timbral palette has been homogenised,
meaning songs increasingly have less diversity with their instruments and recording techniques. This divide is clearly evident if we take
what is widely considered to be The Beatle’s masterpiece, A Day In The Life, which was
recorded using an orchestra of forty musicians. But this is not classical music, this is pop. The five minute piece contains violins, violas,
cellos, double bass, a harp, clarinets, an oboe, bassoons, flutes, french horns, trumpets,
trombones, a tuba and of course the four band members playing their usual instruments over
the top. In contrast Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines uses
but one instrument, a drum machine. And yes this a rather extreme example, a song
known for it’s one-dimensional but punchy baseline. But it represents an overall trend with modern
pop music that the researchers found in their data. Instead of experimenting with different musical
techniques and instruments, the vast majority of pop today is built using the exact same
combination of a keyboard, drum machine, sampler and computer software. This might be considered as progressive by
some, but in truth it sucks the creativity and originality out of music, making everything
sound somewhat similar. Do you ever flick through the radio and think
to yourself “all these songs sound the same?”. What the researchers found is that the melodies,
rhythms and even the vocals of popular music have become more and more similar to each
other since the sixties. One facet of this homogenisation of popular
music was pointed out by musical blogger Patrick Metzger. Metzger noticed that hundreds of pop artists
were using the exact same sequence of notes that alternate between the fifth and third
notes of a major scale. This is usually accompanied by a vocal “Wa-oh-wa-oh”
pattern. Metzger named this the “Millennial Whoop”
and it sounds like this. The Millennial Whoop can be found in hundreds
of chart-topping pop songs created over the past few years, and its usage is becoming
more frequent. From Katy Perry’s California Girls to Justin
Bieber’s baby, literally every single major pop star today has included the Millennial
Whoop in at least one of their songs. But why? Well, quite simply, familiarity. Our brain likes familiarity, the more we hear
the same sounds the more we enjoy them. The millennial whoop has become a powerful
and predictable way to subconsciously say to the masses, “hey listen to this new song,
it’s really cool, but don’t worry you will like it because it’s really familiar, you’ve
kind of heard it a hundred times before”. And in this wildly unpredictable world, this
makes us feel safe. Sticking to the same cookie-cutter formula
comforts people and that’s important. But what about lyrics? Well, I’m afraid it’s bad news there too. Another study examined the so called “Lyric
Intelligence” of hundreds of Billboard chart-topping songs over the past ten years. They used different metrics such as the Flesch–Kincaid
readability index, which indicates how difficult a piece of text is to understand and the quality
of the writing. This was the result, over the past ten years
the average lyric intelligence has dropped by a full grade. Lyrics are also getting shorter and tend to
repeat the same words more often. We’ve gone from the absolute poetic beauty
of Bob Dylan and Morrissey too well… this… and this… What if I also told you that the vast majority
of chart-topping music in the past 20 years was written by just two people. What do Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Ellie
Goulding, Robin Thicke, Jessie J, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake,
Maroon 5, Pink, Leona Lewis, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Kesha, The Backstreet
Boys, Westlife, NSYNC, Adam Lambert and all have in common? The answer: their songwriter. I’m not saying 100% of their songs, but a
good chunk of all of these artist’s songs were written by the same Swedish man, Mr.
Max Martin. This one man is singlehandedly responsible
for over two-dozen number one singles and thousands of songs in the top 100 charts over
the past decades. He has written universally recognisable tracks
such as “I kissed a girl”, “Baby one more time”, “Since u been gone”, “California Gurls”,
“Shake it off” and so, so many more. And if Max Martin didn’t write it American
signer-songwriter Lukasz Gottwald most probably did. Known professionally as “Dr. Luke”, together
with Max Martin, they account for the lyrics and melodies behind the vast majority of pop
music today. You’ve likely never heard of them and that
is very intentional. These two men are the hidden pop factories
behind virtually every single band that is played on the radio today and probably every
music act you grew up with, if you’re under thirty-years old. And you wondered why everything sounds the
same. There are still popular, chart-topping musicians
that write the entirety of their own music today, but you have to look really, really
hard. Research has also shown that the hook, the
part of the song that really grabs us and pulls us in, is occurring sooner in modern
songs and they happen more often. Researchers believe this is because when it
comes to music, our attention spans have drastically shortened, unless a song instantly grabs us
our brains tend to shut off and ignore it, often skipping to the next song. This shortened attention span is a trend amongst
people that has only occurred in the past ten years and it’s believed to have been caused
by the instant access to millions of songs at our fingertips. It used to be the case that if you wanted
to hear a song you had to go out and buy that one single or album, take it home and play
it. You would probably play it countless times
because you had spent so much money on so few songs. Over time you would learn to appreciate all
the subtle nuances throughout the album. And then the iPod happened granting access
to thousands of songs on one device, which eventually led to streaming. Today we flick through songs on Spotify without
much thought to each song’s subtleties and unique talents. This has caused musicians and record companies
to favour punchy bass lines that demand our attention and to stuff each song full of so
called “hooks” to instantly grab our attention and keep it for as long as possible. And they’ve been doing something else in recent
years to grab our attention, something subtle but very powerful, yet so very, very wrong. For the past twenty years music producers
have been engaged in a war. The “loudness war”. The aim of this war is to produce louder music
than your competitors. But how do you make music louder when the
listener is in control of the volume, not the producer? Well, they use compression. You may have heard of dynamic range compression,
it’s the process of boosting the volume of the quietest parts of a song so they match
the loudest parts, thus reducing the dynamic range, the distance between the loudest part
and quietest part. This makes the whole song sound much, much
louder than the un-compressed version, no matter what volume the listener has set their
device to. It’s like me standing in the middle of the
street and mumbling nonsense to myself, occasionally whispers and sometimes speaking a bit louder. A few people might notice and avoid me. But then if I were to compress my dynamic
range I would suddenly be bellowing out every single word at the top of my voice, loudly
and proudly. Suddenly everyone turns around to look at
the crazy man shouting in the street and the police would be called. But this is exactly why producers do it, as
the market has become increasingly crammed with similar sounding pop music, making your
song shout louder than all the others ensures it will be heard amongst all the competition. But there’s a big price to pay for loudness. Dynamic range compression, when abused, as
it often is today, is an absolute travesty when it comes to the art of creating music. Where physics is concerned, the rule is that
you can’t make a sound louder than the volume it was recorded at, without reducing its quality. Compressing a song’s dynamic range strips
away its timbral variety. It muddies the sound, subtle nuances that
would have before been very noticeable and could have been appreciated are now, no longer
nuanced, they sound exactly the same as the rest of the track. Listen to this short recording without any
compression. Now hear what happens when the dynamic range
is compressed to match that of modern pop music. Hear how everything sounds less punchy and
vibrant, the drum beats stand out less, everything just makes less of an impact. But there’s very real reason why popular musicians
and producers today don’t stray away from their safe-haven of repetitive, monotonous
drum machines, unimaginative, factory-produced lyrics, rhythms stolen then from the previous
popular song then chopped up and changed slightly and of course, their ever popular millennial
whoops. It all has to do with risk. In the fifties, sixties and seventies record
labels would receive hundreds of demo tapes from budding young artists every week. They would sift through them and the most
talented acts would be offered record contracts. Even if they weren’t that special it didn’t
matter too much, the record label would just through a few thousand pounds into marketing
and if the public liked their music they would gain traction organically and make it big,
if not, they would fade away into the night. And this is crucial because importantly, the
public were voting with their ears for the best, the most talented musicians, singers
and songwriters. We, the people were the final judge and jury,
the ultimate arbiter. And so musicians had to be really bloody talented
to impress us enough to stick around and make more music. But this was risky, because many times record
labels would pump thousands of pounds into an act that weren’t destined to be and their
gamble wouldn’t pay off, losing their investment. But when they signed the really big acts it
would balance the books. However today promoting a new band is more
expensive than ever. Over time the cost of breaking in a new artist
onto the global music scene has sky-rocketed. In fact the IFPI reports that today it costs
anywhere between $500,000 and $3,000,000 TO sign a new act and break them into the music
scene; that’s a hell of a lot of money. Would you want to gamble with three million
dollars? No? Neither do music producers. So the industry has reacted by removing the
risk. Instead of trying to find genuine musical
talent they simply take a pretty young face, usually from a TV talent show and then simply
force the public to like them, by brainwashing them. Instead of allowing the public to grow to
like an artist and make their own mind up about the quality of their music, the industry
now simply makes you like the music, thus removing all the financial risk. Brainwash you say? How on earth do they do that? Have you ever noticed how “that” popular new
song seems to follow you around, everywhere you go. It’s on every radio station, it’s played in
your favourite stores, the supermarket, online and its even in the latest Hollywood movies
and popular TV shows? This is no coincidence. What that is in fact, is the record label’s
$3 million making sure that that new single is quite literally everywhere, completely
unescapable. Remember I was talking about the power of
familiarity? It’s called the Mere-exposure effect, a physiological
phenomenon by which people develop a preference for things they see and hear often. Our brain releases dopamine when we hear a
song we’ve heard a few times before and the effect only gets stronger with each listen. Can you remember the very first time you heard
your favourite pop songs from the past ten years? Whether it be Gangnam Style, Happy, All About
That Bass, Blurred Lines, Hotline Bling, did you truly like it the first time you heard
it? Or where you kind of repulsed? Did you have this brief moment where you thought,
what the hell is this? But then you heard it a few more times and
you began to think, well I guess it’s kinda catchy. And they your friends are all listening to
it and you hear it a few times and boom, it’s your favourite song and you can’t stop listening
to it. If this has happened to you then I’m afraid,
you have been brainwashed. The mere-exposure effect has gotten to you. Surely if a song is truly a great song, then
you wouldn’t need to force yourself to love it, you wouldn’t need to be won over through
a period of repeated exposure, you would just like it the first time you heard it. We all have different musical tastes but they
are sadly being overridden, diluted and emulsified by the brainwashing activities of big record
labels, the repeated and constant exposure to manufactured songs that we’ve heard a hundred
times before. Don’t get me wrong, there are many fantastically
talented bands out there, but in today’s industry virtually none of them will ever be signed
because they are simply too risky to promote, because they don’t fit the usual pop formula…
they are different. But being different is important. You may be thinking, “so what if I’m being
brainwashed, I enjoy contemporary popular music and isn’t that what’s important?” Yes, of course, music is an expression of
your personality and it should be enjoyed, no matter what others think. But it’s also really important to not let
creativity and originality disappear. Music as an art form is dying, it’s being
replaced by music which is a disposable product, designed to sell but not to inspire. So we shouldn’t be so complacent in allowing
systematic, cold, factory produced music to dominate or else the beautiful, soulful and
truly real music that we’ve all at some point loved and has been there through our darkest
times and our happiest times, could soon be a distant memory, never to be repeated. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “The Unspoken Truth That Finally Reveals Why All Modern Music is Awful

  1. Modern life has also become homogenized. Cars look rather similar to be more efficient. Language has been P.C.'d to a neutral beige. T.V. shows have pretty much the same themes only in different settings, law, and hospitals being most popular, filled with actors and actresses who look and act as if made from the same mold. If you aspire to rise in corporate ranks you likely will take classes to rid you of your accent or dialect. Houses painted in neutral colors. I think this might be a reason for the popularity of political people like Boris Johnson and Trump. They appear like rebels, anarchists slashing through the numbness of our lives. Well, they are, but in what is the end result of their slashing? In the 1960's Marshall McCluhan made an interesting observation. In the 19th century up until advent of radio, Farmers would go to dances dressed in their clean overalls, or trousers often in a barn and speak the local dialect. With the advent of early radio where actors and announcers thought it best to speak with a proper, almost English accent while they talked of bands playing in elegant ballrooms with attendees dressed in tuxedoes, drinking champagne. Soon farmers around the country were wearing tuxedoes, sipping champagne and developing "proper accents." Today with the advent of cell phones and computers, where fads come and go without much thought, we slowly become homogenized.

  2. In 1981 a song came out that was so horrifically without talent that I could not believe it made it onto the airwaves. The song was called "Mickey" and the lyrics and tune were without ANY creativity. The whole song consisted of these lyrics, "Hey Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey" that's right about 4 minutes of this unchanging, talentless idiocy. You can still hear it occasionally today on the radio. Last time I heard it I was playing pool and somebody was singing along to it like they actually enjoyed it.
    My conclusion: "This is the end, beautiful friend
    – This is the end – my only friend"

  3. Lyrics earlier would used to so intelligent that would not understand

    But still cannot understand them because they are so stupid

  4. U forgot slim shady to Eminem… He got pretty crap after the rap god song, and now never makes anything good
    I agree though, and I'm only 21, I should be used to the new stuff, because I was born with it, but I prefer old music because it sounds less computerised, electric guitar sounds like someone is literally trying to scratch a black board over and over again, auto tune doesn't really do much help, but fake a voice that could have easily done the same thing amazingly, and most of it doesn't have interesting stories in the songs no more, heck even I'm Blue had 2 decent stories in it and that can seem pretty confusing if u watch it the first few times (a song about blue aliens, and also about a guy who had predicted the future and killed himself in Abidi, that is hidden in the lyrics)

  5. I fucking hate American globalism td the reason that we like shit and eat shit and they are responseble for the fall of the middle east and capitalism is burning our planet

  6. I don’t really like to call modern music bad. Even mainstream music. I try to appreciate music for what it is trying to do in its own context, not in other decade’s context. I don’t have a rule for enjoying music, and I think that if we are a little bit more open minded, we could have surprising new tastes.
    Please don’t kill me. It’s just my opinion.

  7. Popular music now SUCKS! Rap is terrible. What’s sad is that rap is what most people listen to now. When people hear me listening to Slayer or Slipknot they say “Wtf is that”. It’s sad

  8. It's awful because apparently that's the way you simple, tactless people like it. Blame millennials. They are the ones who buy that shit. From Nicki's whining to CardiB's plastic boob, gonorrhea dripping whore cunt

  9. "You will hear it whether you want to or not" … No, I will not. Not as long as there are carryable devices that play music and headphones. Then I listen to my own music. In your face, music industry.

  10. Watch me is a song that a lot of people in my school like. I was triggered because I felt a lot of word were repeat, and then I count…24 DIFFERANT WORDS WERE USED 24


  11. Hello Thoughty2 So true and great to hear all your words. Just have to post these two links first me 78 miming to me singing 25 in my 60's band The Presidents Decca recording of She Said Yeah which was lost for 53 years and released June 2018 and second a song I wrote a couple of years ago titled Katie Katie. Feedback is great and it's on Spotify and I trust you'll find it catchy !! any ideas about getting it out to a wider audience would be great.
    She Said Yeah
    Katie Katie
    Cheers Robin 🙂

  12. Music was once art- now its another form of media entertainment. There are some glimmers of hope in the manufactured group think modern age.

  13. Bands would play for years and years in clubs and possibly get a deal. They were so tight and had their created style down. Hundreds of these bands existed and the top of the crop could be skimmed and they were outstanding. Now a deal is made and the people are found and placed and the music is written by about 5 guys in the world and it is about the business and the money. The gear has made it so that anyone can be a musician whether they can sing or play an instrument, or not. You simply have to be pretty, very odd, or the perfect puppet. It shows. The talent pool does not develop and the talent that does get signed is broken by the funders and made to be as they desire. Pitiful stuff music world. Might as well go all country, as we are being forced in that direction

  14. Who's to say what makes music "good"..? The new generation likes this new music more and dislikes old music. In the future the old music will not be known any more and the modern music will be replaced with different music and will be considered "old" and "boring".

  15. That’s called brainwashing… Then it’s very easy for the liberals to control the masses. This way they can stay in power forever.

  16. The people who will tell you that "you need to get with the times", I end up telling them to go eat a whole shopping cart full dicks. LOL!!

    There are so many reasons why modern pop music, especially over the last 25 years, sucks a golf ball through a garden hose much like former Rep. Katie Hill. And, no, it's not my opinion, it is proven fact.

    It's mostly by design. Paul Joseph Watson has a great video on that.

    The long and short of it all is that it is no longer about promoting real talent based on an objective set of standards that are founded in a hierarchy of competence. It's all about the pitch and what you can sell, no matter how bad it is.

    Pop music now has practically been reduce to white noise in the literal sense. Except that actual radio static is far more pleasant and entertaining to listen to than modern pop music.

  17. Sadly, this also proves just how dumb the average person really is. No matter how many times I am subjected to hearing any of it that garbage, I never "grow to like it."

  18. vocalic is better than those mainstream celebs
    ever heard machine gun by Kira?
    it'll make you go RATATATA so hard
    goodbye mrs.flower theif?
    any thing prom project kakegarui?
    nyan cat?
    absolutely masterpieces!

  19. Metal musicians write their own music, and have layers of depth and complexity to their music. Many metal musicans are classically trained too. Most listeners are just turned off by the vocals…but the musicianship cannot be disputed.


  21. Me: sees title, then sees that it was posted 2 years ago
    Also me: Oh you dont know anything my guy, it was nowhere near as bad as it is now…

  22. Their is NO music anymore, just a bunch of sh*t that NO one wants to listen too. I haven't turned my radio on in years now, why bother ? its ALL sh*t !

  23. All you hear in todays music is black rappers telling other black people to be a thug and kill cops and white people.

  24. It seems like almost every band or rap artist/group from the late 80's through the early 2000's were killing it I suggest if you want to see music go back to that then put your money where your mouth is because the more people click on these stupid trendy music videos made by modern day "artists" the more of this crap they're going to make

  25. Modern Music became a corporate product decades ago.
    Therefore the same bland sameness across all product lines. Just like the automobile market.

  26. What a BS: Every decade has it's good and bad music. Mainstream music is for a large part not the best but there is a lot more
    For example: The war on drugs – Thinking of a place or to Rufus Du sol – Innerbloom is just perfection and there are thousands
    more. Just look a little further than the Hit charts and you be surprised.

  27. I listen to death metal and it always satisfies.
    Old school death metal, not the contemporary trash can banging pig squealing crap.

  28. The problem is the creativity, bands all had their own sound made by real instruments… how did we manage to go from sgt pepper and other extremely creative and experimental albums to the same four chords for pop and the same beats for rap with the same negative trash lyrics. Also kids today have no attention span and definitely not enough to listen to music that doesn’t have nonstop engagement

  29. List of songs this guy max martin have written for other People.

  30. Part of the Agenda 21 where the Government doesn't want us to think for ourselves or be creative any longer. A handful of artists will create all the music to make a handful of elites rich.

  31. If he's clearly stating that modern music is 'awful', then modern contemporary music, like Ludovico Einaudi, or indie-rock artists like Novo Amor would be considered 'awful' in regarding towards this particular topic. Mainstream music that's being played on the radio is awful, but being biased into hearing what you perceive on the radio doesn't mean that music nowadays is just as awful to what you're hearing on a daily basis.

  32. I can’t stand anywhere that plays this pop music, which seems to be everywhere, blaring it seems like it’s trying to insult our intellectual capacities.

  33. Dear,

    Here are nine reasons why you don’t know what you are talking about. Hope you enjoy…

    1, Just because people like to listen to music louder nowadays doesn’t mean it sucks.

    2, A lot of mainstream music sucks. That just there are people how know little to nothing about music making music for a living. If you compare the beetles to a guy yelling into a mic with an out of time drum beat in the back round of course the beetles are going to be better. There is a difference between mainstream and modern music.

    3, of course if you look at all of the recorded music in history the average amount is going to be bad. Good music has never come cheap. The only reason why it stands out nowadays is because it’s a lot cheaper to record music.

    4, Commonly used note combinations are not something new. You know the theme to ‘The Shining’? The first half of that had been round for hundreds of years used to make the audience feel uneasy. The fact that there is a select three notes used in a lot of song is not out of the normal.

    5, Just because Max Martin and Doc.Luke are good at writing songs and has written a lot of them doesn’t mean all of then are the same. That like if I said that all of the song made by the beetles are the same because they’re all written by the beetles.

    6, The only true thing you have said so far is how people are more impatient nowadays because we have so much music at look through. Good job

    7, Compression is ment to make soft noises louder and loud noises softer. If you apply it to a shitty drum beat with nothing else in the background of course it will sound bad. Good artists don’t use compression to make their music louder they use it to make it better.

    8, Companies do not brainwashed people into liking music so that they ‘don’t have to take any risks’. The idea of that is absurd. The reason why you can hear that one song you don’t like, all over the place is just because it is popular and that’s why businesses are investing in it. Businesses care less about the songs you make and more about how popular they and you are.

    9, and lastly if you ever read this tell me do you have any grades in music? Because I doubt it.

    Sincerely 20224603

  34. "Every genre" ??? — within the pop genre. This down – grading of qualities in pop is near the opposite of what has been happening / continues to go on within the 'genre' of contemporary classical music.

  35. There is a problem with this study… this comes from measuring the data against pop music. As over this period, pop became increasingly restrained as a genre, if you used data that included music from other genres, the data would suggest very different results. Music has gotten a lot better. Just not pop music

  36. they will NEVER kill true metal. good metal is getting heavier and better look at Archspire. look at that timberal diversity

  37. All music sucks theses bands make remakes of good songs, and with the bands singing these songs are awlful just awlful

  38. 7:12
    Start of a list of people I thoroughly despise and think they shouldn’t be this successful.

    Half if the youtube music scene is at least 20 times better and the other half isn’t far behind god dammit.

  39. Fun part is, when the modern artists act simply like prostitudes and macho fuck heads, and people call them ”feminist”…

  40. WELL, THE LAZY BASTARDS ARE ALL JUST USING MAIN STREAM LOOPS, SAMPS AND MIDI SNIPPETS!!! …myself, I prefer to continue testing All and ANY of the OLD SCHOOL SYNTHS; – like the Reason Subtractor… – (Subtractor is only Crap for millennial morons who do not know even basic electronics)…

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