The future of (popular) music

dmgtz96

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Note: This thread isn't specific to trance - it's concerned more with "top 40" kind of music. It's not what a Trancefixer would usually hear, but it could lead to an interesting discussion.

About three weeks ago, a new trap song rapidly went viral on the Internet. I'm talking about Lisa - Lalisa, which has amassed 233 million views since then. If you pay attention to it (as a trancefixer would for any trance track), you will quickly notice that it's just... devoid of any musicality. It's repetitive, shallow, annoying, and just in general badly produced/mixed. On the reddit thread for it, someone pointed out that parts of the song and choreography were clearly made for a TikTok trend. Lo and behold,



Not to sound like @Daysleeper, but is this what the future of popular music holds? A race to the bottom to get that ad revenue on TikTok?


p.s. if you did hear Lalisa, you can wash your ears with actual good pop, like Taylor Swift's the last great american dynasty from last year.
 

Progrez

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I don't even know this song to be honest. I think more people will probably lean towards k-pop and j-pop there are some really cool and talented j-pop singers out there.

This doesn't affect me that much like it used to in the past, yes it sounds shit but I have found ways to ignore it. This is by Ayumi Hamasaki and she is deaf in 1 ear as well.

 
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Gagi

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As popular music, it will try to be popular with even more people. It will follow trends, cater to the masses and specific demographics/markets (especially young), and I'm expecting AI to influence the style and the direction of music in the future.
 
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dmgtz96

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I don't even know this song to be honest. I think more people will probably lean towards k-pop and j-pop there are some really cool and talented j-pop singers out there.
Can't blame you. It's not the worldwide phenomenon that were Despacito or Shape of You, and it's still fairly "niche." If you don't use Youtube recommendations, don't have a TikTok account, and aren't involved in kpop, you probably wouldn't find it. Maybe the fact that it isn't good stopped it in its tracks.
This doesn't affect me that much like it used to in the past, yes it sounds shit
dmgtz96 liked that
but I have found ways to ignore it. This is by Ayumi Hamasaki and she is deaf in 1 ear as well.
This sounds like a movie/TV series OST, haha. And yeah, Ayumi is super good, but she also belongs to a different generation. She's more independent and doesn't need to produce her music for freaking TikTok.

As popular music, it will try to be popular with even more people. It will follow trends, cater to the masses and specific demographics/markets (especially young), and I'm expecting AI to influence the style and the direction of music in the future.
I agree, but where do you draw the line? With Lalisa it's basically pre-chorus - (trap chorus) 3-4 times, then the super cringy edgy rap part at 2:30. Compared even to the top 40 commercial music of 5-10 years ago, this is genuinely bad.
What concerns me about it is that the labels that release this kind of music are known to optimize their music for commercial success. In the past, that used to be earworms with sufficiently complex arrangements, but now we have this. Gangnam Style was infinitely more interesting than Lalisa. Yet, the label is betting that this kind of garbage will succeed.

I guess the point of this thread is, music tastes and the platform where music succeeds are changing. The quality of the music itself can get thrown out of the window as long as you have a nice choreography and go viral on Tiktok. And that is what concerns me, that popular music doesn't need to catch the public's attention for the sake of being (catchy) music. I don't expect pop to be complex, deep, or meaningful, but I do hope that it sounds like professional music, not the amateur production that is Lalisa.
 
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Gagi

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I don't even know what you're talking about, I refuse to give my play to that track, but it's not hard to imagine it being awful. In any case, it is what it is, can't fight it. It, like everything, will evolve, but there will still be an underground supply & demand.
 
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Progrez

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Can't blame you. It's not the worldwide phenomenon that were Despacito or Shape of You, and it's still fairly "niche." If you don't use Youtube recommendations, don't have a TikTok account, and aren't involved in kpop, you probably wouldn't find it. Maybe the fact that it isn't good stopped it in its tracks.

dmgtz96 liked that

This sounds like a movie/TV series OST, haha. And yeah, Ayumi is super good, but she also belongs to a different generation. She's more independent and doesn't need to produce her music for freaking TikTok.


I agree, but where do you draw the line? With Lalisa it's basically pre-chorus - (trap chorus) 3-4 times, then the super cringy edgy rap part at 2:30. Compared even to the top 40 commercial music of 5-10 years ago, this is genuinely bad.
What concerns me about it is that the labels that release this kind of music are known to optimize their music for commercial success. In the past, that used to be earworms with sufficiently complex arrangements, but now we have this. Gangnam Style was infinitely more interesting than Lalisa. Yet, the label is betting that this kind of garbage will succeed.

I guess the point of this thread is, music tastes and the platform where music succeeds are changing. The quality of the music itself can get thrown out of the window as long as you have a nice choreography and go viral on Tiktok. And that is what concerns me, that popular music doesn't need to catch the public's attention for the sake of being (catchy) music. I don't expect pop to be complex, deep, or meaningful, but I do hope that it sounds like professional music, not the amateur production that is Lalisa.
I would love to hear more adult contemporary pop music rather than the edm infused pop songs. Singers like old Maria Carrey, Vanessa Williams and Donna Summers, Richard marx, Bette midler etc etc
 
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Katadunkass

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Just like electronic music, there are plenty of fantastic pop music out there (not only pop), which aren't influenced by the "commercial waves" - this has actually been one of my favourite years in recent time when it comes to pop/rock music, but that doesn't mean you don't have to do an effort to find those albums/tracks.

I'm not even joking or just playing the devils advocate here, I genuinely think this year has been good. Now, there's a reason I don't listen to radio at all besides BBC Radio 6 which actually plays stuff like Daniel Avery, Nils Frahm and so much more -> It actually feels the people on that channel gives a shit and likes music.

Some of my favourite pop-ish albums from this year is:

Cassandra Jenkins - An Overview Of Phenomenal Nature
Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine - A Beginner's Mind
Water From Your Eyes - Structure
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson - Theory Of Ice
L'Rain - Fatique
The Weather Station - Ignorance
Lael Neale - Acquainted with Night
Lost GIrls - Menneskekollektivet

I can easily name a bunch more albums, but please give them a try if you like non-electronic pop'ish trash music which are being played on radio channels.

That doesn't mean I don't hate how these lazy trash-tracks are being promoted all over; As said before, I can't remember the last time I tuned into a radio channel which wasn't Radio 6. Danish radio is beyond crap and are many others, but that definitely doesn't mean good music is dead. But, just like with electronic music, you have to do and effort and look for it now, perhaps more than before.

I know this is about "popular" music and not "indie pop"-tracks, but I would much rather spend twice as long looking for tracks on my own, searching for those "hidden" gems than tune into whatever popular track is being played in the radio for the 100th time that day.
 

dmgtz96

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I don't even know what you're talking about, I refuse to give my play to that track, but it's not hard to imagine it being awful. In any case, it is what it is, can't fight it. It, like everything, will evolve, but there will still be an underground supply & demand.
Yeah, there's a lot of context missing, and a lot of what I wrote doesn't make sense if you're unfamiliar with those labels.
Tbh you're not missing out on anything. Listen to the pop (or music in general) that you like.

I know this is about "popular" music and not "indie pop"-tracks, but I would much rather spend twice as long looking for tracks on my own, searching for those "hidden" gems than tune into whatever popular track is being played in the radio for the 100th time that day.
No worries! I actually just learned about "bedroom pop" yesterday, which is the kind of stuff that US college radios play today. Interesting genre for sure. Will definitely check out those recs!
 

Aquarium

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There's still some good pop music out there but its 80% less good output than what we had a couple of decades a go and thats the depressing truth. I can't see it changing, only getting worse. It might depend how you define pop music - if its what you hear on the radio then that has a chance to improve but if its simply whats classed as what has the most buys/streams/listens then there is no future for pop music.
 
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