Modern Music is Rubbish

During my teens and twenties I’d become irritated by older people going on about how great the music was back in the sixties. Don’t get me wrong, I loved a lot of that stuff. It just wasn’t my music. I preferred bands like the Pixies and Nirvana. I realized then that the music that means the most to us is usually what we grew up with. I made a decision not to fall into this cliché. I would never allow my music tastes to become trapped in the past. I would remain trendy right up until the end. If you saw my top 65 albums post then you can probably guess that my aspirations didn’t become a reality; only three of the albums on there came out in the last few years. I have a good excuse for my change of heart though – modern music is rubbish!

Modern Music – my arse!

I would guess that one of the reasons why older people used to hate new music was that it could seem a bit threatening – the newness of it all. Those who grew up with the cheery tunes of Elvis and Cliff Richard must have found the Sex Pistols a bit of a shock. Punk developed as rebellion against hippies and glam rock. I grew up too late for punk, but grunge and Indie music was our rebellion in the late eighties and nineties. My parents couldn’t understand my music, but they went through the same thing with their parents.

What made each generation of music special was that it rebelled against all that had gone before. The problem with the music today is that the rebellious spirit is missing. I don’t think modern music is rubbish because I feel threatened by it – quite the opposite. The current music scene is something even my grandmother would have enjoyed –that’s the problem. It is just the same old same old repackaged with no real attempt at originality. Modern music – my arse!

Perhaps music has gone as far it can go? Maybe there is nothing new to be done? I find this idea a bit sad. Music was such an important part of my life growing up – it still is important to me. I hope my son gets to experience the same. I expect him to rebel but how can he do this with modern music?

Maybe I’m Old

I’m willing to entertain the idea that the problem is me. Maybe I’m biologically programmed to find any music created after I hit my thirties to be inferior. Could it really be as simple as that? I do try to keep up with what is going on in the charts. I think it’s important to stay engaged in what is happening now and not be focused too much on the past. I have a theory that we age faster if we reminisce too much. I once ridiculed people for always listening to 60s and 70s music, like they were trapped in a time bubble, but now I’m repeating the same behavior.

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11 thoughts on “Modern Music is Rubbish

  1. Hi Paul, there is a developmental theory that goes something like music creates an emotional impact based on how it plays a role as we are growing up, music from our childhood (our parents music) and then as we mature and become adults. Teenage and 20s are especially formative. New music, which is different, not only doesn’t have that opportunity for us to bond with it, but because it is different it doesn’t evoke the emotions other music does.

    That said, it is worthwhile giving new music a chance. There is some great music which has been created during the last year, last 10 years, etc. The thing is we need to spend time with it, to actually hear it, not as something it is not (e.g., comparing it with other music), but for itself. Then new musical tastes can be formed. I did this at one point and found it quite rewarding.

    You are not too old. Especially for someone who is taking up a new martial art sport at your advanced age… ;D

  2. Paul, I just like ‘good’ music. The songs I grew up with hold a special place in my heart, but I really did enjoy (and keep) some of the groups my girls listened to as teenagers…about 10 years ago. I lost interest when every song started to sound the same, to me, wishy washy and no oomf or individuality. Its got to be a song with that ‘something different’ to win me over these days, old or new.

    1. Thanks Snap – different seems to be in short supply when I listen to the charts. I remember during the nineties trying to imagine how music would develop over the next couple of decades. I never would have expected the modern music scene.

  3. Hi Paul,
    I agree with your basic assumptions.
    I was too old to really enjoy the Sex Pistols at the time, but in retrospect I do appreciate it now.
    My grandfather condemmed the songs of Louis Armstrong, which my father adored and said he ought to be hanged for creating that kind of awfull music.
    I also agree with you that this kind of generation gap is currently more or less absent in most countries, but that doesn’t mean that children will choose their own style which is very unlikely to appear in the ‘top 65’ or any other favourite list of their parents.
    Personally, I’m still able to enjoy new movies as well as new music, for example Jay-Z with Empire State of Mind, which is of course very commercial instead of rebellious and lacks a lot of innovativety like you are referring to.
    But be glad that cultural revolutions and innovations are not going on at the same pace all the time, since no one would not be able to keep up.
    Personally I liked Ska a lot, but that lasted just about one year or so, however now it now seems ‘extant’ in very strange places. See: http://www.i-nomad.com/2010/04/proof-that-ska-never-died.html
    Wait long enough and l’histoire s’repete.

  4. For the most part I’m of the exact opposite opinion, I find the vast majority of what people my age call “decent” music to be ‘shite’, as times change I listen to more modern and mixed music than collections of “golden oldies”, I spend around 30,000 baht a year on iTunes buying music, in 4 years I’ve only purchased 4 albums.

    That said there are certain words I use to describe “music” from the likes of Justin Bieber, most British ‘Hip hop’ artists, boy bands and anything from the X-Factor artists et al!

    British music not very popular in Australia in 80’s or 90’s with the exception of bands who were also popular in the USA, I can see from your Top 65 albums your choice is heavily biased to UK styled music (boring and repetaive mood music) 😉

    I doubt I could ever make a list of 10 albums, it would have changed by the time I got to 10th place.

    1. Thanks Lloyd, I’m more surprised when people agree with my music choices. I agree with you about the X-Factor et al

      I did find one Australian band worth mentioning in my top 65. Mind you, some would say that Crowded House weren’t really an Australian group at all 🙂

  5. I think the styles of music change every 10-20 years. I love most new styles, but never could stand Rap. I was waiting for it to die out (or get replaced with a new style) for the past 15 years, and FINALLY some new music (non-Rap) is starting to appear on the radio. On the other hand, my brother only likes music from the 50’s and early 60’s and thinks most after that is no good.

  6. I find myself getting back into 80s music more and more (oh as the years claw by…;) and there is something to be said about nostalgia.

    70s stuff on the radio also inevitably comes up. I feel blessed to have grown up when music still had backbone. And I’m really enjoying discovering new old music.

    Friends help a lot. At least my friends of all ages (yes teenagers too), keep my playlist interesting.

    Thank god for music. Cheers!

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