Change the Station... This Used to Be My Favorite Song


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I hate to be "that girl" who brings up how the incessant pandering to One Direction and Bieber fans via radio is ruining our culture's ability to function musically, but I'm gonna be her anyway. 

Here goes.

I would like to first point out how vital radio is to society. Without its ability to broadcast imperative information to people everywhere, culturally and informatively speaking, we would be very lost humans. However, from a strictly music-based standpoint, I have this inkling that radio is slowly, but absolutely surely, aiding in the demise of music- or at least the demand for talent in musicianship. Bands like One Direction and Justin Bieber, with the obsessive fangirls and catchy, bubble-gum lyrics are more of an homage to media-driven PR moves than pure, hardworking talent. Granted, the Biebs was "discovered" on youtube, and that's great. In fact, I thought he was actually pretty talented. However, the pandemonium that seemed to begin with his single "Baby" hitting the airwaves propelled this decently talented kid into superstardom. I can't remember exactly how many times that song was played on the radio, but my strictly German-speaking grandmother began humming the tune after awhile. 

Radio is a powerful tool that brings people of all opinions and ideas together, but with the type of music constantly being played like a broken record over and over, it is only natural for listeners to grow accustomed to normality, and lose their own distinctive taste in music. In fact, "a new study shows that 82% of those polled identified radio as having the greatest single influence on their music listening." This wasn't really a shock for me, but to have a crazily high statistic in front of my eyes was a little scary. I recently interned at a radio station, and found that even I, a die-hard No Directioner immune to Bieber-fever, was singing along to some of their hits. And let's be honest, the audience most catered to by these tight-pants-wearing boys typically still has a curfew. 

Another downside to today's top hit radio stations is the overplaying of good music! It seems that even when an artist releases a brand new single that really exemplifies true musicianship, the unrelenting broadcast of the song every 5 minutes really lowers one's appreciation for its artistry. According to an article conducted by TechDirt, "no longer does a song hit sell a million copies. The copious stream of music poured out by Radio puts a song quickly to death. The average song's life has dwindled from 18 months to 90 days; composers are forced to turn out a dozen songs a year instead of the oldtime two or three." This struck a chord with me (haha) because I had never really given much thought as to how music was produced and released back in the day, or how much it has changed since. 

I love music, and radio, and media, but there needs to be a line drawn on how much is too much, and the talent bar needs to be raised from Miley Cyrus to Beyonce at all times. 

Cited: "Mel Phillips Now And Then..." : Radio Remains The Greatest Influence On Music Listening & "WRKO...The Launch"... N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

"Radio Is Killing Music." Techdirt. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQOFRZ1wNLw

3 Comments

I agree. They're all crazy, but their talent is undeniable so you can't really be too mad about it. I'm a huge Belieber, it's kinda sad I know, haha.

I agree. They're all crazy, but their talent is undeniable so you can't really be too mad about it. I'm a huge Belieber, it's kinda sad I know, haha.

"Pop music" that we hear over and over again can get a little redundant, but that's the point! These artists know they have only a short amount of time in the spotlight, so to ensure that their music is "remembered", they produce catchy songs that will get stuck in your head for hours at a time. Pop music is created with a specific listener in mind, and music producers know exactly how to reach these listeners. The bottom line is creating pop songs can be broken down to a science! Read about it here: http://punkmusic.about.com/od/punkinthenews/a/Pop-Music-Its-All-Formualic.htm

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