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#1
So, Im sorry if this topic is loved by the mods, I checked through and I dont think its been done before.

Basically, I just wanted to say:
1. I wouldn't say Im a mainstream fan...
2. I appreciate others opinions
3. I would never put anyone down for their choice of music.

That said, I just dont get pop music. What is the atraction, and what makes it 'pop'? (ie popular!)....why is Lady Gaga/Ke$ha etc's music so sellable and what makes it commercial? Why do people follow the trend so much? Why don't people find their own taste rather than just buying whats in the charts?

Now I understand alot of people do, and Im in no way saying that Im above everyone else because I do... (for the record I do like some more popular music i.e. Michael Jackson!)....but I think that the only reason that Lady Gaga (just an example!) is more popular than say Kina Grannis (look her up!), is because of crazy PR people and the sheep-ish tendencies of alot of people that just buy whatever album is labled 'CHART'. Because seriously Lady G is no more talented than Kina (i would argue that she is less, but that is beside the point), she just wears mad clothing and dances in her underwear, Kina Grannis on the other hand, doesnt!

Now does this mean that Kina Grannis is less of an artist? No...but people dont look at the likes of her twice because she is fully clothed and real!

I've tried my hardest in this rant not to offend anybody, but if I have, I apologise severely!

The point is...what makes mainstream music mainstream? Why does it become popular and what do people see in it? Opinions?....

Ps....this is not a hate thread. The artists I mentioned all have their own individual qualities and I only used them as examples, to make a point.
#2
It's catchy. People can relate to it.
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everything that you've come to expect


#4
Its easy to understand. As a guitarist who has been playing for the past 3 years, something like Meshuggah's "Obzen" or Dream Theater's "The Twelve Step Suite" makes my ears cum. But to the layman, its meaningless noise. Not only that, bands like DT are incredibly inaccesible. I mean, how many people are going to take the time to listen to a huge, deep, 58 minute long epic when they can enjoy a simple 3 minute song with barely 1/10000th of the effort? To me, music is an extension of my soul. To the layman, it is but entertainment.
Also, most pop music is similar. People dont need to actually think about listening to a new artist- they are listening to the same thing. It took me nearly a year before I could truly appreciate Dream Theater- I used to listen to the first 2 mins or so then skip the rest. Now I can go through stuff like "A Change Of Seasons" without batting an eyelid.
Remember the last time you ttried listening something totally different? Required a lot of effort to truly aprpeciate, didnt it?
Last edited by GS LEAD 5 at Oct 1, 2010,
#5
To be honest i secretly like a fair bit of mainstream stuff, it's just too catchy
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#6
In my opinion some is good, some is bad, just like any music. Just because it's more well known, doesn't mean I'd like it more or less than if it wasn't x.X I don't choose my music choices by how popular or unpopular it is. Silly discussion is silly.
#7
Quote by Trowzaa
It's catchy. People can relate to it.

I think the only person that can relate to waking up in the morning feeling like P Diddy is P Diddy.
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#8
i'll happily listen to mainstream stuff alongside all my meshuggah/nevermore/gojira at home. depends what mood i'm in, whether i'm after something skull shattering or just something to dick around to. as for the charts, trends come and go and because these people are out there selling themselves on tv/radio etc more people hear it and buy it. doesn't bother me.
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#9
Mainstream music is an industry, not an art. Record companies try to find a product that's sellable and do whatever they can to sell as much of it as they can. I'm not trying to trash the music industry, I'm just saying that's the way it is. Record companies are designed to sell a product, and that's what they do.
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#10
1. Some people just don't care about how obscure their music is or have the time to search out new stuff, and therefore listen to whatever's there.
2. Different people like different types of music.
3. Pop music focuses on things that the average person focuses on, like lyrics or a catchy melody etc.

I really see no point in "hey guize, why do people have shit raste in music?" threads. How about...er...you just ignore the top40 if you don't like it?
#11
I don't have anything against most pop music. Although I will have to agree that a lot of it sounds the same.

The only music I tend to rage against is rap and hip hop that talk about cars, rims, drugs, *****s, bitches, thug life, shooting (derogatory word for African-Americans), etc... Rap and Hip Hop can be just as cool and catchy as any other genre. I just wish the majority would stop glamorizing the thug life.
#12
Quote by StarsFallForMJ
Can they though?....when the majority of it makes no sense!

I think you're the one that isn't making any sense. Mainstream music makes sense to me.
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So does you
#13
More people say you listen to shit music if you don't listen to chart music then the other way around, well in my case anyway.
#14
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Its easy to understand. As a guitarist who has been playing for the past 3 years, something like Meshuggah's "Obzen" or Dream Theater's "The Twelve Step Suite" makes my ears cum. But to the layman, its meaningless noise. Not only that, bands like DT are incredibly inaccesible. I mean, how many people are going to take the time to listen to a huge, deep, 58 minute long epic when they can enjoy a simple 3 minute song with barely 1/10000th of the effort? To me, music is an extension of my soul. To the layman, it is but entertainment.
Also, most pop music is similar. People dont need to actually think about listening to a new artist- they are listening to the same thing. It took me nearly a year before I could truly appreciate Dream Theater- I used to listen to the first 2 mins or so then skip the rest. Now I can go through stuff like "A Change Of Seasons" without batting an eyelid.
Remember the last time you ttried listening something totally different? Required a lot of effort to truly aprpeciate, didnt it?


Absolutely hit the "perfect answer" nail on right on the very tip of it's difficult to hit head. Music is different things to different people. For pop-lovers, it's background, catchy entertainment. For people like this guy and I, it's actually an activity that we actively listen to, and kinda requires effort, without trying to sound like a purist dick.

For me, music is an expression of someone's feelings, and can take you somewhere, rather than just being meaningless, un-relatable stuff. But for the people who like listening to it from an simple-enteratainment point of view, then of course pop is the exact thing they're looking for.

Obviously as I stated I prefer listening to it properly, and if this was a hate thread then I'd be the first to spew random expletives at the shitwanker pop artists. But regardless of the fact that i greatly dislike it and personally hate artists for effectively cutting out the rest of the music industry and music that is really meant to be up there with the best, I can understand why people listen to pop music, even if I don't like it. Like I can understand the reason we went to war with Iraq, even if I don't like it kind of thing, to try and put it into context.
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#15
Who cares?

Music is music.

Stop trying to label it and put it into different genres; just enjoy what you enjoy, and let others do the same
#16
ITT: Opinions that will seem very silly when you've finally grown up.
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#17
I like a lot of "popular" music. I'm not a massive fan of the new-wave of "empowered", sexually-frank, metaphor-abusing, auto-tuned robo-girls, but I do love me some Gaga (except that god-awful Alejandro song). I also really like a lot of gangsta rap, because it's just cool.

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EDIT:

And, God, you guys are patronising. The "layman"? Who the fuck do you think you are?
Last edited by gabcd86 at Oct 1, 2010,
#18
Quote by ChildofBelial

The only music I tend to rage against is rap and hip hop that talk about cars, rims, drugs, *****s, bitches, thug life, shooting (derogatory word for African-Americans), etc... Rap and Hip Hop can be just as cool and catchy as any other genre. I just wish the majority would stop glamorizing the thug life.

Nigger stopped being "a derogatory word for african-americans" when niggers started calling each other nigger with respect. Most niggers, like myself, have realized this and really wouldn't mind being called a nigger by someone who isn't a nigger every now and then. Plus, it makes you seem even more like a prick when you pussyfoot around saying nigger, when really the intention to say nigger was there all along.
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So does you
Last edited by Victory2134 at Oct 1, 2010,
#19
Quote by Victory2134
****** stopped being "a derogatory word for african-americans" when ******s started calling each other ****** with respect. Most ******s, like myself, have realized this and really wouldn't mind being called a ****** by someone who isn't a ****** every now and then. Plus, it makes you seem even more like a prick when you pussyfoot around ssaying ******, when really the intention nto say ****** was there all along.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovMN-eGUn_A

Sorry,
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
#20
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Its easy to understand. As a guitarist who has been playing for the past 3 years, something like Meshuggah's "Obzen" or Dream Theater's "The Twelve Step Suite" makes my ears cum. But to the layman, its meaningless noise. Not only that, bands like DT are incredibly inaccesible. I mean, how many people are going to take the time to listen to a huge, deep, 58 minute long epic when they can enjoy a simple 3 minute song with barely 1/10000th of the effort? To me, music is an extension of my soul. To the layman, it is but entertainment.
Also, most pop music is similar. People dont need to actually think about listening to a new artist- they are listening to the same thing. It took me nearly a year before I could truly appreciate Dream Theater- I used to listen to the first 2 mins or so then skip the rest. Now I can go through stuff like "A Change Of Seasons" without batting an eyelid.
Remember the last time you ttried listening something totally different? Required a lot of effort to truly aprpeciate, didnt it?


This

I don't mind mainstream music. It's good for a laid-back easy listening or sing-along session. For me there are a lot of good mainstream bands and certain mainstream bands that I can't stand, but that's just a personal thing.

I can go from listening to Dreat Theater to Jason Mraz to Muse to Eminem if I'm in the mood for some variety.

I love my fair share of DT, Rush, Buckethead, etc but sometimes you just feel like you want a change from the usual.
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#22
There are several aspects for the appeal of mainstream music:

Theoretical: very conventional diatonicism which most people growing up have been conditioned to hear and associate with what is pleasurable to hear. Pop music exploits all of the most common conventions of conventional western music such as even meter and diatonic triadic harmony. There is nothing to challenge the listeners, who at this point do not want to be challenged.

Social: The commercialism surrounding popular music has instilled a mindset that "legitimate" music must be promoted through mass media such as MTV and popular radio. People who listen to pop music exclusively feel unnerved and unconvinced by music that doesn't have an official standing in a major label and the charts. It is somewhat of a psychological barrier. Pop music is also an adaptation of the pacing of modern life. It is fast, and we need to be able to process it quick. It is only logical that such music exists, much like the inevitability of fast food.

Cultural: Pop music, through continuous practice, has convinced its listeners that:
1. a catchy melody is the most important feature and a requirement in music
2. there must be external, non musical material that enhance the music, such as the character of the artist and his/her image, a psychological reinforcement with the advent of music videos.
3. Music must contain explicit material that is immediately and personally relevant, such as having fun at a party, or going through a break up.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#23
Lady Gaga is popular because her music is catchy, relateable, and good.

Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, even the ****ing Justin Beiber have fantastic voices. Obviously, we're not thier target audience. Also, I'm sure thier music is much more relatable, even to you. What situation are you more familiar with, getting over a breakup or cumming blood?

Yes, I'm a little annoyed by Beiber, but obviously he's doing something that all those death metal bands aren't. Obviously he has something that makes him attractive to the general public. It might not be very br00tal, but thats why his music is targeted at younger girls.


TL;DR: Don't be a close-minded elitist. You're just as bad as people who only listen to the Top 40 when you refuse to listen to music if its on the top 40.
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#24
"mainstream" music is pretty much all popular music you hear on the radio.
I don't like most popular songs, because they sound like something that nobody put much thought into. There are almost no experimental songs on the big radio stations anymore - it all sounds the same.

Music was originally, and still is in my opinion, an art form. Shameless reproductions decrease the value and appeal of the original for most art forms.
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#25
I don't like hardly any mainstream stuff, but I try not to put other people down who like it. Everybody has their own opinion.
#26
Quote by gabcd86
I like a lot of "popular" music. I'm not a massive fan of the new-wave of "empowered", sexually-frank, metaphor-abusing, auto-tuned robo-girls...

And, God, you guys are patronising. The "layman"? Who the fuck do you think you are?

This, all of this (except I don't like it, it's your overall sentiment I'm agreeing with). If I want sex in my face I'll go find some pr0n. When it's understated, its cool, though.

I like subtlety.

[IN PHIL WE TRUST]


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#27
Quote by gacharya
Lady Gaga is popular because her music is catchy, relateable, and good.

TL;DR: Don't be a close-minded elitist. You're just as bad as people who only listen to the Top 40 when you refuse to listen to music if its on the top 40.

It's not as simple as "good" or "bad". And while close minded can be a negative way to think, so too is being inattentively open minded. It is superficial and ultimately, you don't gain anything. It should be encouraged to take a stand after really considering all of the different factors.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#28
Pop music is my guilty pleasure. That's not so guilty.
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#29
Really? This, again!?

Most popular music is designed to be simple, catchy and easily accessible to everyone. It doesn't claim to be complex or technical, it is a product to be consumed by the widest audience possible, that is all. It is an industry!

You can easily ignore it.


Just to clarify, I'm a huge fan of a lot of pop music
#30
No one's gonna dance to Rush at a night club
"Forget the rules. If it sounds good, it is good."
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#31
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No one's gonna dance to Rush at a night club

And we widen to reveal...


*waits in earnest for Fassa to post so I don't look so silly*
The UG Awards exist only to instill me with existential doubt.


For me, the 60's ended that day in 1978...

Willies. Fuck the lick and fuck you too.
Last edited by TheBurningFish at Oct 2, 2010,
#33
People assume the terms 'popular' and 'good' mean the same thing when reffering to music. More people listen to pop music, not because they appreciate the talent that goes into it, but because it's easy to listen to (you don't have to think too much about it) and it's catchy.

No one form of music can be called the most talented but the mainstream genres tend to be much less technical and shallower and therefore more accessible to the masses of people who just want something catchy to listen to rather than something to get heavily invested in.

That being said, i think most people who listen to mainstream music are narrow minded dicks who should clean the crap out of their ears and start to appreciate true talent but hey, if it makes them happy then it's not a problem
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#35
You say you love MJ, you are aware that he was a pop artist too?

In fact, I remember him being called "the king of pop", if you love MJ you are a mainstream fan because he is mainstream as hell.
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#36
Quote by Xiaoxi

Social: The commercialism surrounding popular music has instilled a mindset that "legitimate" music must be promoted through mass media such as MTV and popular radio. People who listen to pop music exclusively feel unnerved and unconvinced by music that doesn't have an official standing in a major label and the charts. It is somewhat of a psychological barrier. Pop music is also an adaptation of the pacing of modern life. It is fast, and we need to be able to process it quick. It is only logical that such music exists, much like the inevitability of fast food.

Cultural: Pop music, through continuous practice, has convinced its listeners that:
1. a catchy melody is the most important feature and a requirement in music
2. there must be external, non musical material that enhance the music, such as the character of the artist and his/her image, a psychological reinforcement with the advent of music videos.
3. Music must contain explicit material that is immediately and personally relevant, such as having fun at a party, or going through a break up.


This. This so much. I feel most people in here are simply trying to sum it up in terms from a musical point of view, but it's so much more than that; the social and cultural aspects are just as, if not more, important than the musical one. The bolded part seems particularly significant to me, since it's the reaction I've gotten from quite a few people when talking about the subject.
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#37
Lady Gaga is popular because her music is catchy, relateable, and good.

Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, even the ****ing Justin Beiber have fantastic voices. Obviously, we're not thier target audience. Also, I'm sure thier music is much more relatable, even to you.

1.) One word - autotune. Listen to Bieber live and Bieber on the record. On'es shit, one is shitter. He doesn't sing. The machine sings for him.

2.) Relatable? Oh yes I forgot. I can relate to some ****ed up retard dancing like a gay boy in a ****ing bowling alley (wtf) whilst some girl stands there looking awkward and I repeatedly say "Baby" over and over and over and over and over. I mean really, it is so relatable.
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#38
Quote by Xiaoxi
There are several aspects for the appeal of mainstream music:

Theoretical: very conventional diatonicism which most people growing up have been conditioned to hear and associate with what is pleasurable to hear. Pop music exploits all of the most common conventions of conventional western music such as even meter and diatonic triadic harmony. There is nothing to challenge the listeners, who at this point do not want to be challenged.

Social: The commercialism surrounding popular music has instilled a mindset that "legitimate" music must be promoted through mass media such as MTV and popular radio. People who listen to pop music exclusively feel unnerved and unconvinced by music that doesn't have an official standing in a major label and the charts. It is somewhat of a psychological barrier. Pop music is also an adaptation of the pacing of modern life. It is fast, and we need to be able to process it quick. It is only logical that such music exists, much like the inevitability of fast food.

Cultural: Pop music, through continuous practice, has convinced its listeners that:
1. a catchy melody is the most important feature and a requirement in music
2. there must be external, non musical material that enhance the music, such as the character of the artist and his/her image, a psychological reinforcement with the advent of music videos.
3. Music must contain explicit material that is immediately and personally relevant, such as having fun at a party, or going through a break up.

This ^

Also, I just don't respect "pop" artists as musicians. Or to be specific, the large portion of them who don't write their own music or lyrics.
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#39
Quote by adstr123
2.) Relatable? Oh yes I forgot. I can relate to some ****ed up retard dancing like a gay boy in a ****ing bowling alley (wtf) whilst some girl stands there looking awkward and I repeatedly say "Baby" over and over and over and over and over. I mean really, it is so relatable.


Sadly it is relatable, which really does say something about our culture. More people can relate to these artists because they are exposed to them constantly and people get it into their head that it is good music. People would rather hear soppy, poorly written songs about shallow infatuation (i.e. 99% of popular music) rather than having to think for themselves about things that are deeper and darker, but ultimately more real
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#40
Quote by sjones
This ^

Also, I just don't respect "pop" artists as musicians. Or to be specific, the large portion of them who don't write their own music or lyrics.

But this is an example of rock cultural values, the expectation that an artist must write the music that is performed. That's not always a tenet in other styles of music such as jazz, classical, and pop.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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