There are so many styles of music, so many genres and sub genres now its dizzying! You can easily find things in the same mark as the "oldies" and there are much more talented musicians in terms of skill and proficiency now than ever.
I'm a classically trained Flutist, who also plays a little jazz. I can play essentially every woodwind, ukulele, a little of the orchestral strings, and I've taken operatic singing courses. My experience has exposed me to a lot of music (as you can imagine). If you go to any Conservatory now days, you will see how competitive music is as an industry. You don't have competitive industries without growth, even if its small.
I think many people get nostalgic and set in their ways. It closes them to new musical experiences. Many older people think negatively about hip hop, and its because everything before was so harmonic that its just... A brave new world! Maybe its a little scary, but it is good music. A few people disliking it doesn't make it bad! Especially if the artists are selling records. Proof is in the pudding.
I will say... I feel a little weird about micro-tonal music. I still have a little trouble wrapping my head around it. It wasn't something I grew up with! But I can see and respect the skill. It requires a greater ear than I admittedly have.
Sure, you have the music from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and even before those decades, and sure you have crappy pop songs and auto tune, but even with those considered, music is great today than in the past. You just have to look for it. There are tremendous singers and musicians in today's music.
In the past, to make it big in the music industry, you needed singers and musicians with real talent. One of the worst example today is rap music where the performer(s) doesn't sing or play any instrument. Now, we also have auto-tuning where it lowers the bar for those who can't sing. In the past, to make a record, you needed at least some musical talent in your group but today, you don't. Granted, solo artists have been hiring back up musicians and singers for a long time but at least in the past, they had some actual talent. Back then, even the solo artist could sing, without auto-tuning, and many/most could also play an instrument, even tho they didn't always perform with it. In the end, if it takes no musical talent, can you really call it music?
If you go back by 40 years or so, you'll find that the popular music was at the heart, about love, friendship, and political issues. Sure there were a couple of drug songs, but not as many as today. And the ones that were about drugs, were very subtle as someone said above me. In addition to that, sex was rarely the basis of a song and if it was, it was always hinted and never straightforward.
If you go back by 30 years more, you hear popular music that talks about simple love, picket fences, happiness, travelling, and about music itself.
Today, the music industry is dominated by Pop (digitalised), Rap, and Indie. Aside from Indie music and some pop artists, the music industry now is also dominated African-Americans and it is in their songs that talk about sex the most.
I'm a pretty liberal guy, I'm just stating the facts. If you really look at it, its the truth. Since African-Americans are the most prevalent and arguably have the more lewd music in the industry, this makes a lot of artists feel the need to incorporate vulgar into their own music in order to be successful. Its a cycle really
Music today is way too sexual and crime-glorifying. The Beatles were too, but it was more subtle, so you couldn't easily tell. That all said, this is kind of a silly question, though, because what you like depends on what your parents and friends like, not the music's intrinsic quality.
I am under the impression that oldies are better than modern songs. Sure there are some bad old songs and some good modern songs, but I would say in general modern music is simply not as good as old music. I personally mainly listen to music of the 60s - 80s, and I think music quality started to decline in the 90s. I will attempt to explain why I think think this way.
I would like to compare modern music to 80s music, which I think was the best era of music ever. First of all, there was much more diversity in song styles and genres in the past. In the 80s, you had bands like Chicago and Air Supply that sang typical 80s pop songs, you had bands that incorporated rock styles such as U2, Survivor and Bon Jovi, there was still some jazz and blues from singers like B B King and Frank Sinatra, techno was also starting to rise in popularity with bands such as the Pet Shop Boys, and there were many artists and bands who could produce many different genres of music, such as David Bowie and Queen. There were simply so many different types of songs to listen to, which made the music scene refreshing and accommodating. Nowadays, however, most songs are simply categorised into "pop" and its subgenres, such as techno-pop and pop-rock. Very rarely do you see artists venture into different genres such as jazz and rock. A few I could name off the top of my head would be Michael Buble, who does some jazz, and Snow Patrol that produce alternate rock. But it's still rare to see many talented artists who sing different genres of songs.
Also, I find modern music not as "sincere" as oldies, so to speak. This is more of a personal feeling, though. I find music of the past was much more sincere in its delivery. I just get the feeling that modern artists sing songs to try their best to be popular, to earn money or to reach the top of the song charts. But old songs weren't like that. You look at many old artists like David Bowie and Bob Dylan; they made music simply because they enjoyed it, and were sincere in their delivery. Their songs were spirited and soulful, but when they sang happy songs, you could also tell they were really enjoying themselves. Modern music just feels too artificial.
Finally, one of the reasons why I think oldies were better was because they weren't always politically correct. It just feels like everything nowadays, especially music, has to be politically correct. You look at oldies like "Tarzan Boy" and "Don't you want me", the music video of the former is literally a half-shirtless Irish singer dancing around special effects while the latter is men who put on make-up and sing. It just feels that things were much more carefree and did not have to be politically correct to be good.
A lot of songs today have to do with sex, money, drugs, death, or something that is not mature level. Another deal is that a lot of songs are knock-offs or copies of another. Even little children that no nothing about the drug sing snoop dog's "smoke weed every day it just isn't okay to have them sing songs about sex or illegal drug use. At least back before the 2000's everything was original.
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