I’m driving 70 down I-75, contemplating if I want to reach for the radio dial, but I ultimately decide that I don’t, for you see I’m left with a choice. Do I want to purposely subject myself to the pointless dribble that the mainstream wants to call “music” or do I want to continue to sit on my high horse, listening to the same 5 indie pop songs because I have this idea of complex superiority that the average pop music listener will never understand.
The year is 2013 and I can’t be bothered by anything that isn’t Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, or The Neighbourhood. Yeah, I may only know songs such as Sweather Weather, Do I Wanna Know, or Chocolate, but that doesn’t matter; because I listen what I like to call, “Pop music with substance.” I may only know their singles, but I’m going to act as if I’ve been a fan of this band since their first EP, despite the fact I really don’t know a single word being said in Chocolate.
The year is now 2014 and I’ve decided to give into my angsty teen years at 18, basically had a membership at Hot Topic and you couldn’t scroll through my Instagram without seeing me in a black T Shirt that had a band name in a font that looked like an unorganized cluster of dead branches. Okay, so I may not be able to understand exactly what the frontman is screaming at me, but I’m sure it has meaning and it’s not just about cheesy lyrics and unrequited love.
I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s all I had associated with pop music. Cheesy lyrics and unrequited love.
Pop music, as it is defined, is “a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s.” It is a genre of music that has had many artists become the face of it. In the 1950’s, we had the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee and many more representing the face of what is now, traditional pop.
We then went through different eras of music, the 60’s was filled with what we now called Classic Rock, though it was just Rock to them. The 70’s had a hyperactive craze surrounding disco and big afros and bell bottom jeans.
Then came that of the 80’s and those that are now considered “Synthpop”, reigned over the genre. You had acts such Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, and a-ha; and yes, even though Take On Me was the only successful hit of a-ha, you can’t deny that you enjoy singing along.
The 90’s was a fast paced time filled with alternative rock music that most punk bands now try to resurrect, and a type of hip hop/rap that most of us can only wish we could hear once again on the radio.
However, what most pop music haters don’t seem to realize is that, at one point, most of the songs we know were in fact, popular. They may not be considered what the industry now considers “pop music” but it was popular nonetheless and we don’t feel the need to invalidate that artistry, so why do we do so today?
The year is now 2017 and I’m actually heartbroken I didn’t buy tickets to see The Vamps when they came to my town. I now happily belt out the words to “That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony, I’m not afraid to say that I love “Purpose” by Justin Bieber, and I’m not afraid to say that I’m more than excited to see Harry Styles next year. Pop music does not mean you have a manufactured taste in music, it simply means you enjoy what’s popular; and what’s wrong with that?