Guilt Unfair for Pop Pleasures

Emily Fong, Staff Writer

For some absurd reason, today’s definition of music is often brushed aside as generic or lacking creativity. Every self-absorbed nouveau-hipster seems to have an opinion on Top 40 radio, and how terrible it is compared to the early 2000’s, 80’s, 20’s etc.

But really, to assert that good music was made in only a certain time period is a lazy generalization. It’s true that mainstream music of this generation is categorized by pop songs and boy bands, but even so, there’s plenty of other genres being provided by some under-the-radar artists. It just requires motivation to find them.

Sophomore Lizzy Farnan said, “I think people hate popular music because most pop music is overly edited and most people look for the true talents or artists instead.”

If someone is into classic jazz and soul, they can go check out Fitz and the Tantrums. Punk isn’t dead yet, either. Go see some shows at 924 Gilman in Berkeley.

Some say that music isn’t interesting anymore, or capable of introspection. Eminem’s a fantastic lyricist, and he analyzes himself so well. Of Monsters and Men and Mumford and Sons are creating an entire genre of folk-rock.

Popular music is a fluid concept that, by nature, cannot be simplified into convenient time periods. Those who do so are just looking for an excuse to complain. Especially in the case of big acts.

Sophomores Sharon Maher and Rachael Lin agreed that mainstream music is too artificial.

“I care more about the lyrics and musical style, ” Maher said. “I’m not into fluffy, bubblegum pop.”

“Yeah, it has to do with genre too. I’m just not interested in most of what’s on the radio,” Lin added.

Some people really like Taylor Swift or One Whatever. Teens went crazy over the Beatles when they first started. Though it’s impossible to compare One Direction to the longevity and the legend of the Beatles, and certainly One Direction doesn’t even come close to the kings of pop themselves, the point stands that just because a band is popular does not mean it is bad.

“If you’re into it, you’re into it, I guess,” said Lin.

I’m willing to bet the majority of people have not actually listened to the music they feign to hate. Personally, I despise the insanity surrounding these acts, but they do have some truly catchy songs. I’ve shamefully rocked out to “You Belong With Me” before, and although I don’t agree with the message of internalized misogyny or Swift’s obsession with every guy who’s broken up with her, sometimes people need some bright pop-country in their lives.

Judging people by their music taste is probably the most superficial way to assess the worth of a person, right next to judging people for their appearance. No one is better or worse for what media they chose to enjoy, and the elitists that love to scream from the rooftops are just looking for attention.