Why do we need «bad» music?

Jason Derulo and Justin Bieber as inevitable evil in modern pop-culture

Let’s face the music: you either have no heart, or no sense of rhythm if you don’t jump on your butt when «wiggle-wiggle-wiggle» pumps the speakers. I’m really tired of apologizing for brilliantly produced and high-quality pop-tunes, but here comes yet another attempt to do it.

For all those who keep on saying bullshit like «back in the 50’s/ 60's/ 70’s/ 80’s/ 90’s popular music was way much better» (yes, Mr. Grohl, you too), I have a bunch of counterarguments, but first, I want to count the most prevalent reasons from so called «haters»:

  • Modern pop-music has no meaning or actual point in it;
  • It’s too simple (this one goes not only for the lyrics, but for the harmony and rhythm);
  • Some gibberish coming to statements like «it has no soul» and «it’s just stupid».

First things first: pop music always had no sense in it. At least, the vast majority of it. Look at 60’s charts, and you will see songs like Sugar, Sugar from The Archies or I’m A Believer from The Monkees (boy, they couldn’t even spell the word correctly!). In the 70’s — Cerrano hustling along with Kool And The Gang (it’s pretty hard to find genre more inane than disco — the one consisting of hymns to happiness or misty ballads). Following 80’s brought us Olivia Newton-John getting physical and Men Without Hats dancing safely. 90’s — the golden age of britpop and EDM — also brought us Sir Mix-a-Lot and Haddaway. 00’s weren’t any much better, spawning girls bands like Spice Girls and rappers like 50 Cent.

The list could’ve been going on and on forever, but it’s pretty obvious that 90% of popular music hasn’t got that much depth in it. Of course, there are bands like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Beatles and R.E.M. and performers like JT, Madonna and Elvis Presley who rammed their heads through clouds and created their own constellations, bringing us great lyrics and great melodies. But still they haven’t got much complexity in their tunes (at least the earliest ones).

Somebody have got to reveal this great secret: music is not that complicated in it’s core, if we’re not talking about jazz or contemporary classic music. Most of it is just pentatonic and blues scales, based on the simplest harmony. Open any jazz book or music manual — you will see the same patterns everywhere, the rest is talent, thousands of hours of hard work and large amount of luck.

So this one goes for all those people who cannot enjoy pop music: remember yourself as a kid, realize that it’s not about complexity, but about you relishing it. Try to comprehend all the effort that was put in it. Pop music is made by people like Pharrell, Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Danger Mouse. I think they know what they’re doing, or at least how to get your body moving. So wiggle-wiggle-wiggle!

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