Why do so many new songs sound like nursery rhymes?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 12, 2009 10:35 AM GMT
    Is it because they are bought by young people who have trouble remembering things?
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    Jul 12, 2009 1:49 PM GMT
    Music in the last couple of decades has shifted away from emphasizing melody and harmony to focus more on rhythm. The melodies tends to be simple, kept in a relatively narrow range of pitches, and are often repetitive, which lends themselves to simple, repetitive lyrics. Thus it sounds like a nursery rhyme.

    I think it makes some of the songs catchier (or quicker to remember and sing along with; sometimes I can sing along half way through the first listen). You hear it, get familiar with it right away, and then download it before you decide if you really like it. They are the songs I have to skip when they come up in the shuffle because I played them twenty times a day for the first week.

    That's my theory. But I really do miss good, complex melodies.
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    Jul 12, 2009 5:38 PM GMT
    I blame it on the convergence of pop music and rap. As soon as every other song on the radio started requiring a guest spot by a rapper (or, if it was a rap song, a cameo by a singer) things went downhill. Lots of songs that I find horrible (Umbrella.. ella.. ella. Ugh) are insanely catchy, despite your best efforts to resist.

    One of the things that's really hit me as I've been listening to more MJ music since he died (as we all have) is how beautiful the melodies and lyrics to many of his songs were. These days we have very few 'singers' out there, and lots of 'recording artists' .. for every set of Christina Aguilera pipes, there are 100 'singers' with the pipes of Britney Spears. Even Lady Gaga, who I think has a fantastic voice, dumbs her vocal talent down - IMHO - because catchy and infectious sell way more than fantastic singing and great lyrics/artistry. Also see: Jason Mraz.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Jul 12, 2009 6:36 PM GMT

    ... so that it puts you to sleep (and inevitably gets stuck in your head)?
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    Jul 12, 2009 6:38 PM GMT
    .....examples? ..... i have no idea what this is referring to...
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    Jul 12, 2009 6:40 PM GMT
    I'm with Czarodziej on this one, name some.
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    Jul 12, 2009 6:44 PM GMT
    badmikeyt said
    One of the things that's really hit me as I've been listening to more MJ music since he died (as we all have) is how beautiful the melodies and lyrics to many of his songs were. These days we have very few 'singers' out there, and lots of 'recording artists' .. for every set of Christina Aguilera pipes, there are 100 'singers' with the pipes of Britney Spears. Even Lady Gaga, who I think has a fantastic voice, dumbs her vocal talent down - IMHO - because catchy and infectious sell way more than fantastic singing and great lyrics/artistry. Also see: Jason Mraz.


    Very true.

    When you mention Mraz, do you mean you like his music or that it's an example of the shallow, catchy stuff? I just started listening to him, and while it's hit and miss, I enjoy a number of his tunes.
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 12, 2009 7:09 PM GMT
    So funny that someone should post on this today. I was going to do the same thing.

    I hate pop music... because it's not music anymore. Above, badmikeyt mentioned the convergence of pop and rap-- the whole hip-hop=music phenomenon. Lately, "music" on the radio has become so simplistic (nod to Maestoso) that I have begun to judge not only the producers and "musicians" who make the shit, but also the shallow people who listen to it. And, many times, gays are the ones singing praises for this crap.

    You might notice on my profile that I have a banner for Pig Radio from London. I love good electronica, progressive rock, alternative, and pretty much anything that's well composed. It's renewed my faith in "pop" music, although most of the tunes on that station are from bands and groups in Australia and Britain.

    I just finished a graduate degree in music, and as a conductor, singer, and instrumentalist, I don't want to listen to Beethoven when I get home from work. I'd rather keep it simple. And I certainly don't want to listen to music that makes me miserable...

    And so I'll see your "nursey rhymes" and raise you an "angry fucking miserable untalented bitches and pimps singing negative emotions in the most simple and unintelligent ways."

    God, I hate pop culture in America.


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    Jul 12, 2009 7:27 PM GMT
    America has gotten infantile....
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    Jul 12, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    WHAT?!

    One of the deepest and most emotionally saturated music I have ever heard was about a boy and a girl named Jack and Jill who went up the hill on an errand and suffered cranial injuries and most probably broken limbs too. Probably the greatest tragedy ever to be recounted.

    Coming in at a close second was a delightfully soulwrenching melody about a little pig who inexplicably got lost on his way home. The heartbreaking refrain of 'wee wee wee' still echoes through my soul every time and brings tears to my eyes.
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    Jul 12, 2009 11:56 PM GMT

    I am aware of this. I think a lot of hip-hop songs have a juvenile quality to them and many pop songs are following suit, like Britney singing about the circus and aguilera singing about being a super girl. Child's play, but I know what you like red.

    ....................................




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 13, 2009 12:17 AM GMT
    Damn, novelty rap sucks ass. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jul 13, 2009 12:24 AM GMT
    Here are some lyrics from Madonna, the biggest selling female artist of all time. I have bolded some of the annoyances...

    I don't like cities, but I like New York
    Other places make me feel like a dork

    Los Angeles is for people who sleep
    Paris and London, baby you can keep

    Baby you can keep
    (repeat 7 times)

    Other cities always make me mad
    Other places always make me sad
    No other city ever made me glad
    Except New York
    I love New York
    I love New York
    I love New York


    If you don't like my attitude, then you can 'F' off
    Just go to Texas,ins't that where they golf?
    New York is not for little pussies who scream
    If you can't stand the heat then get off my street
    Get off my street

    Get off my street
    You get off my street
    (repeat 3 times)

    Other cities always make me mad
    Other places always make me sad
    No other city ever made me glad
    Except New York
    I love New York
    I love New York
    I love New York

    I love New York [Get off my street, get off my street]
    (repeat 3 times)

    Get off my street
    You get off my street
    (repeat 3 times)
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    Jul 13, 2009 12:24 AM GMT
    I was citing Mraz as a great singer/songwriter who doesn't need vocoders or studio magic (though his biggest hit - "I'm Yours" - was way better as an acoustic demo before they made it into a stupid reggae version for radio - I think he's a genius. Additionally, he's one of the rare performers I prefer live vs. studio CD's. Plus, he's a storyteller. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofswp2OsEfY. I could listen to him sing the phonebook.

    Examples of shit:

    1. Lady Gaga - wtf is a disco stick? fuck her pppppoker face. You can sing, bitch - do it!
    2. Rihanna - just about everything. She is the queen of the mindless brainfuck chorus.
    3. Any other female singer with a paper-thin voice who just wants to wear next to nothing and writhe around in a music video.

    This is not to say that having a paper-thin voice is a dealbreaker. Janet Jackson, Madonna et all have very thin voices but they made masterful pop music. You don't have to be a great singer to be a great pop artist - but being an artist is a requirement. If Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag can make and release CD's, then who can't?
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    Jul 13, 2009 12:25 AM GMT
    xuaerb saidHere are some lyrics from Madonna, the biggest selling female artist of all time. I have bolded some of the annoyances...

    I don't like cities, but I like New York
    Other places make me feel like a dork

    Los Angeles is for people who sleep
    Paris and London, baby you can keep

    Baby you can keep
    (repeat 7 times)

    Other cities always make me mad
    Other places always make me sad
    No other city ever made me glad
    Except New York
    I love New York
    I love New York
    I love New York


    If you don't like my attitude, then you can 'F' off
    Just go to Texas,ins't that where they golf?
    New York is not for little pussies who scream
    If you can't stand the heat then get off my street
    Get off my street

    Get off my street
    You get off my street
    (repeat 3 times)

    Other cities always make me mad
    Other places always make me sad
    No other city ever made me glad
    Except New York
    I love New York
    I love New York
    I love New York

    I love New York [Get off my street, get off my street]
    (repeat 3 times)

    Get off my street
    You get off my street
    (repeat 3 times)


    This is the worst song ever written (and I love me some Madonna).
  • chefmarkn

    Posts: 6

    Jul 13, 2009 12:43 AM GMT
    I have to agree with what has been said here, there is really no "Talent" in the Music Industry, (and Hollywood for the same reason, 'Let's do a remake'). I cannot stand commercial corporate radio, with their insipid blathering on about nothing in particular, the same "play list" that repeats what seems like every 5 min.
    And as for what they play. . . what is that, is that "Music"? No, just angry lyrics to sampled tracks that they did not even write and or play. I've turned to College radio stations instead where it's a bit unpolished in the broadcasting, but at least it is music and not angry screeds and shallow lyrics.
    Two of the stations that I listen to on the computer and the radio are KSBR,(FM 88.5, Saddleback Community College, Smooth Jazz format) and KUSC( FM 91.5 Univ of So. Cal. Classical format). If you are in the Southern California area you can get them off the air.
    A bonus that they are College run stations, NO COMMERCIALS that are just as insulting.. . .there, I'm done ranting, I think. . .
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 13, 2009 1:25 AM GMT
    Listen to some Cole Porter and be happy. It is unfortunate we must look to the past for quality popular music.

    Since the nineties I have not found much I like that is new.

    I suspect the blandness in music is part of a larger trend in the culture because I think, like popular music, most movies today are formulaic and unwatchable.
  • swogdog

    Posts: 143

    Jul 13, 2009 1:33 AM GMT
    I was listening to Joni Mitchell a few days ago and nearly wept. I had forgotten how good her music is. It reminded me of how few the great talents are.

    It's not just the singers and lyricists that are lacking in popular music, but we don't even get a decent guitar solo anymore.
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    Jul 13, 2009 1:59 AM GMT
    badmikeyt saidI was citing Mraz as a great singer/songwriter who doesn't need vocoders or studio magic (though his biggest hit - "I'm Yours" - was way better as an acoustic demo before they made it into a stupid reggae version for radio - I think he's a genius. Additionally, he's one of the rare performers I prefer live vs. studio CD's. Plus, he's a storyteller. I could listen to him sing the phonebook.


    Agree. I love A Beautiful Mess, If It Kills Me, I'm Yours, and You and I Both. They're part of my soundtrack for this summer. icon_smile.gif

    swogdog saidI was listening to Joni Mitchell a few days ago and nearly wept. I had forgotten how good her music is. It reminded me of how few the great talents are.


    Have you heard the versions of A Case of You and Both Sides Now from the album Both Sides Now? Gorgeous arrangements.

    Here she is performing Both Sides Now live. Somebody pass me a tissue. icon_cry.gif

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQSlH-LLTQ
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    Jul 13, 2009 2:00 AM GMT
    Joni Mitchell never lies.



    DonĀ“t start on Janet or you have to deal with me and DancerJack (OK I mostly love this song)
  • danisnotstr8

    Posts: 2579

    Jul 13, 2009 2:02 AM GMT
    Maestoso said
    badmikeyt saidI was citing Mraz as a great singer/songwriter who doesn't need vocoders or studio magic (though his biggest hit - "I'm Yours" - was way better as an acoustic demo before they made it into a stupid reggae version for radio - I think he's a genius. Additionally, he's one of the rare performers I prefer live vs. studio CD's. Plus, he's a storyteller. I could listen to him sing the phonebook.


    Agree. I love A Beautiful Mess, If It Kills Me, I'm Yours, and You and I Both. They're part of my soundtrack for this summer. icon_smile.gif

    swogdog saidI was listening to Joni Mitchell a few days ago and nearly wept. I had forgotten how good her music is. It reminded me of how few the great talents are.


    Have you heard the versions of A Case of You and Both Sides Now from the album Both Sides Now? Gorgeous arrangements.

    Here she is performing Both Sides Now live. Somebody pass me a tissue. icon_cry.gif

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQSlH-LLTQ


    Maestoso-- funny... i just posted that a couple days ago on another thread. It's one of my favorite things ever.
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    Jul 13, 2009 2:16 AM GMT
    danisnotstr8 said


    Maestoso-- funny... i just posted that a couple days ago on another thread. It's one of my favorite things ever.


    I first heard that version in the movie Love Actually. Go to 6:21 in this clip if you haven't seen it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lm2bJTBS56c

    Poor Emma Thompson. icon_cry.gif I need a hug. icon_cry.gif Screw the tissue, just give me the whole box. icon_cry.gif
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    Jul 13, 2009 2:41 AM GMT
    lol. people find anything to argue + complain about. there's plenty out there by new artists that'd blow your complaints out of the water.. in general, i dislike the whole "things aren't good as they used to be" - usually means that you're just not looking hard enough.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F-CpE73o2M
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    Jul 13, 2009 2:53 AM GMT
    redheadguy saidIs it because they are bought by young people who have trouble remembering things?


    Young people have trouble remembering things? Where did you hear that?

    What's up with all the young people bashing around here lately? icon_confused.gif
  • swogdog

    Posts: 143

    Jul 13, 2009 4:28 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    swogdog saidI was listening to Joni Mitchell a few days ago and nearly wept. I had forgotten how good her music is. It reminded me of how few the great talents are.

    It's not just the singers and lyricists that are lacking in popular music, but we don't even get a decent guitar solo anymore.

    She is still the best. Her voice has gotten lower and smokier and she still both writes and sings the pants off nearly everyone.

    Her "Travelogue" album is a classic.


    You are so right. And it was Travelogue that I was listening to.