Bad music can have swagger like Mick Jagger
The world owes a lot to music. It has comforted broken hearts, rebelled against society, uplifted the weary. It defines generations and provides the soundtrack to our lives. However, there are times music can take a tragic turn and make people cringe instead of smile.
There are songs with lyrics that rhyme “swagger” with “Mick Jagger” out there for goodness sakes.
But you know what? It’s ok.
Music is subjective, and no matter how weird or different or bad someone thinks a certain song or genre is, there will always be someone who thinks it’s great.
The genre that gets the most criticism is definitely pop music. Katy Perry, LMFAO, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, they all make music that gets extremely harsh criticism by music snobs who think these types of artists are ruining the music industry.
The fact is, this music matters.
I grew up listening to Britney Spears and *NSYNC in the ’90s, shifted into pop punk through Good Charlotte and the “American Idiot” album in my awkward tween years, and from there just went on a complete music binge that has shaped my love of Led Zeppelin, Benny Goodman, The Sex Pistols, The Who and Chuck Berry.
I look back on those bands now, and yes, they’re cheesy and kind of lame, but they’re my memories, my guilty pleasures. They were the baby steps that I needed to take.
I like to think the young girls that are swooning over Justin Bieber and One Direction today will eventually grow up and find songs with more depth and complexity tomorrow.
Someday they’ll look back on them like we do Wham, The Spice Girls and the phenomenon that was “MMMBop” with a fond sense of nostalgia.
People who take pop music so seriously are extremely annoying because they don’t understand the function of these kinds of songs.
It’s true, you can’t have a philosophical discussion of a Katy Perry song like you can to a Bob Dylan one, but try dancing at a party or in a club to “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Think of all the chick flick music montages that would suffer if Natasha Bedingfield’s songs didn’t exist.
When you work out do you listen to Mumford and Sons and Radiohead? Of course not. You’re blasting your “Party in the USA” or “Sexy and I Know It” to get you pumped.
It also bothers me when people accuse these artists of not having any talent. A lot of artists use their most cliché pop singles to sell their whole albums, which can have some real musical gems. Take Gaga for example. She’s known for her outrageous fashion sense and lifestyle, but her song “Speechless” is leaps and bounds more soulful and complex than “Bad Romance” on the same album.
The bottom line is, music is an art form, and art is subjective. You can like it, hate it, love it, or completely don’t understand it, and that’s what makes music so great. You get to decide if something is so bad it’s awesome.