Dw Dunphy 
Member since Sep 13, 2013


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Re: “A Breakdown of the Lyrical Content of Billboard's Top 20 Country Songs

Understand that, like rap and pop, the current generation is not only not offended by repetition, but is attracted to it. I posited once that it is the dirty after effect of so many people being exposed to Teletubbies at a young age. Pop rock has been flogging the same three chord progressions for the past ten years, and if you hang around a 7-11 too long you'll hear them all. Rap is obsessed with conspicuous consumption, "da club," and a baseless one-upmanship. And country, as indicated here, ruts in the same familiar tropes over and over again. Why?

First, the labels want safety. They want something that worked before, and before that. They do not want to take risks and therefore will not commit a dime to anything that hasn't a striking resemblance to what's come before. It's the movie sequel/prequel/reboot mentality for the music world.

Second, music consumers don't want to shoulder the cost of risk if they're actually going to buy the product. So they go with known quantities, and that means a level of instant identification.

Third, there is comfort in "close enough" that, while frustrating, is also understandable. I know someone who will go to many different restaurants but will order a burger at every one. It's like that.

Fourth, the communal experience of music has turned into a status symbol more than ever before. When it was you in front of your record player, you could listen to any damn thing you wanted and didn't have to hear the snipes from the outside world. But now the primary mode of music listening is the iPod or digital player. You're out in the world. God help you if you want to listen to something "uncool," you'll look like a dork. So you'll listen to what everyone else listens to and not be singled out. And because this musical inbreeding keeps going, the inherent DNA keeps getting recycled over and over - i/e: songs about trucks and girls and kissin' by the river begets songs about trucks and girls and kissin' by the river. The musical organism has forgotten how to create with different subject matter because it has been bred out of it.

56 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Dw Dunphy on 09/13/2013 at 6:35 AM

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