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As I grew older I noticed that the top selling modern pop music seemed less and less attractive to me. Having grown up with music from the 1960’s and 1970’s, I attributed that to “just growing older”.

After seeing a youtube clip from Paul Watson (see below) I am starting to doubt that was the case. After all I still like new music that has complex rhythms, rich soundscapes and intelligent lyrics. But I almost never turn on a radio to listen to music anymore. Simply because I don’t get to hear that kind of music. Its all one blend of “vapour” to me.

In his video Paul explains why this is the case. It seems that almost all “hit music” is written by the same four people. And they follow a very predictable (the same) pattern. The only thing that changes is the “artist”. No wonder that I don’t find any enjoyment in it.

Paul also has an explanation for why our brains seem to want this kind of music. I am not sure if that explanation is correct, but that hardly matters to me. What does matter is that in order to develop and maintain our brains we should take care of what we listen to. Seems simply turning on the radio or listening to whatever happens to come along is not the best way to find music that stimulates our brain.

I think we could do worse than turning to the “hits” of the period 1960-1975. There are many “classic pop” stations or youtube channels to choose from. And if you are not used to that kind of music, you may have to “work through it” for some time. Then again, there is modern music that fills the same nice. I would suggest searching for terms like “progressive” or “symphonic” to find the more complex music. And of course you can also turn to classical (orchestral) music.

Oh, and btw, I do not think that this is the result of an evil conspiracy. Its just an emergent property.

Here is the youtube I referred to:

If pressed for time, listen to the first minute and then skip to the 9 minute mark.

Oh, yes, Paul does not mince words… if you are a fan of modern hit music (or Coldplay) then prepare to feel “insulted”.

Originally posted at: 2016-12-29
Last modified on: 2016-12-29