Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top 40 Agenda

According to my wife...the reason I have stupid songs stuck in my head all the time is because I "listen to crappy radio stations playing crappy music."  While she is probably 100% correct, that doesn't explain the utterly addictive nature of said crappy music.  The local KISS FM station plays Top 40 music non stop.  A song like B.O.B.'s Airplanes (Part II) featuring Haley Williams from Paramore and Eminem will be played in regular rotation every thirty minutes.  Do I listen to this station?  Yes.  Is it the only station I listen to? No.
So when does Apple reveal him as their ultimate creation?
The iHost:
"This Changes Everything.  Infinity!"
The why is it that I don't get a Foo Fighters song stuck in my head daily?  I hear them at least twice a day from the other stations I listen to.  The short answer...Pop Music is engineered to stick with you and become immediately familiar.  It's like a jingle for a fast food joint, you inexplicably know it like your last name and it will never leave you...at least until they come up with a new one.

There are several artists I will tire of immediately even though I absolutely love their music (I use the term love and music EXTREMELY loosely here).  No Doubt/Gwen Stefani is one of those artists.  I'm saddened when an overplayed song hits the trash bin for me when...if the radio station wasn't shoving their agenda down my throat, I'd probably be cool to hear it daily.

Right now at any given moment you can hear one of the following artists at least once an hour on KISS FM.

David Guetta
Bruno Mars
Katy Perry
Black Eyed Peas
Jason Derulo
Taio Cruz
Mr. Hudson
Lady Gaga

I'm sure I've missed someone, but it's not worth the research right now.  Do you know how I comprised this list?  With the exception of Ms. Gaga, every one of these people have worked with at least one if not 6 other people on this list for a 2010 summer hit.  

These aren't really pop stars so to say, these are more like the latest craze ingredients in a bar cocktail.  Do you remember when it was raspberry EVERYTHING there for a decade or so?  Now every vodka manufacturer is trying to stay a step a head by concocting an absurd variety of twisted/infused vodkas?  For the past five years or so it's been Pomegranate this and that.  If you don't have a clue what I'm yammering about, kudos for being above hype and oblivious to the inane obsessions of the masses.  Cosmos & Mojitos have certainly enjoyed their respective rises to modern superstardom as this decade has sailed along.

Sorry, I got side tracked with my analogy and never found a point.  Although, was it really that surprising that I was distracted by alcohol?

The point was that these artists are being blended together at a staggering pace.  During the 90's, putting a rapper with a pop star became common practice to produce the best summer jam possible.  It was innovative.  Now it's passe.  They're combining more and more into one song at a tone deafening rate.

They are evening creating people to sing specifically for rappers because a sound has worked so many times in the past.  Jay-Z and Dr. Dre needed to replicate the sound of Chris Martin (Coldplay) because they liked it so much but couldn't pull the man away from his own fame and family.  Thus Mr. Hudson was created.  Sounds Britishy but with less of a hefty price tag.  

I made mention of Gaga being the exception.  Don't think she's above it though.  They paired her up with Beyonce for Telephone to get the extra cha ching!  But even the folks who NEED the rapper to flesh out their sound are being paired up together.  Ke$ha and Tiao Cruz put out a song together.  (Blissfully ignorant?  The $ is an "S" but the bling gives her so much more cred, no?  Tiao has produced a sun glass line that will set you back $500 a pop.  These are kids, in every sense, who skipped college to drink, stalk music producers and have gold applied to their grill...that's 90's slang for teeth yo!)

I blame the perfection (?) of the pop machine for leaving these vicious sound cancers embedded in my brain.  Solution?  Stop listening to crap stations that play crap music.  To that I say "I'm only human dang it.  Give me my sugary pop over killer dance beats and leave me the hell alone." 


  1. I've only heard of six of the artists you mention. Does that mean that I need to start listening to more crappy radio stations that play crappy music?

  2. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy real music with a sense of superiority? It's a scary thing to realize I have gone the wrong direction down the music trail. Exponentially worse when I'm caught humming a Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift ditty by a (non-14-year-old) member of society.

  3. I, too, became momentarily starstruck by those purdy vodka bottles....completely lost my train of thought.

    I know what you mean about the pop songs and the local radio. I'm guessing that you (like me) do not have satellite in your car.

    My favorite local station has a website where they show the last 100 songs played. I can tell by just glancing at it what's being pushed. Too much repetition in a song annoys me....but maybe that's just me.

  4. Hey it's kinda cool around here.

  5. Kathryn, I guess it's really all about marketing and if it works, I think that means they know us (or at least how to manipulate us) better than we probably care to admit.

    Thanks Bray, glad you stopped by!