The Downfall of Contemporary Music
As a form of creative artistic expression, music has always been a vehicle for change in societies. The most legendary compositions and musical movements have resulted from particular historical events and social circumstances. Thus, house music emerged as a more provocative, rawer cultural phenomenon after the collapse of disco music, but preserved the same symbolic values: gay liberation, feminist movement, and black power. Today, we are faced with lack of cultural value in mainstream music, sugar-coated tunes and watered-down rock music that represents the shallow interests of the youth.
House music, which has its roots in the 1980s, mixed ideas, people and sounds that carried an important message. People were physically shaken by the powerful, loud beets that enabled them to transcend into their own, free world. Similar to house music, the contemporary mainstream sound also hypnotizes the dancers in the club, enabling them to express the music through movements. However, this type of music does not bring the feeling of being mentally and physically reconstructed after a whole night of dance in that transcendental world. House music spread a message of spiritual and earthly love between all people, regardless of their race. In comparison, contemporary pop music doesn’t come with a specific cultural or political statement.
Today’s clubbing generation doesn’t want to party on music that places accent on the harsh reality and inspires people to make a change. When they go to a club, they want to be consumed by the rhythm without paying attention to the content. The contemporary music that appeals to the masses refrains people from thinking and doesn’t contribute for social improvement. If we tried to define pop culture according to the prevalent music, we would conclude that today’s people are a frivolous, passive mass with values built around the principles of sex, money and fame. The popular artists are not able to create a true vision; they become outrageous in their “servile creativity” as an attempt to satisfy the masses.
Among all those music trends that refrain people from thinking, there are still artists who understand music as an artistic expression associated to social circumstances. Leonard Cohen, one of the musical legends that have deserved universal respect, is a proof of the notion that every era gives birth to artists who try to restore the meaning and integrity of creative expression. In his compositions full of ideas, experience and genuine poetry, the listener immediately notices the personal vision that inspired the music. The category of musicians who express discontent with the regime has always been a minority, but proves that music can always lead towards a revolution.
The main role music plays in today’s society is entertainment. Our youth is not interested in social revolution; they find a way to be happy when they escape in their virtual reality and listen to music that doesn’t act as an intellectual stimulus. Although there are musicians capable of leading the young generation into another era of meaningful music, the mainstream culture has already gotten out of hand. We need a musical revolution!