to all my Pop-purists, rockers, music geeks, history buffs, singers, songwriters, and weirdos alike… welcome.
Join me, won’t you, as I explore the particulars of popular music.
From Record Labels to TikTok videos. No stone left unturned.
The year was 1990, the Billboard Top Artists was a loose dichotomy between Pop and Rock music. Artists such as Janet Jackson, Madonna, Motley Crue and Aerosmith dominated eardrums everywhere. These artists were blowing-out Ford Fiesta speakers across North America as teenagers flocked to the malls for over-sized sweaters and flannels. This brilliant year had also introduced another miracle to the world. It was the year I was born.
My name is Will MacLean, a third-year Communications student at Simon Fraser University. A self-proclaimed aficionado of Blues, Rock and Folk music. I was raised by a hippie mother who filled my childhood home with music from Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. I will be surveying the popular music scene with, what I would say, is a reasonable and warranted distrust for Pop music.
While the Billboard Top Artists for 2021 may have switched gears from 1990. As it now boasts artists such as The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Harry Styles, some things have stayed the same. Pop music has remained the dominating popular music genre for North America since I have been alive. This music courses through the veins of society, spreading like the flu.
When I speak of Pop music, I am focused on a specific genre. This music is often characterized by a good rhythm, easily repeatable lyrics, and catchy melodies that glue themselves to listeners’ minds. Artists such as Ariana Grande, Drake, Miley Cyrus, and Bruno Mars are some of the top Pop artists of 2020. Likely drawing inspiration from Pop all-stars such as Elton John, Blondie, Madonna and Michael Jackson, who is frequently labelled as the “King of Pop.”
When I use the term popular music, I am speaking of hits. Not strictly music of the Pop genre. This is music that tops the charts, gets airplay, sells records, sells singles, and fills stadiums. This could be any genre from rock to techno. To put it simply, this is the music that resonates in the collective masses’ minds with demonic repetition.
Throughout my time looking at the popular music of today, I will do my best to put aside all my cynicism, rage, contempt, and any other ugly feeling’s that I have.
I hereby vow to explore all the Billboard hits and popular music of today with an open mind and a love for the music. I plan to dissect each song, or artist, to see what drove them to success. Whether it be from Tiktok fame, producer influence, or their musical influences.
Lets discuss who sampled who, and who you should listen to next.
Enjoy my dive into Pop; hopefully, I don’t fizzle out.
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