What is (bad) music telling us?

Quick – name the biggest pop female music stars:  Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Kesha, Pink, Adele, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Gwen Steffani, Carly Rae Jebson, One Direction and Kelly Clarkson. Quite a long list.

Who are the biggest male non-rap pop stars? Maroon 5, Rob Thomas, Cold Play, Bruno Mars, Kanye… Anyone else?

The ladies are kicking ass.

Why are there so many more women than men? Let’s assume that each gender does a better job describing their particular sex’s problems and issues than those of the opposite sex. That means we have a great dearth of artists devoted to speaking to the male state of being. Is it because 15-30 year old males don’t buy music or care about lyrics? Does it mean that there are an anomalously low number of men able to express their feelings through music?

Don’t tell me it’s all about recording executives who prefer to sell female sex appeal. In the ’80’s MTV actually showed music videos, so such a commodity would have mattered more then than now, yet we had Bruce Springsteen, Journey, U2, Duran Duran, Queen, Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses, The Police, and Metallica. Compare that list to what we have today on the male side. Back then the only women we had were Madonna and Whitney Houston.

As male college graduates have declined relative to women, they are behaving entirely differently than they did when it was 50/50 in the baby boom era. “The End of Men” as it has been labelled by Hanna Rosin, is an unnatural condition where men are becoming unmotivated and apparently unable to adapt to the current economic/cultural milieu. They are broken into two distinct categories – losers and players. Both are dysfunctional in their own way and neither seems to be very creative. At least they’re good at computer games.

likes to sing about umbrellas

The result is that we get female singers or boy bands. How will we get a new artist to write lyrics like this:

Love rescue me,
Come forth and speak to me
Raise me up and don’t let me fall
No man is my enemy,
My own hands imprison me,
Love rescue me.
Instead we get:

We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together
(Taylor Swift)
Am I just old or am I asking too much? We have global warming and massive economic dysfunction. The pain out there should be seeping into music not out of it. This is not the 90’s. The party is over (Pink).
Where is the (male) suffering?

One thought on “What is (bad) music telling us?”

  1. Young girls spend tons of money on songs and live concerts, whereas boys swap MP3 files illegally, cutting musicians out of the action. I think that explains more of the lopsided phenomenon. And by the way, Justin Bieber is at least nominally male, and Kanye West is mainly a rap “artist”.

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