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Is music getting worse?

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Illustration by Sean Rogers

 

Music has become infinitely more accessible since the development of the internet. Listening-wise, you used to be restricted to what was on the radio or on a physical album you owned, but now you can hear nearly whatever song you want from a quick Google search. I personally see this to be a wonderful thing, but this mass availability has also led some to criticize modern music. 

 

Specifically, I often see the “soullessness” of current music targeted by complaints about how every song on the radio sounds the same. While this may be true to some degree, it is a massive overgeneralization, and there is so much wonderful music nowadays that is just as good as that of past generations. 

 

One of my favorite things about music today is its diversity. Genres have greatly expanded to the point that if you come up with some obscure subgenre of music, chances are it probably already exists. All of these genres and classifications may seem confusing and unnecessary, but once you find one song or artist you love, you can easily find more music just like it. No matter how niche my favorite genres like “second-wave emo” and “power electronics” are, I’m able to discover more artists that fall under those categories whenever I want.

 

Additionally, live music is still very much a thing. There are plenty of college-aged bands around the Twin Cities and elsewhere. If you can’t find that crazy music genre you’re imagining, go and make it yourself! The diversity and overall quality of modern music will only get better if more people contribute to it. 

 

Truthfully, there is nothing better or worse about today’s music in comparison to that of the past decades. There is simply more variety in music nowadays. Complaints about the “soullessness” of the current state of music are due to the fact that the most popular music doesn’t cater to the taste of every single person. The simplicity and catchiness of modern pop music may not be for everyone, but I can confidently say that there is still a genre of music for nearly anyone. And, in the rare case that someone is incapable of finding any sort of modern music to their liking, music from decades past is readily available on various streaming platforms, too. With all of that considered, I’d say we’re truly living in the perfect era of music.

Annie McMullen is from St. Paul, Minn.

Her major is currently undeclared.

mcmull2@stolaf.edu