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Mogura

Why do I hate pop music so?

46 posts in this topic

Not that I am interested in learning to appreciate pop music, but I would like to get to the core of why I have hated it for pretty much my whole life.

These are the reasons I can come up with off the top of my head:

  • Pop music acts are often contrived for the purpose of mass appeal and profit
  • Pop musicians often do not compose or perform their own music or write their own lyrics
  • Pop music lyrics are repetitive, banal, shallow, or lacking of any deep meaning (as often are melodies or rhythm)
  • Pop musicians are pretty much two-dimensional, shallow individuals themselves

But I feel there is more to it. Perhaps my aversion to pop music has something to do with being an Intuitive. To me, a pop song is pretty much a two-dimensional product (much like its performer). I am attracted to music that has 3, 4, 5... dimensions. Of course, I'm not talking about physics here; I'm talking about what could be simply described as depth of complexity and meaning where all of the individual constituents of a song blend together to synthesize something unique and perhaps revolutionary, a wine bouquet (a wine cooler--alcohol + sugary wine flavor--would be the pop song equivalent).

Anyway, how do you evaluate your music tastes in terms of your type? (Reading through a lot of music-related threads, it would appear that INTJs aren't very much into pop music either.)

Edited by Mogura

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pop is designed to appeal to the most common denominator.

we are not the most common denominator and are quite complex.

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So, does this mean that there is a direct relation between music taste and MBTI Type?

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Perhaps the boredom factor - the music itself tends to be VERY repetitive and simple, as well as the lyrics - with half-assed instrumentals and vocalizations ("oOoOh ooOOoOoOooh bayyyyyby ooOooOh yeah OoOo yeah baby toniiiiiiiight").

Songs with vocals can be good if at least ONE of either the lyrics or the music is rich, complex, and varied - without either of them being so, it's like the "data entry tasks" of the music world - busy work.

* an exception perhaps is electronica. A lot of the music though is really trippy and interesting, and you're usually "on something" (or two somethings) anyway, so that's usually not a problem.

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It's the same reason I just can't see the appeal of Lady Gaga- it's just as lame, musically simplistic and meaningless as the rest of them.

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I don't think most pop music is as lacking in musical complexity as you suggest and Antares, I would say that Lady Gaga's songs are a really bad choice to illustrate that supposed un-complexity. Her lyrics are pretty moronic, but a song like Paparazzi actually has quite a lot going on musically. If anything, it is rock music that deserves the musically simplistic tag - three chords and some floppy haired white men in jeans, yay for embracing diversity, musical and otherwise!

Mogura, I'm not sure what you mean by pop music... because to me that includes stuff like Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, Talking Heads, some incredible synth bands... and I just don't buy that there is either complexity or originality lacking there.

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Mogura, I'm not sure what you mean by pop music... because to me that includes stuff like Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, Talking Heads, some incredible synth bands... and I just don't buy that there is either complexity or originality lacking there.

I think you can deduce from my OP what I meant, but I'll be more explicit: basically Top 40-type music that you commonly hear on the radio (over and over ad naseum). Now, some talented acts do make it big, and end up in mainstream (and are subsequently labeled as "pop") along with the banal crap. I'm not referring to them...

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I think you can deduce from my OP what I meant, but I'll be more explicit: basically Top 40-type music that you commonly hear on the radio (over and over ad naseum). Now, some talented acts do make it big, and end up in mainstream (and are subsequently labeled as "pop") along with the banal crap. I'm not referring to them...

But the people I mention were not "subsequently labelled as pop" (except maybe Talking Heads) - they were explicitly writing for a popular audience, "symphonies for the kids" as Spector said, and they were wildly successful as top 40 popular artists. What other definition of 'pop music' is there?!

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I was pondering this today actually. I am curious about who can relate to the lyrics. The theme is basically, "I got so much damn money, fuck a different bitch every night, and stay awake until dawn!" The last part being especially amusing since I work night shift. The only plausible explanation I can think of is it's meant to be fantasy -- an unreachable ideal to think about to escape from one's regular, mundane life. In which case, I still cannot relate, 'cause I hate the idea of money, don't enjoy casual sex, and would love to be able to have the option of sleeping at night.

Considering it is meant to appeal to the masses, I'm guessing that means SP's.

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Maybe you hate it because it caters to the popular mainstream. I call them the zombies. The ones that feed off bullshit of society. They pick up all the buzz words, news, technology, etc. Worthless IMO. Lack creativity and individuality.

If everyone aligns on the right, I stand on the left. Fuck the system. I hate pop too.

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But the people I mention were not "subsequently labelled as pop" (except maybe Talking Heads) - they were explicitly writing for a popular audience, "symphonies for the kids" as Spector said, and they were wildly successful as top 40 popular artists. What other definition of 'pop music' is there?!

I think you know what the OP means, but insist on exploring the exception. Manufactured music versus symphonies for the kids. Britney versus Puscifer.

The populace's choices are simple and restricted to what's within the moment of easy access, be it politics or musical trends. Requires cerebral amputation to live at that space. Monotony is painful, as is evidenced by the concept of "jail".

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Maybe you hate it because it caters to the popular mainstream. I call them the zombies. The ones that feed off bullshit of society. They pick up all the buzz words, news, technology, etc. Worthless IMO. Lack creativity and individuality.

If everyone aligns on the right, I stand on the left. Fuck the system. I hate pop too.

So it is not the music per-se, but the desire to differentiate yourself from "the masses" that makes you dislike pop music.

I think there's a false analogy being made in this thread firstly between popularity and a lack of complexity but then also between a lack of complexity and a lack of worth. If anything is lacking in complexity, it is that sort of response to popular culture. I mean snoooooore, it's the battle cry of the grumpy old man.

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I think you know what the OP means, but insist on exploring the exception. Manufactured music versus symphonies for the kids. Britney versus Puscifer.

No, there is no "versus"; just because you, or the OP, may happen to like an artist, that does not mean you can conveniently remove them from the pop genre or label them an "exception". There is no inherent thing that makes the music of Britney different to Puscifer. Music is music is music. There is a value judgement being made here but it has very little to do with music and much more to do with a personal conception of what gives something value. In this case, it seems to be that exclusivity is the valued ideal, and pop music (in its very name) fails to deliver that ideal.

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So, does this mean that there is a direct relation between music taste and MBTI Type?

I think that the IN types are going to have much more sophisticated taste in music, particularly due to that N. For me, it's the same reason I would rather read Sartre than a harlequin romance novel.

There was a quiz someone had put up about this:

http://intjforum.com/showthread.php?t=52997

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I remember a long time ago hearing a quote, it's quite vivid in my memory but the person said something along the lines of music represents emotions and when you hate a certain genre of music it's actually the emotions it expresses within you that makes you hate it rather then the song itself. I tend to agree with that I reject the specious fantasy that modern pop music expresses.

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I remember a long time ago hearing a quote, it's quite vivid in my memory but the person said something along the lines of music represents emotions and when you hate a certain genre of music it's actually the emotions it expresses within you that makes you hate it rather then the song itself. I tend to agree with that I reject the specious fantasy that modern pop music expresses.

It's the banality that gets to me :P

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Well it tends to be formulaic, profit-driven and disposable, just like Hollywood. It's cheap and nasty.

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Often, I dislike them because I think they are faking it.

I can accept or respect most forms of music/musicians, if I think it has a core of something genuine, but I can't really explain how this works, why I sometimes think it's authentic, and sometimes think it's fake.

As for popularity in itself, I do tend to be a little turned off if something is a hysterically grand success, but that goes for almost anything. Harry Potter for an example. I were fine with the first book, then it just took off too much around it, and I decided to look at it again later, when the rest of the world calmed down. If I still care.

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As a pop addict and fan I must answer:

---------------------------------------------

Pop music acts are often contrived for the purpose of mass appeal and profit

This is a tough one. Isn't almost all music contrived for that? I mean if it was for solely artistic purposes then the musician would stay in his garage playing for himself, or if it was pure art they wouldn't charge for "sharing" their art.

Everything is for mass appeal and for profit (in different degrees).

Pop musicians often do not compose or perform their own music or write their own lyrics

This has the same logic as if someone said that rock bands were bad because they don't do more than 10 choreographies or 4 wardrobe changes on live concerts... o_O

Pop music lyrics are repetitive, banal, shallow, or lacking of any deep meaning (as often are melodies or rhythm)

Some are I agree... but that is not exclusive from pop music. Anyway is pop music meant to be profund, introspective, deep and full of meaning??

Pop musicians are pretty much two-dimensional, shallow individuals themselves

This again is not exclusive of pop, I mean I have heard pretty dumb one-dimensional interviews made to other "artists" which show they don't see beyond their neighborhood. As in everything, some are wise, some are dumb, some are deep, some are shallow.

---------------------------------------------

Anyway.... what's your pop knowledge? From all the stereotypes you are writing in your post I think you think pop is made of Lady Gaga, Britney and other people like that. If so, I understand your confusion.

Pop is one of the widest genres in the world, and judging it from the US-mainstream is quite limited. Euro-pop, K-pop, J-pop, Canto-pop, Latin-pop, are a few examples of how big the pop universe is. Have you explored jazz-pop? How about slow-pop? Any experience with folk-pop?

As I previously mentioned. If your only contact with pop music is what US media is broadcasting then I don't blame you; we all know US pop music is very low quality. :)

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Jalex, I think we are talking about "pop" in terms of "top 40/ radio play" (but i could be wrong)

Technically, the Beatles were "pop". but they were also highly complex and innovative.

It's the formula that is a problem. The lack of innovation and novelty and pushing boundaries.

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No, there is no "versus"; just because you, or the OP, may happen to like an artist, that does not mean you can conveniently remove them from the pop genre or label them an "exception". There is no inherent thing that makes the music of Britney different to Puscifer. Music is music is music. There is a value judgement being made here but it has very little to do with music and much more to do with a personal conception of what gives something value. In this case, it seems to be that exclusivity is the valued ideal, and pop music (in its very name) fails to deliver that ideal.

Now you're just nitpicking. I thought it was pretty obvious what Mogura meant - stuff like Taylor Swift's "You Belong To Me", Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Beyonce, etc.

---------- Post added 05-17-2011 at 11:00 AM ----------

He probably means modern (as in, 5 years old or newer) American pop that makes the top 40. MTV stuff.

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I'm with Jalex and Merle. I'm not hearing a lot of actual musical criticism here. The most I see is "shallow lyrics", which is really only part of the equation. It looks like everything else is based on non-musical, non-genre-specific qualities.

Pop music doesn't have a monopoly on, for example, "do not compose or perform their own music or write their own lyrics". Unless Ludwig van Beethoven is a member of the New York Philharmonic.

If your main criticism of pop music (or popular anything, really) is the very fact of its popularity, you're not engaging in actual criticism and you're not engaging your own taste. You're just dismissing stuff out of hand. I'm not saying "you have to listen to Britney's entire catalog before you judge her," because that's ridiculous, but I am saying "just because Motley Crue is the worst fucking band ever, you can't dismiss hair metal as a genre." I am also saying "Yeah, a lot of Taylor Swift's catalog is pretty much the same song over and over again...but so's U2."

Actually, I'd like to know some examples of acceptable multidimensional non-pop music from the OP. Or anyone. There are always exceptions, of course, but I'd like to see what the rule is.

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Now you're just nitpicking. I thought it was pretty obvious what Mogura meant - stuff like Taylor Swift's "You Belong To Me", Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Beyonce, etc.

---------- Post added 05-17-2011 at 11:00 AM ----------

He probably means modern (as in, 5 years old or newer) American pop that makes the top 40. MTV stuff.

I'm really not nitpicking. How is

fundamently of a different order of value than THIS? You may not personally like Beyonce, but her song is no less musically complex or interesting than River Deep Mountain High (which is surely an indisputably GREAT pop song). My point is simply that you, and the OP, are making differentiations where there are none maybe because you associate certain artists with a certain listenership - one which you do not want to be thought a part of.

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the beatles were pop right? do you include them in your hate?

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