Well, first of all, how do you get a record in the Top 40? You have to sell more of your single than anyone else. So if people like your music they'll go out and buy it, and all the decent music rises to the top...in theory.
This was true before the third millennium reared its ugly head and there was another factor: the internet. Suddenly, 90% of the market isn't buying music any more because they can take it for nothing, guilt-free, with no security guard running after them.
Now make yourself the leader of a record company, you're panicking, you try to get the government to sort it out, but they simply can't or won't do anything for you: it's just not worth their time. So you spend the next few years running around like a headless chicken, watching your stock price drop, and your empire falling around you.
Suddenly, you realise something. Someone is still buying music. Someone with a disposable income, someone who doesn't know how to use file-sharing, someone who buys everything on impulse...this is the average 15 year old girl in Western society.
So the most logical thing to do is drop all your flailing rap-stars and rock legends, and swap it all for what these girls want. Make generic songs about love, make TV shows where the mobile phone-wielding kids will actually pay you to vote, and even do your job for you by picking the ones they want. Take all your existing talented singers and make them sing soft-core dance music: it's what gets everyone paid!
Disney and Nickelodeon get in on the act too: take your existing TV shows and franchise them, with the magic of auto-tune you can make hit records and pedal them to your audience at no extra cost.
So in essence, music hasn't become bland, irritating and unimaginative because the human race is degenerating into tasteless consumers, it's because you've stopped paying for decent music, so the record companies aren't catering to you any more.
Take everyone's favourite controversy Justin Bieber, he is no doubt a very talented singer, and from what I've seen he is extremely polite and humble, plus he has the endorsement of Usher: an R&B heavyweight. But when he steps into the recording booth he is given terrible songs, and sings them.
Put yourself in his shoes: you can either sing the song, make millions and be top of the charts...or you can stand up to your boss, make a fool of yourself and be replaced by some auto-tune kid off the street within minutes.
What personally gets on my nerves (apart from the Bieber and GaGa haters who spend more time talking about them than the fans do) are people like Ke$ha: she can't sing, isn't attractive, girls look up to her but all she can talk about is getting drunk, acting like a whore and only furthering the spoilt teenage stereotype. In this respect, at least Bieber and even the Jonas Brothers (yeah, I went there) are respectful, careful about their behaviour and lyrics, and are generally nice guys.
There's always been cheesy teen pop in the charts, but the proportion of the music market it made up was correlated to the number of people who liked it. It's just that the linking factor was how much people actually spent on the records.
tl;dr : Don't complain about the Top40 if you don't buy music.
inb4 "epoxi has beeber feever lulz"
inb4 "Actually, I buy all my music on vinyl, carefully frame each one and place it on my wall to invite the friends I don't have round to admire them."
Let the poo-flinging begin...
Edited by epoxi, 23 September 2010 - 05:19 PM.