The “Judgment Day” for Music (by Adam Dietz)

Skynet’s eventual rise to power is a 90% bad thing for humanity. As self-driving cars and pill-dispensing robots render human labor ever more superfluous, the end is nigh!!! Mechanized Sentinels, however, scare me less than the inevitable zombie apocalypse, hence the other 10% (give or take a percentage point or two (not accounting for any standard deviations)).  

Hal 1.jpg

Stay with me here.  Robot overlords will improve American (the USA varietal) society in two, very distinct ways.  First, there is no way The Machines are going to war against Neo, Morpheus, and Zion with Donald Fucking Trump at the helm (for what it’s worth, I’d probably vote for a machine over Hillary Clinton too, but that’s an essay for another time).  Second, T-1000 and friends would greatly improve upon the music polluting our radio waves, clubs, and the Jersey Shore.

For starters, according to the first law of roboticsA robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm” and thus Hal would have asphyxiated Adam Levine one decade ago (and Dave Grohl too for that matter) so that humanity could be spared from this garbage or this pile of shit.  Full disclosure, I only know of these songs because I Googled “Maroon 5 2016” and“Foo Fighters 2016”, but could have just as easily selected any song by either artist in the past 5 years to articulate my point.  Don’t believe me? Scratch your sadistic itch and venture down that rabbit hole if you dare.  I warned you.

These songs suck.  They’re not interesting. They sound like everything else on the radio.  And it makes me sad.  To say that “pop music today is formulaic” would be an asinine statement for a number of reasons. Yet, pop music today is entirely formulaic! So much so that the songs spanning across genres of Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B, Country, Alternative, and EDM…essentially sound the same.  Science agrees.  

A quick aside, there is amazing music being made today (some of it is…gulp…popular).  And, we may be in the midst of a golden age of hip-hop following a long lull of craptasticness that was the mid-to-late 2000s  (I’m looking at you Ja Rule. Though there are exceptions like this song that will forever kick-ass and innumerable Luda cameos).

Back in my day (yep, get off my goddamn lawn), the Nirvana/Post-Nirvana wave of “alternative” music that flooded radio stations and MTV either rocked or it didn’t.  But lord, when it rocked, it really rocked.  Sure, I am biased as hell, but…obviously the 90s was a golden age for popular music. Rock, hip-hop, and R&B.  And while there is arguably a formula for these tunes too; lyrics, chord structure, and arrangement don’t fit neatly inside any heart-shaped box.

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