By ADAM MIKOLAJCZUK
Does anyone else remember the days when MTV was the main source of “music” television, and instead of Snooki’s orange skin and poof, we enjoyed entrancing music videos of artists like Ashanti and Justin? And even farther back, does anyone remember legends such as David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, and Madonna?
As painful as it is to say, in the past three or four years, the quality of mainstream music has slowly descended.
Right now, everyone is looking for the next artist to swoop in and save the music industry. Consumers may not know it, but I believe we are all craving the same sensations that people experienced in dancing the Beatles’ “Twist and Shout,” balling their eyes out to Elton John’s ballads, screaming for Jimi Hendrix as he closed the show at Woodstock, and truly listening to singers that influenced the late great Amy Winehouse.
In recent years, music has been highly impacted by clubbing—it seems like half the songs on the iTunes top ten chart perpetually have the thumping bass-line, catchy chorus, and auto-tuned vocals that make up club songs. Dance music, as a whole, can be an incredible and amazing escape, but there is a fine line between euphoria and trash.
What has become perhaps the club music of choice is, of course Dubstep. Originating from the England Grime and Two-step movements of the late 90s, this genre used to focus on introspective and harmonic samples mixed with a driving layered drum and bass beats. Now, Dubstep has taken on a new form of constant and repetitive “bass dropping” since is revitalization in recent years by American DJs.
Dubstep is produced on computers and almost no real instruments are used on the tracks (which isn’t a problem on its own because synthesizers and “artificial sounds” have been around since the 60s). The reason people are falling in love with Dubstep is that at concerts, artists and DJs use speakers called subwoofers that emphasize the bass so much that it feels synchronized with the crowd’s heartbeats and the sound waves bounce from person to person, gyrating the crowd.
Fans often compare Dubstep to physical therapy, but sophomore Katie Lamontagne feels differently, calling Dubstep “trash.” Lamontagne’s classmate, Kember Vanderblue is torn when it comes to the music genre.
“I like a few Dubstep songs but I feel like so much of it is just overkill. Like, yeah it’s computer music, most of it has no talent behind it. But I guess its good for clubs and dancing,” Vanderblue explained.
Of the several students surveyed regarding their favorite songs of all time, not one gave a song that was released in the past three years. The songs mentioned weren’t even produced in the past two decades. This is no coincidence. The quality of music is slowly decreasing year after year, and only certain artists are able to surpass the low standards that the industry has at the moment.
A campaign slogan for a website that streams the newest music videos called VEVO is “Dear Music, we heard TV dumped you… wanna grab coffee?”
The world sees the change and obviously still craves music like it used to be. The past three years haven’t been all bad, but I am yearning for some original artist to take us back to the days when there was music on MTV and “Jersey Shore” would only be featured on the same channel as was the “Bad Girls Club.”