Generational divides in music is something I’ve talked about a lot on my blog. What I mean by this is that teens of the 70s believed 80s music wasn’t cool enough, teens of the 80s believed 90s music wasn’t cool enough, teens of the 90s believed 00s music wasn’t cool enough and so on. However often it’s internalised, with some ‘gen-zers’ refusing to listen to anything but The Beatles. Now that there have been almost five decades of pop, and therefore countless layers of it, mainstream music is being ridiculed more than ever before.
Ironically much of the music topping the current charts isn’t as mainstream as Pop haters would like to think. Obviously you’ve heard of Indie band Glass Animals, whose Heat Waves has been on the charts for an astonishing 63 weeks, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to leave the top 100 any time soon, what with it securing a place at 35 this week. Or maybe you’ve seen the recent rise of young rock star Sam Fender, whose Bruce Springsteen-esque single Seventeen Going Under peaked at number three on the UK Top 40. In fact it’s almost funny how there’s such an enormous crossover between Pop and Indie: the two largest opposers in the music industry.
So what I’m trying to say is that the past three years have incorporated so many more styles and genres into it’s music, giving chart listeners a larger variety of singles to listen to. There also seems to be a comeback of 80s music this decade, similar to how there’s a comeback of baby names each year that follows the ‘100 years rule’ – but for music it’s 40 years. Just take a look at the highest charting albums of 2020, such as After Hours by The Weeknd or Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa. It’s impossible to sit and listen to these albums without hearing 80s influences of Prince and Madonna.
This is not to say that I don’t enjoy a 2010s listen of Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson or One Direction’s album FOUR. Admittedly it’s my most listened to decade on Spotify thanks to most of Lana Del Rey’s albums, in particular her debut Born To Die, which had it been released now singles such as Video Games and the title track itself would have climbed higher on the charts. The problem with 2010s music lies more with the charts than the music itself, as over a span of ten years there was bound to be more experimental music hidden in the shadows of the industry. The top spot of the Hot 100 felt limited, as if nothing more than a catchy tune like Shake It Off by Taylor Swift could reach it, when it’s clear that she had almost a whole discography of songs by 2019 that are arguably better but didn’t gain that same popularity.
So whilst I look forward to the music that lies ahead of today, I can still appreciate the 2010s and the impact it has had on the singers it shaped and developed into the artists we have now, plus the latest artists that are bringing something new and fresh to the table of music.