Unpopular Opinion: Pop music is good

… and why fun music so important
Unpopular Opinion: Pop music is good

Pop music has a strangely negative connotation surrounding it, and I don’t understand why. 

Pop music is often defined as contemporary music that appeals to a mainstream audience, which means that the “pop” umbrella can range from Beyoncé’s R&B vibes to Taylor Swift’s energetic beats to Lil Nas X’s unique brand of rap. Because of its broad definition, pop is a much more diverse genre of music than people want to give it credit for. But despite all of that, pop still has a reputation for being “unoriginal” and “samey.” Whether or not you like pop music, it is objectively wrong to say those three artists have similar sounds or even similar vibes.

Yes, pop is a genre of music that is usually made to be as accessible as possible to attract a wider mainstream audience, which usually means catchy, easy-to-remember beats and simple lyrics. And yes, there is an undeniable monetary advantage to that compared to lesser-known, independent music. But is there anything wrong with creating art that can be enjoyed by a large number of people? Because like it or not, pop music, like all music, is an art.  

I think the role pop music plays in our society tends to be overlooked, when historically, pop music has always played an important role in helping people find joy during tough times.

The Great Depression was a decade of rapid economic downturn, where rates of homelessness, unemployment and poverty grew to proportions the country has yet to see again and according to Students of History, by 1933, 15 million people were out of work. During this time the popularity of big band jazz and swing, two very upbeat genres of music, skyrocketed. While there was plenty of music about the hardships of the depression, people still needed that happier energy to keep their spirits up during such a stressful period of time.

The popularity of upbeat music continued into the late 1930’s and early 40’s, as the world was gradually plunged into World War II. Americans relied on the joyful music of the era as they constantly read about the death and destruction of the war.

People have always used popular music to find a sense of comfort during difficult times. And while it’s not everyone’s favorite, popular music is called what it is for a very valid reason. In a world that’s constantly beating us down, sometimes we need a good, lively playlist to get us through the day.

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