The 2010s In Music
As we reach the finishing end of the 2010s, perhaps an early think piece is in order.
I recently noted that post 1970s there has been a weakening in melody, in tunefulness. The response has been a little silly, as if pointing out the aberrations is proof that there hasn’t been a slackening. Things are not always known about the individual, and there is, thankfully, many, many, exceptions. So let’s say melodies between 1965 and 2019 are off by 20%. That is a mammoth difference that works on the undertow of pop.
We all know why, James Brown beat the Beatles, and the beat beat the lick.
A quick look at the past thirty years
1990s: Grunge came and went and rap went mainstream
2000s: hip hop took over with indie folk-emo rock bringing up the rear.
2010s: Hip hop became rock, merging with EDM and EMO. Country added 808s.
And that’s it, that’s the story in recorded music.
In the 2010s, recorded music became extremely inexpensive and streaming became to the 10s what videos were to the 80s… maybe more. Even concerts could be less expensive, if you wait your moment, and choose mid-size artists. The biggest stars can cost a fortune, but acts from Beck to ZZ Top can be seen on stage for $20 if you work at it hard enough.
As the prices tumble, and as the entry fee is lowered, it is more difficult than ever to make money in the music business. Sure, again, small things work differently than big things, so in the smaller, individual chances, you might be Lil Nas X. In the larger picture, it isn’t gonna happen for 99.9% of the people knocking on that door.
So the story of the 10s is musical distribution through streaming sites and the merging of hip hop with every other idiom.