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Old 05-15-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
Prowler
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Why has rock music lost a lot of popularity and mainstream appeal lately?

Rock music was huge for several decades. But around the turn of the century it began losing its dominance. Suddenly, I was in the 2010s and realised rock was now generally pretty much inferior to genres like hip-hop, rnb, EDM and club music in terms of mainstream popularity.

When you think about all of the current most popular musicians, how many of them are rock bands? Who's even the most popular of the current rock bands nowadays? The Arctic Monkeys?

When people talk about the great rock bands they're usually the classic ones from the 20th century. Once those bands finally hang it up... who's gonna fill in their shoes?

Metal also has gone through a similar struggle. Metal was never as big as rock, but all of the big metal bands are from decades ago as well. And o ne the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden finally call it quits no one will be big enough to pass the torch to.

Why is this happening? Remember when guys brought guitars to school to attract the attention of girls? Does that even happen anymore? Nowadays being a DJ is probably more effective in that respect.

It's odd, because I thought everyone loved the sound of the guitar. But maybe it's because it's just cheaper and easier to produce music on a computer program? As for rapping, you can come up with lyrics by letting someone else produce a beat for you.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:27 PM   #2
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Look at the state of pop culture in general for the last decade. Look at what "sells" the most.

Standards have disappeared, and people like terrible things. It's as simple as that.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
Look at the state of pop culture in general for the last decade. Look at what "sells" the most.

Standards have disappeared, and people like terrible things. It's as simple as that.
LOL that was a pretty succinct post. You only needed 2 paragraphs even.

I am not the most in touch person out there, so maybe everyone can see it but me.

It does seem like we're in a fast food era for entertainment. And it's faster to pop out a bunch of club tracks and songs produced on a computer program than it is to learn how to play the guitar and compose a song all by yourself.

It also seems like society nowadays isn't as much into "darker" themes in their entertainment or intellectually stimulating stuff either. And genres like hip-hop and rnb work pretty well for party and sex type of songs.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:59 PM   #4
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Anything that isn't some form of pop or hip-hop is becoming increasingly niche. There's way more music out there now so people's interest are spread out too.

Like me, I listen to a lot of synthwave/retrowave which is by no means popular to the same degree as mainstream music, and I think a lot of other people are also listening to more subgenre music than before, which spreads the listener base out, making it difficult for new groups to grow large fanbases, so you never get to hear about them.

I try to expose myself to rock and rock-adjacent stuff being created today, and you can find some solid artists still, they just aren't mega huge like they would have been in the 70s/80s/90s.

I really don't know what the answer is entirely. I also think pop/hip-hop is easier to produce since most of the artists don't play instruments. They just sit around in a room and throw some beats together and then vocals on top of it, it's not the same process as traditional rock music. The skills needed to play those instruments aren't held by as many people as in the past.

Remember how Grunge came to be. The market was flooded with pop music and it was ready for something with a fresh sound, and Grunge became huge. I'm hoping for a similar revival over the next 10 or so years. But that's only going to happen if the next generation are out there learning the music fundamentals instead of only caring about sitting in a recording studio playing with some knobs, dials and pre-recorded sounds.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:02 PM   #5
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I think a general loss of interest or perceived importance in instruments? Everything seems to ebb from there, to me.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:20 PM   #6
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Rock music embodied a creativity and a protest.

When it has become mainstream it had become less creative and, naturally, its protest fizzled out. After all it was hard to take seriously rockers who were singing about social problems, while receiving millions for their performances.

It doesn't help that the 80s were a hard time in the West - many social problems, economic problems, renewed rivalry between West and USSR - majority of the people didn't want hear about protests, they wanted something softer and inspiring, thus glamour rockers.

With big money and fame, both creativity and protest in rock music had died. What once was a challenge to the norms, has become a new norm - stale and boring. As a result creativity went into electronic music (raves) and the last sparks of "protest" led to creation of grunge, which was anti-mainstream rock and when grunge itself has become mainstream - it has finished rock for good in the mainstream, since there was nowhere else to go.

At least this is my version of events.

As for modern music - there are some good and creative artists, but due to informational stream speeding up, thanks to the Internet and new media, they tend to appear and die out very quickly. It doesn't help that music making nowadays is more easier than ever.

Mainstream is occupied by glamour names, who are more known for their scandals and boobs, rather than music itself, which is the prime reason people remember them.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zulithe View Post
Anything that isn't some form of pop or hip-hop is becoming increasingly niche. There's way more music out there now so people's interest are spread out too.

Like me, I listen to a lot of synthwave/retrowave which is by no means popular to the same degree as mainstream music, and I think a lot of other people are also listening to more subgenre music than before, which spreads the listener base out, making it difficult for new groups to grow large fanbases, so you never get to hear about them.

I try to expose myself to rock and rock-adjacent stuff being created today, and you can find some solid artists still, they just aren't mega huge like they would have been in the 70s/80s/90s.

I really don't know what the answer is entirely. I also think pop/hip-hop is easier to produce since most of the artists don't play instruments. They just sit around in a room and throw some beats together and then vocals on top of it, it's not the same process as traditional rock music. The skills needed to play those instruments aren't held by as many people as in the past.
Tbh hip-hop nowadays isn't the same it was back in the 80s and 90s either. It basically has merged with pop and rnb and other electronic types of music. At least the mainstream kind.

Seems like classic rock just isn't much of a thing anymore. All of the more successful rock bands are indienir alternative rock bands. A decade ago, post-grunge bands such as Shinedown and Nickelback were pretty popular.

Yes, we live in an era of instant gratification. People have less patience to learn how to play an instrument. Not to mention having a band is a bigger commitment since they consist of several different members plus producers. A rapper or rnb singer only needs the producers. And a DJ or someone who produces synthwave music can do all of that stuff by themselves.

I love retrowave too.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:07 PM   #8
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Yeah, hip hop is wayyyyyy different than the 80s and 90s. Gangsta rap doesn't exist anymore. There are no more badass rappers. Just skinny jeans and mumble rap and lipstick and... like, elaborate dance routines.

If the rappers of the 80s and 90s could see now they would have a good laugh.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
I love retrowave too.
Gunship (synthwave) is one of my favorite acts of recent years. With the void left by the lack of strong rock-style music, and having no interest in pop/hip-hop, I've had to discover new stuff that I can enjoy. Thankfully there really is a lot out there for people willing to look.

I pretty much can't listen to anything that tops the charts anymore, which is way different from in the 90s/2000s for me. I felt like there was enough variety for everyone back then, but what is 'popular' just sounds more and more the same now, without room for a very diverse set of sounds.
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