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Posted Aug 19th, 2015 (12:59 pm) by Heather Starks
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Spotify released their list of the top 25 artists under 25 on Tuesday, simultaneously revealing the degradation of the future of music.

Ed Sheeran's sweet, ginger pop songs took the top spot, which, is questionable considering Sam Smith is on the list. Rounding out the top ten are Fifth Harmony, Demi Lovato, SELENA GOMEZ (are you serious), and of course, teen girl sensation, One Direction.

While this may not be a list of the top 25 artists period, it becomes more concerning when the horrifying realization sinks in that this is the current future of music. Auto tuned, studio canned, and radio friendly, this is the music that a large majority of listeners are groping for.

The idea of an older generation scoffing at a younger generation's music is nothing new. It happened when parents across the world heard Elvis and saw his pelvis shimmy-shake on TV. It happened with the Beatles, basically any hair metal band that screamed and rocked make-up in the '80s, Marilyn Manson, Backstreet Boys...the list goes on and on with each new decade of music. If you search "music that my parents don't like" on the internet, there are countless articles and YouTube videos of kids complaining that parents just don't understand why they NEED that 20ft Justin Bieber poster in their room. So why should it be anymore concerning now?

Earlier this year a writer and music lover over at contently.com did a little experiment to map the changes in music over the decades. There are some nifty little charts that list the different top ten hits by decade, and that data is cause enough for concern when you look at it. We've gone from classic songs like Nowhere To Run (Martha and The Vandellas) and What Am I Gonna Do With You (Barry White), to Candy Shop (50 Cent) and Trap Queen (Fetty Wap). But more interesting than the change in the music itself, is the vast difference between the lyrical content.

Artists in the '60s and '70s relied on more poetic lyrics, with words like "love," "now," and "heart beat" being used on a frequent basis. Jump ahead to our current state of music, and the overwhelming winners are "I'm" and "like". This is a drastic change in the focal point of song. While the "oldie but goodie" songs talked about the things that were happening around them, today's generation of song writers are more self obsessed than ever, and use the word "like" with an astounding frequency. This approach results in a lack of originality or meaning, as evidenced by some of the songs by the artists on Spotify's Top 25 Under 25 list. Music is getting dumber, and nobody seems to care.

There are still some artists creating worthwhile music out there, Janelle MonĂ¡e's recent protest song lit a firestorm under the "Black Lives Matter" movement, and Slim Twig just released a weirdly wonderful album that tackles a multitude of social issues. It's not that all music has to have an underlying deeper meaning, but does it have to reach in the gutter to appeal to the masses? More importantly, what happened to allow this decay in the first place? Do we blame the record labels, the media, or the ever changing societal landscape? Or do we place the blame where it truly belongs - on the listeners. I will be the first to admit that I have guilty pleasure songs, ones that I shamefully listen to in the dark and only on nights with a full moon. We all have them. And I will fight to the death for your right to listen to that beautiful garbage. All I am saying, is that maybe it's time to step back, and look at where our musical gluttony has gotten us. If you need a reminder of where that is, look no further than below this article.

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