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Posted Aug 20th, 2015 (10:29 am) by Jess Marsh
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Rest easy, I doubt anyone will rock vintage Ed Sheeran shirts in 2045.

As we get closer to the end of 2015, magazines and websites will begin the yearly tradition of ranking artists, albums, and songs for us all to rejoice and argue over. Tuesday, Spotify released a playlist of their Top 25 Artists Under 25, to mixed response. Featuring the likes of Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Rae Sremmurd, and One Direction, it is enough to make any music enthusiast's head spin at the appalling decline in quality, thought-provoking music.

Spin also released a list this week of The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years, in honor of their 30th anniversary. The number one pick by Spin's staff? Nirvana's Nevermind. Arguably the most influential album of the '90s, and frequent list topper, it seems that Spin took the safe road in agreeing upon this album.

Is it too bold to claim that Nirvana would not have topped a "Top 25 Under 25" in 1991, despite the huge success that was Nevermind? In fact, a Top 25 list back in 1991 probably would have included the likes of Color Me Badd, Mariah Carey, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, if Billboard were to be the judges. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" failed to crack the Top 100, which is often used as the benchmark for success in popular music.

Nirvana remains beloved by the masses and is one of the most well-known bands in history. To assume that this is simply because of their quality as musicians would be, for lack of a better word, ignorant. Nirvana benefited from a need in the music industry, and became the ones to open the door for grunge and the heap of alternative sub-genres that followed. Nirvana became synonymous with '90s nostalgia, a feeling that is a marketing goldmine, since it tugs at the heartstrings of Gen X and Y. Throw in the speculation that surrounds Kurt Cobain's death, and you have the makings of a musical legend. A legend that did not top lists until after the new shine wore off. Other top contenders included Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The Wu-Tang, Radiohead's OK Computer, and Jay-Z's The Blueprint. All of which are albums by artists that are household names, but were never Hot 100 chart toppers.

Looking at the majority of Spotify's picks, I see nothing more than a current who's who of commercial pop artists. Entertainers that make simple, marketable music that plays to the simplest of basic human emotions. I see mostly background noise for retail stores. I see the musical guests of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is the fast food of the music industry. No rational, conscious person eats McDonald's everyday while bumping "No Flex Zone."


Tonight the first leg of @nickiminaj #ThePinkPrintTour ft @meekmill @tinashenow @dejloaf | Check www.raesremmurd.com for upcoming tour dates

A photo posted by Rae Sremmurd (@raesremmurd) on

So why are we worried? A top artist for a list made today is going to be far different than one that covers a period of time. Out of those 25, how many of them are we going to be talking about 30 years from now? How many will even still be active in 10? It is a gimmicky playlist of popular songs made for people that like popular music. The future of music will not be found on a list.

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