View Full Version : Only dumb pop stars make it big

July 28th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Before I get started let me say I'm not trying to talk about a specific genre of music, but whatever happens to be popular.

By default pop music is the 'music of the masses' or, less generously, panders to the 'lowest common denominator.' It gets accused of being unintelligent and simple. Is this a fair judgment? Can you become a successful mainstream pop star without being dumb/dumbing down your music? Who would you say fits the mold or breaks it?

Your thoughts: share them.

July 28th, 2011, 11:59 AM
Well, while I agree with the majority of 'pop' artists do seem to be, lets say, not as smart as the rest of us, or there songs don't really have a meaning past 'PARTY PARTY PARTY!!!", Lady Gaga, Jessie J and Adele are two examples of artists who are mainstream and add alot of underlying and smart meanings to their songs.

For example, Lady Gaga's song "The Edge Of Glory" was writen about her Grandad's death, and also implies that she herself is on her 'Edge Of Glory', saying that she has a bright future ahead of her and she hasn't shown us her true colours.

Though most artists do 'dumb down songs'. Basically, the staple of Britney Spears' "Femme Fatale" album; while it is one of my favorites; has no obvious meaning other then love and sex.

Sorry if I majorly misinterpreted the question. :')

July 28th, 2011, 1:34 PM
Sorry if I majorly misinterpreted the question. :')
I wasn't really sure what I was asking anyway. I just put up a few questions to try to get some discussion going.

I sort of agree with what you say about Lady Gaga, but I've had friends show some of her music from before she was famous and it sounds... well, to me it sounds better and it makes me wonder if she thought she had to make some PARTY PARTY PARTY songs in order to be received well.

July 28th, 2011, 1:48 PM
Part of it isn't the listener's fault. I believe honestly that most people can find enjoyment in deeper song, but record labels pick up an artist, decide to market them as the next pop star, and therefore change their image, their music, their lyrics, their message. They believe listeners can't take change so they minimize the change. It's a joint effort between the artists, the listeners, and the record companies to make songs dumb.

Gold warehouse
July 28th, 2011, 1:52 PM
I don't there is such thing as completely unintelligent music. It takes talent to write a song or album that's going to make thousands, or even millions of people buy it.

I tend to think of four tiers when it comes to music. I didn't spend much time naming them Super-pop, pop, semi-mainstream and underground. In super-pop you've got the likes of Gaga, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Madonna. There will be varying levels of talent, but all of them undoubtedly have some form of talent.

Then underneath that you have what I call "regular" pop music; a lot of people will like it, but it seems like an equal amount dislike or don't care for it. That's where you get most of the 'artists' that arguably are not very talented, like N-Dubz, 50 Cent, almost everything that's currently on the UK top 40 charts, whoever is currently mentioned in the worst lyrics thread and a hell of a lot more that I won't mention because I'll get flamed.

Of course, there will still be some good ones here too. I put Amy Winehouse and Bjork in this category, and I think they are both great; but not everybody does.

Semi-mainstream and underground is just hit and miss. I'd say all of the best and worst musicians are here.

That said, even if music is seen to be unintelligent, it doesn't matter so much. I don't want to be serious all the time, if I want to listen to a dumb catchy song because it entertains me then why not!