Popular does not mean subpar

June 1, 2009 at 12:28 pm 2 comments

I love music. If you know me personally, you probably know that. If you go to school with me, you probably know that I am studying music production (of sorts). If you don’t know me (first, welcome!), just take my word for it, I really love music.

There is something that annoys me about many people who love music though, and something that I strive to avoid. It enrages me when people take a song, possibly even a good song, and dislike it because it is popular, or overplayed. This happens with everything from movies to books, but I’m going to focus mainly on music because that is what I love and know most.

Before I get ahead of myself, I too think it annoying to hear the same song played on the radio repeatedly, and will even change the station on a song I like because I have just heard it too many times recently. That is understandable, in fact, I don’t even like hearing a song played two times in one listen. But the fact that it is overplayed doesn’t make me necessarily dislike it, it just makes me sick of it for awhile. It is still a good song, and in a week or two, I will listen to it again and enjoy it (if it was ever good to begin with). I don’t like when people take a song they might have enjoyed before it was on the radio and crucify it once it achieves stardom. I think this is a way that people try to set themselves apart from the masses and try to claim superiority. “I think that popular song is garbage, I listen to music no one has heard of, I clearly have better taste than those people”. Yeah, that quote is made up, and yeah, its an exaggeration. But its how I feel about people who abandon songs/artists at the first sign of popularity.

Examples of songs that I am glad I did not drop at the first sign of popularity, even if they were overplayed: Anything from Green Day’s American Idiot, Linkin Park, The Offspring, Creed, Fall Out Boy. There are many others, but not that I can think of off the top of my head.

I like stuff that isn’t popular too, so I’m not one of those guys who only likes the popular stuff. This is annoying, but not as annoying as forsaking anything popular. I like to think of it from an outsiders perspective: If I had not heard this song on the radio before, and didn’t know it was popular, would I like this song? If I say yes, then I get over the song being popular and accept that it is just a good song that the radio stations picked up on. In fact, when I think about it, I am glad that the radio stations are able to pick up on some of these good songs and play them to death; at least they are playing something that is fairly good. They could be playing crap to death, so why complain that they are playing good music?

I guess thats about all I have to say on the topic for now, if I go too much further I’ll become angry and stop making sense. I don’t like doing that, it makes me look like an idiot, it makes me stop listening to other opinions, and it turns people off of my blog. Same for everyone else who gets really mad about a subject, but I can’t do anything about them. So, I hope you enjoyed my insight for the day, and please leave a comment as to what you think about overplayed music.


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Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown Procrastination Revisited

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mitcher6  |  June 1, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I would like to make a counterargument. Although I agree that it can be frustrating when people give up on a song simply because it’s “too popular,” I would like to say that, at least from my experience, songs that make it to the radio and are played constantly are typically not the best quality songs. The requirements for songs to make the radio, in my opinion, are to make a song that is uncomplicated, one with a catchy beat and easy to pick up words. Too many great albums are marred with one of these “made for radio” songs. My example? I hate it when someone tells me they really like O.A.R. (one of my favorite bands), and I ask them they’re favorite song, and they say Shattered (don’t get me wrong, it’s an ok song, but by far not their greatest). So I just can’t blame people when they dislike a song just cause they heard it on the radio a lot. i do it too. But my message to these people; don’t give up on the band just because the song you’ve heard is getting on your nerves. Often times you’ll find that once you buy the album, the other songs are amazing.

    • 2. Aaron Hecker  |  June 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm

      Right, this is mostly what I was trying to say. But I was more referring to those songs which are good, and overplayed. You’re right, most songs on the radio are not the highest quality, but every now and then there are some really good songs put out. When those get overplayed (which they probably deserve to in comparison to everything else) then people get frustrated.

      A quick, small counter-point to a point you made: It can be annoying when someone only knows the popular radio-friendly song from your favorite band, but sometimes those songs are the best way to get people into the band. Your last point sums that up; if you like the single, or kind of like the single, try the album.


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