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Non-conceptuality of Modern Pop

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OMonster

So, I've been thinking recently about why many new artists have a few hits, become successful on the charts... but never really have much impact or longevity. Dua Lipa, for example, is an obvious breakout star, at least in Europe anyway. Yet, still - despite having huge, commercial success - she is an artist who continues to feel relatively small. The same could be said for the likes of Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha and others who all just fall 'somewhere in the middle' - you know the kind. 

If you look at Gaga's rise - and even Katy's, too - these artists felt almost immediately 'iconic'. I realise that Katy's status may not have had the same longevity as Gaga's (time will tell, however), but she had an undeniably similar rise. Britney had the same, Taylor had the same... in fact, most of the pop 'royals' had a very similar debut. They were catapulted very quickly to a defined status in music. 

Now, I realise we are in a different era of music today - I get that. But when Gaga came along, pop was not cool. She managed to shift music tastes, and did so very quickly. And I question why no pop-star is currently able to do that.

Aside from the impact of streaming, I think a lot of pop's underperformance is linked to it's continued nonconceptuality. When an artist releases endless 'bops' that are chart hits but nothing more...  that's the problem. The performer feels insignificant. Where's the theme? The underlining thread between each song and the artist? A brand? An aesthetic? A defined vision?

When Gaga came along with the TF / TFM, it was the concept - as well as the music, obviously - that really sold her to the public. Matching the singles to the album, the visuals to the sounds, the fashion to the aesthetic... it's that conceptual continuity that, I think, cemented Gaga and her peers into the core of pop culture at an unprecedented pace. These artists had something to say. They weren't just 'singers' of hits - they had a defined perspective on the world. 

It's no coincidence that a lot of the best artists nowadays, usually, go down a very conceptual route. Taylor Swift is a great example, as is Gaga. They release defined bodies of work that transcend chart success. And, because of this, these artists feel bigger - they feel more iconic. And why? Because their fame is, in a way, self-proclaimed. They have something to say, a style to say in it and they assume that people want to hear it. Which, in the end, people do... because they have marketed themselves in a conceptually interesting way. They aren't 'just singers', you know?

Anyway, that's what I think is missing from pop today. 

What do you guys think?

Edited by OMonster
subtext / fantasy
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River

I think you are right, their singles are all over the place, there's a lack of direction, personal touch and iconic "thing" in their music.

It just feels like a group of singers that passing their songs between them because it all feels similar and that any singer can record them..

I'm not serious 99% of the times ;)
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Varys

Excuse me but Rihanna didn't blew up 

Do you remember her first album music of the sun?

everybody thought she was a fad until good girl gone bad :ohwell:and after that she blew up :firega:

I agree with the rest

Edited by Varys
The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish and I keep on paddling
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RahrahWitch

I agree, I'm not going to say newer artists don't have concepts or things to say but I will say that It hasn't really been done all that well, Melanie Martinez is a good example of a somewhat recent artist who had concepts and stories to tell in a creative and compelling way. but even that was over 3 years ago.

I will add tho, I feel like Gaga, Katy, Rihanna, Kesha, Taylor and more all benefited from each others success back then, They made Pop music a force to be reckoned with and Each had their own fresh sway on things. It was such a good time for pop music and a perfect time for each to cement their legacies as pop stars.

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Loyalty

Record labels and radio stations today lack diversity when it comes to the content they decide to put the most money and effort into. 

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Bloody Grammys

I think Ariana fells into the Gaga and Katy category. Maybe it's just me, but she feels pretty iconic :applause:

you betta stream it guys
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Monster7

It's very hard for pop to come back. In 2008, we had Good Girl Gone Bad, 19, The Fame, I Am... Sasha Fierce, One of The Boys, Fearless, Hard Candy... Pop came back that year because the stars aligned and we were so much lucky that a whole group of incredible singers with a 'voice' (each one very different to the other) could release material at the same time and in the same type of music. This doesn't happen all the decades

Today we have only one pop girl like that every two years

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Phlop

Pop stars just aren’t made like they used to. These girls are so bland these days. Ariana is the only one that stands out, but I consider her part of the Selena Gomez+ Miley + Demi Lovato era of pop girls.

BYE
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SCHEISSEMONTRE
48 minutes ago, Bloody Grammys said:

I think Ariana fells into the Gaga and Katy category. Maybe it's just me, but she feels pretty iconic :applause:

.....Really  :lmao:sweetener wasn’t it

 

EDIT: i changed my mind 

Edited by SCHEISSEMONTRE
Mychal
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moonboywow
43 minutes ago, Phlop said:

Pop stars just aren’t made like they used to. These girls are so bland these days. Ariana is the only one that stands out, but I consider her part of the Selena Gomez+ Miley + Demi Lovato era of pop girls.

And that's why I listen to foreign pop. Better aesthetics. Wow factor. 

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OMonster
1 hour ago, Varys said:

Excuse me but Rihanna didn't blew up 

I stand corrected :vegas:

1 hour ago, Bloody Grammys said:

I think Ariana fells into the Gaga and Katy category. Maybe it's just me, but she feels pretty iconic :applause:

53 minutes ago, Phlop said:

Pop stars just aren’t made like they used to. These girls are so bland these days. Ariana is the only one that stands out, but I consider her part of the Selena Gomez+ Miley + Demi Lovato era of pop girls.

I deliberately didn't mention Ariana, as I think she's quite a difficult artist to categorise - particularly in terms of her conceptuality.

She kind of falls into the Miley / Demi / Selena category (who are not very conceptual or defined, for the most part) - but is also a step above them, especially recently. 

That said, I don't think Ariana has released her best work. And from her work that has performed best, it is quite conceptual. Sweetener is a good example of that. But her current output is the definition of just 'out there' - and all her work sounds virtually the same. 

She hasn't put out a unified, complete body of work in my opinion. Her albums blend into one. 

 

subtext / fantasy
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glamour show

I agree with everything except for pop being uncool. pop was very in in the late 2000's maybe not dance pop on the level that gaga did. with some songs on the fame and fame monster. but it was in. I overall agree with you. 

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