[nb: I wrote this yesterday and then my browser crashed and I couldn’t be bothered to re-write it. I just noticed the forum had saved it, but it might be out of date now the discussion has moved to a new page… anyway … ]
While he’s not targeted at me, I think Ed Sheeran is a lot better that a lot of the junk that was in the charts in the 70s, 80s, 90s etc…
Every generation has had its dominant style of music… and the youth of that generation are so into that music that it feels like the world to them - full of differences and variations that are clear as day. From their viewpoint it is a vast ocean of dizzyingly different fish… but as we get older we pass through more and more of these generational styles and our view pulls back and gradually it doesn’t look like a vast ocean filled with dramatic differences, but a small pond filled with slightly different versions of the same fish.
Hence as we get older, all the current generation of music tends to look more similar than we remember our generation being. Contrary to decades of taking the piss out of people for being old and not understanding the difference between 2 pop bands, I now think that being older is better because you have a much wider and less conservative view of music.
Young people have always taken the piss out of old people for being ‘out of touch’ with new music… but I actually think that it’s young people who are very narrowly confined by their limited experience. Although that limited experience, combined with a lot more free time to spend on music, does tend to make them more emotionally involved.
I would say that though, as I’m getting older…
I do agree that the shift from album sales to downloads to streaming has fundamentally altered some parts of how music is disseminated, produced and discovered.
On the other hand, I find Spotify to be pretty good at finding new music that’s interesting to me.
My personal musical progression went something like this:
**Pre-teens: **Didn’t really know anything about music. Only had one album so liked that by default. Bananarama.
Teens: Got really into rock/grunge. Refused to listen to anything that wasn’t loud and with guitars. However those bands that were in my genre were probably the most important thing in my life.
Uni: Britpop. the difference between Blur and Oasis seemed massively important for some reason.
20s: MP3s of alternative/indie bands… mostly on random play. All blurred into one.
Early 30s: Less time for music. Tended to just get albums from the old bands that I already new.
Late 30s: Got into a much wider range of music due to being less picky and more open. Started to use Spotify etc… and was able to discover and experiment with a lot of new bands/styles.
I refuse to acknowledge that my 40th birthday was a thing.