Trending sounds mix uplifting beats, sad lyrics
May 27, 2023
Out of all the songs on the Billboard Hot 100, at least half of them are some form of pop music.
Personally, I think this statistic is deserved, because pop is my favorite genre. Pop stands for popular, and nowadays, it’s the most common form of music, like the name suggests. These songs are appealing because of their upbeatness, and they are really easy to vibe to and sing along with. The lyrics are written to be repetitive and engaging, and the melody and beat is catchy.
Popular music started out as a category for any kind of music that was, well, popular, and this dates back to even the 19th century. Over the years, pop music has evolved to be some combination of what is popular at a given time. Pop is constantly changing – current pop music is very different from the pop music back in the 1960s, when rock and roll was taking over. Take the Beatles for example. They were very popular in the 60s, and back then, they were considered a pop/rock band. Another major difference is that back then, the music industry did not have the technology that we do now. These days, it’s super easy to make a track or implement cooler sounds with a few clicks that they simply did not have access to in the past.
There are various reasons why people enjoy listening to pop music. Shoumili Tarafder ‘26 says she listens to it because “everyone else does,” while Hana Sowelam ‘26 says, “I hear it on the radio all the time, and it makes me feel more connected to my mom.” They both enjoy listening to The Weeknd, who is currently the top artist on Spotify and writes and sings many pop songs.
Something I admire about pop is how every lyric has some sort of meaning, and how easy it is to get immersed in a song. Some of my favorite artists of all time are Taylor Swift and Conan Gray because of their variety. Both have the ability to write uplifting songs that you hear everywhere – like “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. This is a song that Swift wrote as a response to the public’s perception of her and the negative comments she gets, the second line of every chorus being, “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.” I love this song because it just makes me happy and is a simple song, but despite that, Swift still manages to put her feelings and opinions about celebrity culture into it.
Pop music doesn’t only have to be uplifting. As long as a song is rhythmic with a distinguishable melody, it still counts as pop. Many pop artists have the ability to pull off absolutely heart-wrenching songs that make me want to sit in the corner and cry. One example of this is “Astronomy” by Conan Gray. Despite the quick, catchy beat, Gray sings about two people who were always close, starting to drift apart because, like everyone else, they change. He insists, “It’s astronomy, we’re two worlds apart.”
However, many people are starting to believe that pop music is declining because current artists are prioritizing profit over entertainment. Tarafder and Sowelam agree, saying that one especially big influence on pop music nowadays is TikTok. TikTok has many influencers who do a variety of different things, from making food to dancing and lip-syncing to songs to make money and gain fame, and many of these entertainers are beginning to write their own songs for the sole purpose of increasing their popularity and follower count. Unfortunately, since this is getting increasingly popular, this kind of music made by online influencers falls under the category of pop.
While this may be true, it is essential to keep in mind that pop isn’t the only genre declining. People only notice these changes in pop music because of its immense popularity, but in reality, this is happening across all genres, not only pop. Despite these trends, there is still exceptional pop music being released, and we should focus on the good music coming out.