by Drew Boehmker/@IfUSeekDrew
Last month, a popular music blog posted an article claiming that modern pop music “trains us to expect less from our artistic and creative lives,” citing research which apparently shows that pop music lovers possess a “genuine and significant lack of creativity” compared to people who listen to other genres of music.
As a pop music connoisseur who has absolutely no shame in admitting that I’m the one blaring the new Nicole Scherzinger single on repeat while my friends are bumping Bastille, I have to take issue with this.
It’s not that I take personal offense to the article at all—I’m an extremely creative person, and I know that to be true. Rather, it’s that this article represents a pitch perfect example of the de facto pop music “slut shaming” that occurs all too often among the twentysomething crowd. Why should someone feel as though they have superior taste or are more cultured simply because they are listening to an up-and-coming alternative/folk/indie band instead of The New Classic?
Furthermore, who is to say that I am any less capable of being creative simply because I choose to power my workday with a playlist of “Work Bitch” remixes instead of a mellow Spotify mix? Pop music lovers are filled with creativity— a quick sampling of epic mashups proves this to be true—but this creativity is easily overlooked by those who decry the music’s existence simply because it’s popular.
This debate actually reminds me of a quote from an article originally posted by PopEater around the time Femme Fatale was released that has stuck with me ever since:
This article’s conclusion, that “[i]t’s just different strokes for different folks,” is exactly how I feel whenever my friends playfully chastise me for not rushing to download the new Black Keys album yet being front row and center at a Selena Gomez concert. Part of the reason I love music is because it has the ability to unite us, to give us shared experiences like singing every word of “We Can’t Stop” at the top of our lungs with our best friends before a night out on the town. So why are we letting musical snobbery sometimes jeopardize this?
It just doesn’t make sense to me—and if anyone has an issue with my preferred taste in pop music, to be frank I really don’t care.
And although the original article which prompted this post implores readers to start “vot[ing] with our ears” as a method of getting “real music back into the mainstream,” by now I think it’s pretty clear that the age-old question posed by ‘N Sync has been answered: pop music is never going to fade out.