"1. There are two schools of thought in this world: "People are stupid. So if a lot of them like something, it must be stupid."; and "People are stupid, but if a lot of them like something, it could actually just be SO good that it penetrated the stupidness of people."
Because, yes, people are stupid and never more so than when considered in large groups. BUT people are also innately musical AS A SPECIES and programmed to love love AS A SPECIES, so it's not like even large groups of people can't recognize a good pop song (which is nothing simpler and nothing more complicated than a piece of art appealing to those two qualities of people).
2. Yes, pop music uses a lot of computers. Sometimes in ways that are stupid. But ALSO sometimes in ways that actually enhance the overall sound of the song.
and FURTHERMORE, it's not like someone has invented a Pop Music Song Creating Program.
It's still all humans, all human thoughts and human words and human tastes when it comes down to it. We use tools! And a computer is a REALLY GREAT TOOL.
So for every song that comes on the radio that makes you want to roll the windows down and turn it UP
there was a human in a studio somewhere who felt that feeling too and was smart enough to recognize it for what it was.
and god damn it aren't we all brothers and sisters????????????????"
So here's a song that you have a one in five chance of hearing with ten seconds of turning on a radio:
The song: Justin Timberlake, "Mirrors"; 2013
I think this song is amazing. I even love the more conceptual coda, and I am usually very much NOT into "more-conceptual codas".
"Mirrors" is a great example of the neo-funk sound that's really coming back (notably with Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", Chris Brown's "Fine China" [which I won't link to because I am trying to lose my crush on it because Chris Brown is truly a reprehensible person], and Justin Timberlake's own "Suit and Tie" [I usually would shy away from Speaking For My Generation, but on this issue I can say with confidence that Jay-Z's involvement in this song does not make it better]).
My feelings about this neo-funk trend are 100% great, but what I think is even more encouraging is that "Mirrors" is a positive song. It's calm, and happy, and it describes a relationship that is stable.
I've written before about the fetishization of pain in popular music, particularly as it relates to romance. But seriously, life and love do NOT have to be painful to be meaningful. In fact, can we agree that it's much easier to live a meaningful life when you can focus on things other than yourself?
Like music, and dancing, and food, and interesting nonfiction, and pictures of baby exotic mammals, and sharing good experiences with good people.
It can be easy.