FEATURE: Last night I listened to mainstream radio for 40 minutes.

I can accept when someone has different musical tastes to me. It’s normal. Everyone is different, and music is special and valuable as long as it means something to someone – even if that someone isn’t me.

But I’ve gotta say, listening to the top 10 or so songs on the countdown last night made me think about things.

My friend mentioned to me that at a party he went to recently, the song that “went off” the most was “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. Understandable. That song was a massive hit when I was growing up, and though I don’t listen to it now, I can recognise that it is deeply entrenched in the minds of people my age. What worries me now about mainstream music is that so many of the songs are so temporary in their nature. Don’t forget that most of the songs played are played to an audience who expect the newest and most popular pop songs, so the fleeting nature of what they play is to be expected. But it doesn’t feel like there is any modern equivalent of “Teenage Dirtbag”. Looking past the fact that it was essentially a one-hit wonder, it got some serious thrashing on mainstream radio playlists, and is still played occasionally now. But there’s nothing out there now that seems to be taking its place. Nothing else seems to be filling the space that one of those special songs takes. One of those songs a whole generation will remember with fondness.

Not only does it feel those kind of songs don’t exist anymore, but it feels like mainstream radio DJ’s assume that their listeners are constantly blazing on some kind of illicit drug. Granted, they’re playing what listeners request, but it amazes me how someone can listen to that kind of music so much. I don’t think I could stand that monotony, I need more variety in what I listen to.

This all makes me sad. Largely because I don’t want to end up seeing people from my generation citing “Wonderwall” as their favourite song of all time. But also partly because it makes me sad about what most people listen to. Don’t get me wrong, if you like it that’s cool too. But from my perspective it seems like a shame that’s all.

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3 thoughts on “FEATURE: Last night I listened to mainstream radio for 40 minutes.

  1. I have to listen to commercial radio at work and it really is a tad worrying. The worst part for me I think, is the crazy amount of middle of the road male ballads which make Katey Perry and Ke$ha sound fresh and orginal. The fact that it’s the same 40 songs all day doesn’t help either…

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