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This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. Where’s all the grownup music? If you go back 15 or so years, there were popular groups whose music was played on MTV and on popular radio stations whose demographic was almost completely adults. Acts like Genesis, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and others were writing good, new music. They weren’t rehashing old styles, they were creating their own sound.
I’m over thirty, and I feel like the music scene is flooded with Lady Gaga’s brand of vapid, useless music. All teen angst, all the time. I’d like to assure you that I’m not looking for a resurgence of Cristopher Cross or REO Speedwagon, but where’s the good music for adults?
One argument I’ve heard is that the music industry has become super-segmented, like the television industry. There are 32 flavors of an individual genre now, when we used to use broad categories. Now there’s Alt-Rock, Alt-Pop and Alt-Punk when it used to just be Alternative. That segmentation is causing radio stations to become more narrow in their selection, which in turn is pushing any adult-oriented music to the fringes. Interesting thought.
Another argument is that the music industry sees the High School/College demographic as being the most lucrative, and are constantly cranking out bands and music to appease their fickle taste. Musicians aren’t given as much of an opportunity to grow and develop their own sound.
I’ve been assured that Adult Music is still out there, if I can just go find it. Here’s the problem though: I don’t have time to look for it. I’m over thirty. I have two kids, work full-time, have a house. You know, the whole adult thing. Adults need radio stations to be playing adult music so they can be exposed to it and then go buy the albums.
Vive la Steely Dan!