My musical coming of age was the mid 1960’s onwards, basically the guitar based rock and roll era. When I listen to current music I don’t hear as many hooks and melodies anymore, at least IMHO. I hear some but certainly not as many. Also It seems to me music is now bland and monotone.
So I am wondering is it that music has changed and that the hooks and melodies are no longer there? Or, Is it that I am just not hearing them now since the style of music has changed and my ear is tuned to a different type of sound ?
Ugh, preach. No, it’s not you. Music has evolved to be more rhythmically focused and less melodically focused; the beat has become the priority while the tonality of the melody has taken a backseat.
Oh sure, some people will argue we’re just getting older and crankier, the ol’ Saturday Night Live argument that it’s still as good as it always was but we’re too old to understand it now, but all you have to do is listen (or if you read music, look at the page), and you’ll find much less variation in melody these days. Hell, a lot of songs are copy-and-paste jobs, where the producer will literally take the first chorus and paste it onto the second, rather than record it twice.
I would tend to agree with this. I still think there’s plenty of hooks in pop music, but they tend to be more rhythmic rather than melodic these days. That’s not to say there’s no melody in Top 40 music; it’s just there’s more variation as to what a “hook” may be.
This may well be true, and I’d love to hop on the “music these days sucks compared to the good old days” bandwagon, but I’m a bit skeptical, because (1) wouldn’t the following description apply to rock (and/or roll) music compared to the popular music it replaced?
and (2) the OP may be comparing the most memorable music from earlier decades (because those are the songs he remembers best) to what he’s happening to hear of today’s music, which isn’t a fair fight.
I was going to say that certainly plenty of rock music did not have strong melodies, either. But I do think there’s something to an even stronger emphasis on rhythms in Top 40 music over the past decade or two. This is not to say I don’t like Top 40 music–I listen to it almost every day. But I think you’re less likely to find strong melody driven songs like an Adele tune or a “Royals” or whatever in this era than in the 60s.
I hear what you’re saying, but no, I don’t think it would. Of course, I was raised on what is now called classic rock, so I’m thinking of people like Elton John, Billy Joel, etc. who were masters of melody. If you’re talking about straight-ahead i-iv-v rock music then you may have a point, 'cause Chuck Berry was awesome but not especially melodic.
But compare “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” with “Poker Face” and look at the result. Even if you don’t read music you can see on the staff that it’s like an EKG; one is a fast-beating heart and one is a flatline. Not better or worse, mind you, I don’t think the OP wanted that kind of thread, but definitely different. More rhythmic, less melodic. Written specifically to get your body moving by sheer force of repetition, not to get you singing along to an interesting melody.