Popjustice, is it time to be worried? | The Popjustice Forum

Popjustice, is it time to be worried?

Discussion in 'Pop & Justice' started by jinzo, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. ....About the state of our musical and especially pop landscape in 2012?

    Here, I'm not talking quality or sound, but sales, general public appeal and an overall decline. Are the foundations as we know it crumbling?

    95% of the projects our beloved pop roster have embarked on in 2012 have ran arse over tit into the ground with often appalling first-week sales and absoluely no longevity or proper impact. Let's take some stock of the situation:

    Nicki- started well, ran herself into the ground, over and out by the Re-Up
    Madonna- we all know...
    Mariah- she just wasn't Triumphant
    No Doubt- the comeback that just wasn't
    Nelly- Oh, Nelly...
    Ke$ha- the most tawdry first-week album sales we've ever seen for a girl in the supposed "ascent" of her career
    Christina- Lotus was a BIT of a disaster
    Tulisa- #35?
    Alexandra- Heartbreak on Hold, dead on arrival
    Carly Rae- the hottest new prospect of the year couldn't even shift 50,000 in the US first-week and This Kiss has flew straight into the bargain bin
    Leona- poor Leona...
    Cheryl- good first single, much decreased album sales, a tour that struggled to sell and ensuing singles following the first that ground to a halt
    Marina- a #1 album on a truly terrible week of sales, singles have had no impact
    The Ting Tings, Little Boots, Diana Vickers- who even knows at this point?

    And, I mean, even...

    Rihanna- she's already slipped considerably in the US album charts for someone of major pop Queen status
    Girls Aloud- TEN and Something New both couldn't hit the top spot despite the high-profile promotion and hype

    It seems like the only successes we've had this year come from the likes of Emeli and Rita who have been totally shoved in our face and fed down our throats, Taylor who's truly had the era of her life, and I suppose you could say Katy and Rihanna thanks to the continued hype from 2011. And Cher Lloyd, but that of course goes without saying. And maybe the male artists like Flo Rida, Bieber, Guetta and 1D.

    ...So Houston, do we have a problem? We're used to a few flops a year, but 2012 has been failure after failure after damned failure. Is it time we stopped looking at each individual flop, and started looking at an overall trend? Does pop need a saviour? How can we reverse what is a potentially dangerous trend? Or, simply....is it time pop as the genre on the throne starts to be thrown out into the wilderness again?

    ....Or is it a wider problem of the infrastructure of the music industry itself? Album sales are darting down across the board, acts across genres seem to be struggling for longevity and real superstardom...do we need a change? And if so, what is it?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  2. Cher (the proper one): "Life is change. Death is dwelling on the past or staying in one place too long."
  3. A decline in pop in inevitable (if we've learned ANYTHING from history) and I'm guessing it will happen within the next few years. The amount of successful popmusic we're experiencing right now is quite incredible, especially in the USA where it might even be all-time high, and think we'll look back at 2010-2013 as a rather special time in pop music.

    I wasn't aware that Nicki Minaj had "run herself into the ground", but fans of female rappers are well known for giving up on their idols after one or two albums so I wouldn't be surprised if she has a hard time maintaining her worldwide superstar status for her next album. Especially since she's aiming to please everyone. She failed to be successful in the rap charts this time around, and one flop pop single could mean she's out completely.

    I won't miss Christina Aguilera, Tulisa, Leona Lewis, Cheryl and Alexandra Burke to be honest. You can't expect to be selling good when your music is underwhelming. (I quite liked the occasiona song by all of them, like "Your Body", "Young", "Lovebird", "Call My Name" and "Beating Still", but overall I found their albums shit.)

    The lack of success for Carly Rae Jepsen is very unfortunate, and shows that the US wasn't quite up for a female who does pure bubblegum pop music, which is a shame. I wouldn't worry too much about Madonna. She'll release music no matter what. Same about Marina & The DIamonds, who had a top 10 hit in several European countries this year. Surely those sales would make up for the lost sales in the UK?

    I'm not too worried to be honest. We (as in 'the pop fans') survived quite well during the 2004-2007 era when pop was barely on the charts at all. And pop could use a good cleanse since there is a lot of shit pop on the charts as well. But sure, that means some our favourite popstars will fail as well which is unfortunate. It's not black and white.
  4. SockMonkey

    SockMonkey Guest

    And let's not forget that Radio 1 guy who essentially said he wants white, male guitar-based music dominating the airwaves again.
  5. Except let's.

    I'm never worried about the state of pop. Even if guitars and R&B completely take over again, there'll always be enough amazing pop to explore and keep you going. In many ways that state of affairs is more exciting to me - pop as the underdog. And actually a cull might be in order. Pop feels a bit crowded at the minute.
  6. Mvnl

    Mvnl Staff Member

    Most people on here love an underdog, so pop being less popular won't make it less enjoyable.
    Plus, looking back on the past year I've had about 2 to 3 new albums a week to stomach, and although I won't complain about that, I do sometimes miss the days where one album was all I listened to for months. So less pop still wouldn't be a problem.
  7. It all feels a bit boom and bust, doesn't it? Do we have a 'popcession'? Will we have to introduce popsterity measures?
  8. We all know who saved pop last time. Perhaps she can do it again.
  9. Madonna will continue being a true icon, of course, but I think 99% pop music needs to be obliterated. That list above is so depressing. They mean nothing to me. Katy Perry is soulless, Lady Gaga ruined everything with Born This Way (she'll spend the rest of Art Pop trying to regress back into early-Popstar Gaga despite declaring 'pop will never be low brow' and of course the outfits will get sillier and the eyerolling will become more obvious), and Rihanna has completely lost it. I'm not a fan of Nicki Minaj, whose music will never appeal to me. Christina is now fading away. Britney will sell records in the US but I'm not sure she'll ever be a huge presence in the UK ever again. Girls Aloud are about to split and Cheryl isn't consistent enough for my liking - despite being a huge seller. I do like Marina but I fear she's too divisive with people and won't be as 'big' as she hopes.

    Mutya/Keisha/Siobhan won't let me down!
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  10. I was of course partially playing on the fact that I'm recognised as being a huge fan of hers on here. But I do genuinely believe that Lady Gaga is one of the few major popstars who is most likely to take the risk to make things more exciting again. Whether people like her style or music, there is no denying that she absolutely gave pop a shot in the arm, in terms of how popular the genre became again, and she made the pop releases (mainly videos) and award shows seem like a big deal again. Media have tried to recreate the circus with acts that have come since (such as Jessie J) but it's failed to be as exciting because the person in the centre just hasn't shined as bright.

    Of course, I would never completely rule out Madonna having any sort of cultural impact again. But it is looking increasingly unlikely, given the (lack of) impact of her past two albums. I would place my bets on Gaga taking the risk and releasing the better pop music in the years to come. But really, I think we need some new blood...

    The most interesting movements at the moment are the Indie Pop one (Charli XCX, Grimes, Sky Ferreira), the Indie R'n'B one (Jessie Ware, Katy B, Solange, Frank Ocean, Miguel, The Weeknd) and the Indie Hip-Hop one (Azealia Banks, Kendrick Lamar, Angel Haze). So, apparently Indie is the way forward. But it remains to be seen as to whether any of these acts will really rise to the top.

    But yes, Bubblegum Pop is currently in a coma. The poor general public got confused by the novelty value of songs like Bad Romance and Something Kinda Ooh and didn't realise that there were incredibly solid pop songs lurking underneath the LOL-factor. So now we're left with PSY, Nicki Minaj's """pop""" persona and some haggard old dj's who actually have the audacity to name themselves LMFAO. Good Bubblegum Pop should have hooks so monumentally catchy and borderline ridiculous that they almost sound like Eurovision entries. The difference is that the two songs I mentioned (Bad Romance, Something Kinda Ooh) sound like Eurovision winners, as opposed to the state of the genre now where LMFAO would've stalled at "nil pois" two decades ago.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  11. Resi12

    Resi12 Guest

    I've said this about pop since something like Starships could break chart records/sell millions and get to number one.
  12. Tribal Spaceman

    Tribal Spaceman Oh, OK.

    Ever since "Just Dance" brought pop back to America I've been looking forward to a new "golden age", but to me it hasn't happened. It got derailed some time in 2010 when someone thought it'd be a good idea to take "dance music that sounds like pop music" and "pop music that sounds like dance music" and strip them of everything that made them refreshing and exciting, resulting in a lot of awful identikit records with only occasional flashes of brilliance.

    In other words, they went too far and now people are going to tire of it and look for something else.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  13. To be honest, although it might be slightly unrelated to the point jinzo is making, I'm quite enjoying the phase pop is going through at the moment. In some ways...

    Although it's fun to be on "the winning team" when a select few pop divas you like are experiencing huge commercial success, I'm quite enjoying the diversity and sheer number of acts that seem to be cropping up at the moment. There doesn't seem to be such a monopoly as when it's only 5 REALLY BIG AND SUCCESSFUL acts you really hear about, who completely dominate the radio and any other form of media. With the dawn of digital charts and YouTube, a lot more acts are being able to find ways into the industry, where as in the Golden Ages it was only really the acts who could afford the huge promotion slots and were able to fund hefty physical releases (sorry, that sounds a bit filthy).

    So although we have had to suffer some absolutely abysmal #1's this past year or so, it doesn't just seem to be the same acts that are experiencing repeated success (apart from Rihanna). I quite like the idea of pop stars working for a more honest wage as well.

    Also, I hate it when people say that "Adele is saving the industry" with her huge success. No she fucking isn't. If anything, she's saving her own arse and her particular label, and damaging the rest of the industry by people mindlessly continuing to by '21' in their droves for every public holiday that passes by, rather than exploring all the other new and exciting acts.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  14. Wow. The list that jinzo made is actually quite shocking.

    I'm going to post my thoughts on this later - I'm on the jerkiest Subway ride ever, and cannot concentrate for the life of me.
  15. I'll be glad if pop is going into "decline". Pop was seemingly at its best when guitars ruled. It feels like the pop world has become complacent now that generally "poppy/dancey" sounds have been the main trend in recent years. If pop became the underdog again then it would force artists and record companies to focus on making really cutting edge, fantastic music. I can't remember ever being so bored as I was last year and this year with pop music in general.
  16. A pop cull is probably exactly what we need. Those that can will try and up their game, and those that can't or don't will miss out, simply because they aren't good enough. Heck, maybe record labels or managements will pull their fingers out and get certain artists some promo opportunities. Pop needs to get off it's arse and do some work and push its best and most brilliant, instead of settling for the one album wonder Rita Oras and Pixie Lotts, the lame and uninspired Taio Cruzes and Tulisas, the bottom of the barrel, lowest common denominator appealing LMFAOs and Pitbulls, heck, even the talented but with terrible output Nicki Minajs, Christina Aguileras and Rihannas, or the resting on their laurels natures of Madonna and Mariah Carey.

    If we lose some good artists with the bad through pop going out of fashion, we'll gain and see new and existing artists trying to push pop forward, and that's 100% worth it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2012
  17. Very well said. Some of my favourite pop discoveries came in this period (The Sounds, Dragonette, Rogue Traders, Cut Copy, Neon Neon, Pleasure). It was a time when pop had to be really good to survive. These days, people like Nicki, Cheryl, Tulisa and Madonna seem to just chucking out any old faecal matter and expecting it to stick. I long for the day when these artists will again realise they need to put in a bit of effort and attempt a touch of innovation.
  18. Bring back Rachel Stevens!
  19. Someboy

    Someboy Staff Member

    In all seriousness though, please do.

    The last time pop was phased out (as much as pop ever really can be), the strongest artists still remained and continued to put out brilliant material. I remember at the end of 2003 and beginning of 2004, a lot of critics and tastemakers had declared the bubblegum pop phase completely over, and then in a couple of months Britney had one of her biggest and most recognizable hits ever. So maybe pop is about to go through a cleansing where we get rid of people like Ke$ha or Jessie J, but in the end we'll be left with the people who really understand pop and be better off because of it.
  20. We need a Nelly, Gwen, or Fergie type person to put us on the right path again. They are pops not-so-unsung-but-not-given-as-much-credit heroes.

    It's never one of the big girls who change the face of music, it's always one of those not-so-obscure one album wonders who come out of nowhere to infuse a new sound and vibe, and then some "bigger" girl just swipes the sound and becomes the face for it
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