Saturday, 4 August 2012

On Pop Music In The 2000s

So this was one of the more interesting analyses I did on the old blog, but it only went until the then-current early 2011. So I updated it, and here we have a genre analysis of #1 songs in the USA over the past 12 years. There's one long bar for each year, and each week is represented by a vertical notch in a year running left to right--each has two "slots" for genre (ie, it can be a mix of hip hop/pop, synth/pop, or it can just be straight r&b, etc). If a song lasted more than 7 weeks (with at least 5 weeks sequentially), its name is listed. List of interesting facts:

 -Soulja Boy's "Crank That" would have been at #1 for 8 weeks straight, but Kanye West's "Stronger" "cover" interrupted it. This is not so much interesting as an awful statement about the last 6 years.

 -I had originally concluded that pop music had shifted from the preppy bubblegum stuff of the late 90s into an R&B/Soul starting around 2001, which lasted until about 2005 where synth and more standard "pop" took over.

 -Hip Hop, however, remained relatively persistent into 2010, where synth/electro finally seemed to have taken the reins from it.

 -The absence of rock was noted by some people, to which the retort is obviously that rock is almost defined by its opposition to popular music--it was created as a rebellion, and it doesn't really have a place in the theatre it "opposes". So most rock is either a very bubbly sort, or the alt-rock that we've been getting recently with your Funs and your Gotyes. It's too early to call, but if that is where pop music is going, I'd be PRETTY OKAY WITH THAT.

 -Black Eyed Peas still hold a record with 26 weeks in a row at #1, with only 2 singles. I am a little surprised they've failed to repeat that success, but it's hard to follow up such lyrical brilliance as "Tonight’s the night night/ Let’s live it up I got my fuckin' money/ Let’s spend it up"

-Lady Gaga keeps failing to get 7 weeks in a row at #1. Her "Just Dance" was only at #1 for 2 weeks (Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" dethroning her),  "Poker Face" was there for a single week before bowing to the almighty Black Eyed Peas machine, "Bad Romance" peaked at #2 (failing to beat past "Tik Tok" and "Empire State of Mind"), and "Born This Way" lasted 6 weeks before being usurped by "E.T." She's since failed to reach #1, and her latest single "Marry The Night" topped at #29. I'm going to go ahead and say "she had a nice run" and "I'll always miss her from the Paparazzi era".

-There's one bizarre point in 2008 where artist TI was at #1 for 10 of 12 sequential weeks, but with 2 songs that kept replacing each other to the effect that neither fit the "at #1 for 7 weeks, at least 5 sequentially" rule. I thought he should still get an honourable mention, but not a place on the graph because that isn't how the rules work!

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