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tj1

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Ok it's a very subjective question and I am not sure I know the answer.

The aggregate of great songs from the last 60 years is always likely to sound better than than a snapshot of current output.

But I struggle to name one great song from the last ten years, but maybe I an old fart.

However I think it is now likely there is a great deal less money in pure songwriting than there was twenty years ago before the advent of web based downloads. This could affect the quality.
 

DrKev

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But I struggle to name one great song from the last ten years, but maybe I an old fart.

This. Like me too. I am old fart. But I'm a guitar teacher and my students bring new stuff to me all the time. There are some awesome young artists out there. I don't remember their names much, but that's because I'm an old fart.

And I'm cool with that. I had my "my modern music is coolest" period, it's their turn now. And besides, with old farts come wisdom.
 
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tj1

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And I'm cool with that. I had my "my modern music is coolest" period, it's their turn now. And besides, with old farts come wisdom.

I grew up in the 80's but I remember thinking 60's music was much better. Although I did get with Foo Fighters and G&R I am still more or less stuck in the 70's. Which maybe not coincidentally was when I think there were most riches in music recording
 

beej

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I'll have to dissent. I think there's some awesome music out there. It's just harder to find. (And you have to get over all of the crappy over produced/compressed stuff in heavy rotation.)

I'm continually impressed by bands I'd never heard of.
 

tj1

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Yeah - I think that's the problem - new music is very hard to come across on the radio. I have seen a few great young acts live over the last few years but for whatever reason they were unable to get mainstream 'media' exposure.
 

wannarock8

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I find great new indie music on soundcloud.com all the time. I'm not real inspired by many of the commercial releases I hear these days.

Rick Wakeman of Yes said something in an interview back in the late 1980s that has stuck with me ever since. He said that songs in previous decades were written around a melody. He said in the 80s, you started to have songs written around a beat or a groove rather than the melody being the thing that carries the song.

I think he had a valid point. A lot of music in the last few decades has been written around a groove, or around a "sound", meaning it's mostly about the production. The songs I'm still drawn to are indie pop, folk, as well as progressive and hard rock, that are being written around a melody, or in the case of hard rock, around a great guitar riff.

In my own song writing, I'd compose songs based on cool chord progressions or riffs I came up with, and then the melody would be an afterthought. And I wondered why the finished songs sounded repetitive or uninteresting. And often there's nothing wrong with the chords or the groove, a few tweaks to the melody can turn a bland, repetitive song into one that really catches a listener's ear.
 

shupe13

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It seems to me that the music I listened to in the 70s and 80s (I still listen to), was better in the sense of story telling and musical flow. I'm not saying that there isn't great newer stuff. It's just not the old.
 

Jim C

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I much prefer a pop / rock / R&B song with a memorable melody line which is not nearly as prevalent as it was pre 90's.
I wonder how long this trend will continue.
 

NickNihil

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No.

Every decade/era/generation has its geniuses, innovators, and luminaries. And they have their sets of technological and cultural circumstances that makes the art unique to those times. Musicians are no less talented, creative, soulful, or multifaceted than they were 20, 50, 100, or 1000 years ago. The supposed homogeneity of modern mainstream media is a result of corporate consolidation of media and has nothing to do with artists.
 
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