The fads of the past versus the hits of today
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
In the history of music, there have been some songs with memorable lines and hooks that have gotten everyone excited and inspired people. This summer we have had a few films that show why we like music. In May we had the Elton John biopic Rocketman, which gives us a look at life when you are famous and shows why everyone appreciated John’s music. In June the Danny Boyle comedy Yesterday was released, which is about a man who one day discovers he is only person who remembers the Beatles. On August 14 the film Blinded by the Light will be released, telling the story of a boy from England being inspired by the music of Bruce Springsteen and beginning a revolution of 1980s rock music in his neighbourhood. The film also tackles how international music influences people, which I can relate to because I am a fan of J-Pop and K-Pop.
In the case of Yesterday, the film presents the history of the Beatles in the present day. During the era of Beatlemania in the ’60s, everyone was talking about their music, girls were chasing the members of the band when they were seen, and their songs were number one on the music charts. As the decades went by, there have also been other musicians to get everyone hyped with songs that have appealed to mass audiences, or sillier songs that have been memorable years down the line.
However, in the past year I feel like there has not been much music able to get everyone excited, not from mainstream US airwaves at least. Most of the songs released sound like city night music, they are not fun to listen to, and some of them are gimmicky—maybe because there is not a lot of hype for them and artists and producers are running out of song ideas. I barely listen to the radio. I listen to Canadian music, J-Pop, and K-Pop more than US music.
One song that seemed to be a potential summer hit this year, the Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber song “I Don’t Care,” is good but it does not have anything that would wow me. In my opinion, the summer song this year so far is the Hinatazaka46 song “Doremisolasido” because it has the sound of the season. I think this track could get attention in North America because the choreography in the music video of the song looks similar to the Harlem Shake. Another summer tune that I would recommend is the Nogizaka46 song “Sing Out!” because it is very cheerful, it gets everyone together, and it even has a bit of gospel.
However, some exciting music that was released in the past few months does suggest that North American music is picking up again. For example, there’s the phenomenal American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. The Jonas Brothers are making music again and one of the hit singles from their recent album Happiness Comes, “Sucker,” actually sounds great. Also, K-Pop is finally becoming more mainstream in North America with groups like BTS (who performed on Saturday Night Live two months ago and I’d compare their performance to when the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show), Twice, BlackPink, and IZ*ONE (who will be performing at KCON in New York City on July 6).
After a year of music that did not wow me, it seems like the industry is finally picking up again.