I made a Spotify playlist of songs and artists that I think you would like if you like The Weeknd and want to show some smaller artist love, but I also wrote a blog defending my reasoning behind it if you want to read instead of listen:
This is the most blogger blog I have ever written. Please keep in mind, if I was SAYING these words to you rather than you reading them, I would not sound so… bloggery.
Why can’t we take popularity out of whether a song is good or not?
I just listened to The Weeknd’s new song “Take My breath” and it reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about The Weeknd’s music and popular music in general for over 5 years. First of all, the song is a banger but it also inspired me. Ever since The Weeknd’s album “Starboy” back in 2016, I have noticed that a lot of his songs that get popular are songs I really fucking love. This was a first because I usually am only able to tolerate what music is repeated 50 times a day on the radio or screamed about on social media. It’s very rare that I will hear a song on the radio and genuinely go out of my way to know what it is. It’s not that I hate every song on the radio, it’s that they beat every song like a dead horse until it’s ingrained in your subconscious and ruins the song… for me at least. Dua Lipa is a good example of this. I like her music because it has that thumping bassline accompanied with unique synths and her beautiful voice, but if I have to hear Don’t Start Now one more fucking time I will shove a pen in my eye. Hearing that song on repeat every day completely ruined it for me. Still love Dua Lipa though. Not only is “Starboy” in my top 10 albums of all time, but it is also nostalgic. I remember blasting “Love To Lay” while longboarding down hills and not giving a shit if I fell, which I did very often.
I also noticed that The Weeknd’s new music is similar to stuff I listen to. His synth-heavy disco 80s genre that he is bringing back will certainly be a contender in my Spotify wrapped this year. I only bring this up because I have tried an “experiment” on people just to see their reactions. I could be hanging out with friends and put on a song like “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, a very synth-heavy 80s inspired song, and have my friends go ape shit.” Then I’ll throw on “Starlight Brigade” by TWRP, another synth-heavy 80s inspired song that sounds very similar and came out the same year as “Blinding Lights”, and they’ll say it’s “not the vibe”. Now I know this is due to personal preference and the fact that people know The Weeknd more than TWRP, but it makes me think that if these two songs sound so similar both in instruments, lyrics, and dare I say vibe, why is there so much push back on one and not the other. Again, I know the short answer is “We know The Weeknd and we don’t know that other weird shit” but why can’t we take popularity out of whether a song is good or not and just give it a chance regardless of how many followers the singer has on Twitter?
I am going to say this and it might sound pretentious, but I don’t judge music based on how popular the musicians are. I would like to think that I can separate the art from the artist (in a good way… not the R. Kelly way) and judge it with an objective ear. I don’t judge music on how popular it is to the general public, I judge on how popular it is to my ear. Certainly, the general consensus of people’s opinion IS floating around in my head, like when I listened to Kanye’s new album, but I don’t let it influence my opinion of the song… and neither should you. Music has become more than just music for a lot of artists. Kanye is no longer JUST a musician, he’s an icon. So when you listen to his album you are taking more in than just the music. That’s okay by the way, I would never judge someone based on what music they like, but is there any way to stop for a minute and actually enjoy the music for the music and not what image or popularity comes with liking or not liking a song?
I think more people should do this. More 17-year-olds should actually listen to Ariana Grande’s new song before they throw it on their Instagram story with “THE QUEEN IS BACK!!”. If you genuinely like Ariana Grande that’s fine, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a good 2-3 songs of hers floating around in my library. It’s more about HOW you like Ariana Grande. I guarantee you there are a bunch of people out there that see the new Ariana song and say it’s good because of what it means to like Ariana Grande rather than actually liking the music. Ariana Grande could release an 8-minute song of her autotuned queefs and people will still post saying “I can’t with her STOP!”.
So that’s what this blog is. I made a Spotify playlist of songs that I feel you would like if you liked The Weeknd’s newest song or the ear miracles he has been birthing over the past 5 years. Go ahead and listen to the first few at least where I play a song by The Weeknd that got millions of plays, and then a song by someone I like and think sounds very similar to The Weeknd and should have gotten millions of plays. It’s also to share music more so let’s do that.
Also, The Suicide Squad was really good