An Editorial: Mental Air Pollution

– By Michal Elizabeth Smith –

“This Pop Music is Choking Me”

Our culture is in the midst of a drastic change. Music patrons are no longer able to pinpoint a “favorite” band or musician of theirs because the variety is abundant. The diversity of music is the result of technological advancements, and while many musicians use it for the greater good, there are those that do not. Radio stations across the globe stream mediocrity over airwaves, and just as air pollution affects us physically, mainstream artists can pollute us mentally. Second-rate artists are topping Billboard charts, beating out musicians who have talent that isn’t supported by auto tune or pre-recorded electronic beats.


I thoroughly believe Lorde nails it when she sings, “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air” in her single, “Team,” off of her debut album, Pure Heroine. In today’s society, pop songs all relay the same message. By clearing out the musical debris, we are able to find the foundational aspect of music that is talent. I am a fan of several bands relying on electronic elements as their infrastructure such as Chvrches and M83. Chvrches and M83, however, display distinguishable talent that is in no need of theatrical elements to back it up. Often times it isn’t the vocal performance leaving audience members satisfied, but rather that the artist flew through the air or performed a risky stunt. Mainstream artists are no longer accepted by society as musicians alone; they are also required to be performers.

It is imperative we take a few steps back and recognize where our roots in music are. Let us challenge the music industry as well as ourselves to get back to basics and seize true talent. Technological advancements have stolen the best of some; however, it isn’t too late to change.

James Villa