It’s about to happen yet again. I detest Bruno Mars‘ new hit single “Locked Outta Heaven”, yet because Top 40 Radio is forcing it down our throats I’m starting to get the pure Police-rip off stuck in my head. Before I know it, I’ll be enjoying it. And this, my friends, is the problem with the Radio. Let’s discuss!
For almost 3 months now, I’ve had a mix CD stuck in my car stereo. As with anyone I’m sure, about a month later I got sick of hearing the same 15 songs over and over so I (*gasp) switched over to listening to the Radio. And … Oh! The Horror!
There are some good things that can come from radio, but overall it’s a frustrating entity. The joke with mainstream radio has always been that they tend to play the same 10 or so songs over and over (and over and over… and over and over). In the past three months it’s been Maroon 5 “One More Night”, Chris Brown “Don’t Wake Me Up”, P!nk‘s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” and Rihanna‘s “Diamonds” (Recently it’s been lots of Ne-Yo “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself), Ke$ha “Die Young”, and Lumineers “Hey Ho”). Songs that I liked initially, but the overplay of them on the radio leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth now whenever I hear them.
There are those songs, like Bruno’s, that I don’t like hardly at all in the beginning. After hearing them like 50 times in a day, you start to get familiar with them and actually sing a long and than you have it stuck in your head when you’re not listening. Taylor Swift‘s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is one, also The Wanted‘s one verse offering “Glad You Came” and a few others got embedded in my brain and I just couldn’t resist but to surrender myself to their Popp-y goodness.
I can’t say that radio back in the 90’s was much different. I remember hearing the same stuff all the time, and back in the day I would make little radio mix tapes (I think we all did) and it was always like “Okay, I heard TLC ‘Creep’ like a half hour ago so I KNOW they are gonna play it again and I’ll tape it than” and most of the time we were right. However in the 90’s I think it was slightly different, I actually believe that requests from listeners affected the radio.
Like K-Ci and JoJo‘s hit “All My Life” was a song that one radio station played and got immense requests for after the fact, and than the song blew up on a national level. I don’t get the sense that the listeners are actually making these current hits, but a bit of … well I don’t want to say Payola, but it seems the radio has picked it’s favorites and refuse to play anything other than those select artists.
Good things about radio? Well, the Modern Rock stations and the Classic Rock stations are good at not replaying the same stuff out. And those are the stations that I most often Shazam with because they play new stuff (well the Modern Rock ones), or stuff that I’ve never heard of. And you also have to love some Urban stations or even the Mainstream Pop stations when they flash you back and play something you haven’t heard in ages. It happens rarely, but when it does it’s always a nice surprise.
Bottom Line: I HAVE TO FIX MY CAR STEREO! At this point I’m completely over the radio and have ghetto-rigged it so that I just listen to my iPhone even though it’s not connected to my car speakers. I just have reached my fill and I honestly think that Radio overall should try to come up with some ideas to make it pop. I have to think though that with Pandora and Spotify and so many other online Music sites becoming so popular (and invading cars faster and faster) that Radio is in a shaky situation. They are probably less prone to take the kind of risk that made “All My Life” a hit so many years ago, so they just play what they think people want to hear. And after a while, even if they didn’t want to hear it in the first place the listeners will get used to and possibly like the tripe that is being overexposed on radio.