Pop music gets sadder and sadder- But happy is on the return!

I was reading this article on the Washington Post yesterday, you can read it here.

I agree with Sarah Kliff in some aspects. It is a fact that pop music is getting sadder and that is because of a few reasons. 

  • As artists we pull inspiration from our environment. The thinking and actions of society has portrayed a very rough and saddening experience over the last two decades.

This is something that influences the composer and writer, because they attempt to relate to their hyper-energized listener.

  • During the times of major mode compositions, society is more laid back and less aggressive. But, during the minor mode compositions, you find times being more in the abstract, intense and aggressive.

It begs the question does sad sell? Sure! If you look at Adele, you can see she’s made her career on sad melancholy songs such as “Someone Like You” and songs about betrayal such as “Fire to the Rain” and “Rolling in the Deep”.

But I also disagree with this article. I think happy or bubble gum pop music is making a return. A few artists I can think of who have entered the scene in last few years include:

Katy Perry with hits like “California Gurls, “Firework”, “T.G.I.F

Train “Hey Soul, Sister”, “Mary Me

Black Eye Peas- they have dozens of songs.

When I think about it, it makes me look at my own writing, I realize that Unveiled, Deryo’s Confessions, and Searching For Love CDs, have a sad song or two squeezed in, but for the most part they’re positive songs. I think even though looking at our music over the last 50 years shows a trend that says, yeah we like sad, depressing stuff, we can also look at the last ten years, and we can also say that we are transitioning out of the depression into positive music.

What do you think? Can you add to the list any other pop artists with positive music?

  1. Bernd Willimek May 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Minor chords do not always sound sad. Especially popular in pop music Aeolian minor sounds exciting and adventurous. You can find more about this on the following link:


    Bernd Willimek

Comments are closed.