7 April 2008
Pop Music Groups, Are They Really In It?
“Whether you admit it or not, music imbeds our daily life, weaving its beauty and emotion through our thoughts, activities and memories” (Music Articles and Life Enrichment). But could this possibly be true about pop music groups too? We may have fallen in love, or we may have been in complete disgust the first time we heard it. One thing is true however; we all have an opinion about the typical pop music group. As readers of Billboard Magazine, many of you may be wondering exactly how todeterminewhat makes a great pop music group that will stay alive for years.Many will argue that this phenomenon began with the Beatles and has made it all the way to today where we have numerous pop groups in the music scene. It cannot really be said where the idea of a pop musical group began, but it is safe to say that pop groups are very popular in the music world today. Through the years, the American people have been introduced to pop groups that we know and love today such as New Kids on the Block, the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Destiny’s Child, the Spice Girls, the Jonas Brothers and many more. There are numerous aspects that define a great pop music group that include the quality of music they produce, their passion for what they do, their star quality, and most importantly the love they show for their fans.
One of the most important features that makes a musical group a great musical act is the quality of their music. We’ve all heard those groups that make music, but their music doesn’t say much or wasn’t even written by the actual band members. While many pop songs were written by famous producers only to be performed by pop music groups, it only makes a pop group that much better if they are able to write their own music and put some of their own flair into the melodies. In order to produce good, respectable music, it should be written by the actual band members and should most definitely contain lyrics that have some meaning behind them.
Pop music is usually comprised of happy, upbeat rhythms with simple melodies and lyrics that relate to love, relationships, sex and dancing. It is not a genre that is meant to bring deep and serious world issues to the fore, nor is it meant to invoke introspection and reflection. It's there simply to bop around to, and join in the rousing chorus at the top of your lungs. Its feel good music, designed for fun and lighthearted entertainment(Cosser).
While this is true in many instances, pop groups such as Paramore may not always be seen as a “pop” band because their lyrics do reflect the thoughts of the band members and have helped many people including myself through some difficult times, but they are in fact labeled as a pop group because their songs are so upbeat and fun. Another band climbing the charts these days with pop-based hits is the Jonas Brothers. They too write songs that indeed come from the heart as stated by The Seattle Times, “And when Nick introduced his new song, "A Little Bit Longer" about his diabetes, he asked the audience, "How many of you have gone through a hard time in life?" Many in the crowd raised one hand — the other on their hearts, braces gleaming” (Liu). This goes to show that while pop bands may not be thought of as the most intellectual beings on Earth, it is key to remember that the truly great pop bands actually do make good music that often means a great deal to many all over the world. It is important for musicians to write about issues that are common among all people such as love, friendship, and the favorite among many, heartbreak. Another aspect that comes to mind when thinking about songs are the melodies that are put to words. If a song doesn’t have a great melody that is pleasing to the ear, then it is very clear that it will not be liked by many. For a pop song to be a “hit,” it must have a certain likeability factor. This factor is proven when a song climbs the music charts, and is played on the radio over and over again. A popular music group makes great pop songs that people everywhere can relate to, dance to, and even sing along to. Their music should grow with the times and be able to transcend generations by just being great, feel-good songs. Great pop groups are often remembered for their catchiest songs that people still sing five years later, and might even show up on countdowns of the best pop songs ever.
Passion is something that is not always very evident among famous pop groups. With all of the dance moves, and wild costumes, passion can often be overlooked by crazed fans. There are however, many groups out today and even in the past that have displayed a certain passion for the musical journey they have embarked on. A few groups come to mind that have displayed true passion for music in many ways such as the Backstreet Boys (in the later years), and again the Jonas Brothers today. To me, each of these groups stands out among other groups of their time because while they are the typical pop music groups, they are so much more than that. The Backstreet Boys showed a great love for the music they were making, and continue to make albums years after their popularity has fizzled out. The Jonas Brothers are just beginning to show their passion for music to the world in the way that they write all their own songs, play their own instruments, and make sure that they are a huge part of everything they produce. Another way that passion is shown is when a music group is often seen playing or writing music outside of the recording studio and when they are not on stage. Music should be felt from within the soul, and a great pop group would not be able to stop playing music when they leave the stage. When pop groups are able to show the passion they have for their music it is truly something that stands out and is respected by many. We must look beyond all the screaming fans, photo shoots, and celebrity status in order to find the true artists behind the music. A quality pop music group has a great passion for what they are doing that is clearly evident to all fans and even non-fans. It is extremely important for these groups to be involved in everything they are doing, and without that certain passion,the group would surely not be respected.
The one thing that everyone can see shining through in many music groups, past and present, is their star quality. This is that one special thing that sends girls into screaming frenzies, and pushes grown men to go out and buy those teeny bopper magazines just to get that picture of Destiny’s Child. Without star quality, it is a fact that albums would not sell, and concerts would not be sold out. Although a music group’s success should not depend on what they look like or the image they portray, it often does. “Boy bands” are commonly loved for how “hot” they are, and female groups tend to be thought of as “sexy” rather than true artists.Groups with this star quality are the ones that are exceptionally good at promoting their music by sometimes using things other than their music. However it should still be clear that the groups are serious about their music. Pop music groups that have this star quality are always seen on the cover of every teeny bopper magazine, are always in the headlines, and win numerous awards. It is important to remember however, that although these groups have star quality they know how vital it is to not lose sight of making great music. This fact is exactly the thing that completes the star quality aspect of a musical group. Famous pop groups are very careful not to let their fame affect their music making ability. Great pop groups can manage appealing to young fans as well as old, and juggle making meaningful music with taking great photographs. A musical group with star quality can do it all, and look fantastic doing it. It is through a pop group’s star quality that they are able to continue making and selling albums and doing what they love to do.
The last and possibly most important characteristic of a great pop music group is how much they love their fans. If a music group does not do enough for their fans, there is no doubt that their downfall will be inevitable. Great pop music groups are always seen catering to their fans and traveling the world just to play concerts for them. They go to great lengths to make sure that no fan feels left out and to make sure that their fans will stay faithful for a long time to come. Many music groups try to do as many meet and greets with their fans as humanly possible in order to see all their fans and make them happy. Sometimes pop music groups are viewed as having the highest volume of fans simply because their popularity brings in a large younger crowd. With so many fans, anyone could see how it would be extremely difficult to interact with all the fans, however great music groups will do everything in their power to get close to those fans. These groups may choose to meet their fans before or after a show, or may even demand that their stage protrude into the crowd so they can see their fans up close and personal. Fans can clearly tell if their favorite pop acts are genuinely excited to be performing for them, and that is exactly why great pop groups bring in the most fans and stay around for a long time. Other music groups that do not give back to their fans tend to vanish quicker than they came onto the scene simply because they did not build their fan base up as much as they could.
Pop music groups will always be viewed as being not as respectable as other musicians in the industry. These groups have gotten a bad reputation because of some of the other pop groups that may not have taken their music career seriously. Criticizers will always say that pop music is meaningless and pointless in the music industry. On the other hand, quality pop music groups are still alive and well, just rare these days. Pop music can, without a doubt, turn a bad day into a good day. Pop groups can bring joy and excitement into our lives especially being a young boy or girl and experiencing a pop concert for the first time. Great pop music groups display characteristics of sincerity, passion, and musical ability. We’ve all heard amazing pop songs, and then again we’ve all heard pop songs that make absolutely no sense. Great pop groups are the ones that can rise above all the stereotypes and make good, quality music all the while showing others how to take pride in your music. These groups can make fans fall in love with them as well as their music and they know how to carry themselves as respectable people. Through the years we have seen amazing pop music groups that take all these characteristics into account and we have also been exposed to pop music groups that are only in the business to have fun and make money. Pop groups today are refining themselves and are even trying to introduce young children to a softer side of rock music. It is pertinent to remember that a great pop music group is first and foremost a group of musicians that truly love what they are doing. For many of us, pop music was one of the first types of music we were introduced to. It is because of those infamous pop groups that we branched out and began to like different types of music. Therefore, the next time we see an amazing music group catering to fans, writing beautiful songs, showing their passion for music, and perfecting their star quality, we should be sure to take note of that group; they could become “the next big thing.”
"Music Articles and Life Enrichment." Articles of Note.Com. 2008. 2 Apr. 2008 < Sandy. "Pop Music Icons." Ezine Articles. 2008. 2 Apr. 2008 < Liu. "Growing Up with the Jonas Brothers." The Seattle Times 6 Feb. 2008. 7 Apr. 2008 <