Russell Smith, a regular columnist for The Globe and Mail, published a column a few days ago in response to the “tsunami of learned commentary and analysis about it in the press.” He laments that taking pop music serious is a sign of the decline of music into increasingly conservative and commodified forms. As he writes,
The song is the musical equivalent of the limerick. It is a form that has reached mass popularity, and that’s great, but I’m wondering how its hegemony can possibly last. It’s been the dominant musical form since the advent of mass media itself – so let’s say about 100 years – and nobody is bored with it yet?
Perhaps Smith is trolling his readers a little, but it does ask a serious question about whether and how we should take pop music seriously, if at all. This is a question that, as we come to talk more about the political economy of music, might be something that you’re asking yourself.