Step aside, men: Study of pop music finds rise in sadness, upward trend in female chart toppers

This post was originally published on this site

I’m gunna let you finish, Kanye, but uh…

Female singers with upbeat dance songs are far more likely to top the music charts nowadays, according to new findings by researchers at the University of California, Irvine. The study also found a downward musical trend in happiness and an increase in sadness.

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, examined 500,000 popular songs released in the UK over a three decade period, from 1985 and 2015, and categorized them each based on their mood.

“‘Happiness’ is going down, ‘brightness’ is going down, ‘sadness’ is going up, and at the same time, the songs are becoming more ‘danceable’ and more ‘party-like,’” co-author Natalia L. Komarova told The Associated Press.

Of course, researchers emphasize that a gradual decrease in the average “happiness” index does not mean that all successful songs in 1985 were “happy” and all successful songs in 2015 were “sad.” They were looking for average trends in the acoustic properties of music and the moods describing the sounds.

The overall mood shifts in the songs’ musical elements fall in line with past studies that have examined lyrical content changes over the years. They have found that positive emotions, on the whole, have declined; while indicators of loneliness and social isolation have increased.

“So it looks like, while the overall mood is becoming less happy, people seem to want to forget it all and dance,” says Komarova, a mathematician and evolutionary biologist who led the study. She added, “The public seems to prefer happier songs, even though more and more unhappy songs are being released each year.”

Some songs with a low happiness index in 2014 include “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, “Whispers” by Passenger and “Unmissable” by Gorgon City. Songs from 1985 with a high happiness index include “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen, “Would I Lie to You?” by the Eurythmics, and “Freedom” by Wham!

Additionally, researchers found the most successful musical genres of recent are dance and pop, with a “clear downward trend” in the success of rock, beginning in the early 2000s.

The researchers also found that the “maleness” of songs — or the frequency of male singers in popular music — has decreased over the last 30 years. “Interestingly, successful songs exhibit their own distinct behavior: They tend to be happier, more party-like, less relaxed and more likely to be sung by a woman than most.”

The same trends hold true for the US market, based on a preliminary review of data by researchers. A few 2014 hits that meet the study’s qualifications for successful pop music include Clean Bandit‘s “Rather Be,” Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off,” and Meghan Trainor‘s “All About That Bass.”

The findings arrive at a critical time when the music industry is grappling with issues of gender inequality, where men are overwhelmingly dominating the visible ranks of artists and songwriters, despite studies such as these, which show a strong cultural/consumer yearning for female dance/pop hits in the contemporary global music climate.

Read the fully study by UC Irvine here.

H/T: Stereogum

Bruce Springsteen To Receive Honorary Tony Award, Flaming Lips Among Artists Nominated For Spongebob Score

This post was originally published on this site

Bruce Springsteen has already extended the run of his Springsteen On Broadway show twice now. There’s a good chance that he’ll never leave Broadway. And now Broadway is rewarding his commitment by giving him an honorary Tony award. More »

Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits Leads Biggest Record Store Day Yet

This post was originally published on this site

Record Store Day once again powered historic sales numbers for vinyl albums and singles in the US, according to Nielsen Music. More »

Watch Bruce Springsteen & Michael Stipe Join Patti Smith In NYC

This post was originally published on this site

The new concert film Horses: Patti Smith And Her Band captures Patti Smith performing the classic album Horses in full in Los Angeles, to celebrate that album’s 40th anniversary. Last night, the movie had its big premiere at New York’s Beacon Theatre, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Smith and her band performed at … More »

Dozens Of Musicians Commemorate 50th Anniversary Of Martin Luther King’s Death In “The Dream Still Lives” Video

This post was originally published on this site

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. To honor his memory and his work, which is still as relevant as ever, Stevie Wonder has assembled a mind-bogglingly vast lineup of musicians, celebrities, and public figures to share their hopes for the future in a video entitled “The Dream Still Lives.” … More »

Springsteen On Broadway Extended Through December

This post was originally published on this site

Bruce Springsteen is never leaving Broadway. NEVER!!! The Boss’ show, Springsteen On Broadway, has been extended through December. This marks the second time the show has been extended; it was originally supposed to run through the spring of this year and then in November his camp announced that dates would expand to June 2018. More »

Every Zing Now: 19 Memorable Music Tweets From 2017

This post was originally published on this site

The world went through a lot this year — Trump, an investigation into Russian election interference, Nazis, an Arcade Fire album rollout. Twitter also went through a lot this year — Trump, an investigation into Russian election interference, a controversy about verifying Nazis, and, perhaps most shockingly, a new 280 character … More »

Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway Run Extended Through June 2018

This post was originally published on this site

Springsteen On Broadway opened last month — read our review of it here — and before shows even began, its run was extended from the originally announced November end date all the way through February 2018. And now, it’s just been announced that Springsteen On Broadway is adding even more additional shows, … More »

Watch Lorde Cover Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”

This post was originally published on this site

Lorde just performed in Christchurch, New Zealand as part of her Melodrama world tour, and she sang a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” (Springsteen previously covered “Royals” in 2014.) Lorde blended a little bit of her own song, “400 Lux,” into her cover. Watch video via Pitchfork below. More »

Bruce Springsteen – “Freedom Credence”

This post was originally published on this site

Bruce Springsteen has a new song called “Freedom Credence” featured in the film Thank You For Your Service, which is about veterans of the Iraq War dealing with PTSD. The movie came out over the weekend, and the song plays over the closing credits. The track has surfaced online, and you can hear … More »