Stuck Between Catchy and Commercial? 7 Reasons Why We Love Pop Music

Pop music fans are often looked down on by those with different music preferences. Ok, the music they love today will probably be forgotten in a very short period of time, it is not emotionally enriching, and will most often have a very cliché and repetitive message. But this does not make it less fun!

We have to face it! A person’s musical preferences usually correspond to a wide pallet of emotions, and there is something in there for every state of mind. Therefore, you can be a fan of Eric Clapton, know your way around a jazz bar and can hold your own in a conversation about classical music, and still tap your feet to Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. Why? Simply because it is fun!


1. Because it’s relaxing-relaxing

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake

Sometimes people need to make an effort to relax. And this is just sad if you only think about somebody forcing himself to get relaxed, putting on soothing music to cover up an obvious state of agitation. The truth is that you are either in the mood for soothing music or you are not. And here is where pop music comes in. With its happy-go-lucky attitude, cheerful tunes, and sometimes unimportant lyrics, this music can snap you out of your current state without having to ‘knock you out’ first. Many people find refuge from their daily struggles in pop music mainly because it lacks the emotional involvement.

2. Because its message is universal

Everybody wants to feel loved, accepted in a group of people, and understood, just like everybody loves not having to work, having money to spend, getting excited about a trip, and even getting back at someone who has wronged us. Are these messages deep? Not always. They are actually very accessible – therefore many people will listen to them. This is the main thing fans of other genres criticize about pop music: that it dumbs down the lyrics so that more people can understand them and so that they can sell more.

But on the other hand, you don’t have to know context, understand a specific culture or have any particular music training to share a musical preference with someone on the other side of the world. And while you know neither of you will shed a tear upon hearing this song, you can bet it will make both of you very happy. If this is not a connection and a universal language, we don’t know what is.

3. Because not all pop music completely lacks essence and emotion

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

So, after we have dealt with the obvious things everybody knows about pop music, there comes the time to acknowledge some of the performers whose songs did shape a generation and whose contribution cannot be denied. Whitney Huston, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Prince, Elton John, and did we mention Michael Jackson? We did. Let’s mention him again since he was only the King of Pop and songs like Man in the Mirror, Earth Song, Stranger in Moscow, Scream, Heal the World, and Will You Be There surely had a message.

So, while you may be tempted to sneer at all pop music on account of some examples, remember that there are a lot of different artists with a lot of different approaches, all performing under the pop umbrella.

4. Because it is the best genre that best emphasizes your voice

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

In order to perform in other genres, you need to have a specific type of voice or at least an inclination to sing in a certain way. The importance of the voice in pop music is also emphasized with the popularity of the Eurovision song contest. By comparison, pop music is much more permissive and it allows you to “play” more with your voice until you discover something you feel comfortable with. Not the mention the very vast repertoire that can allow anyone to sing a decent song under any circumstances.

And yes, there are claims that some of the most celebrated pop artists are not known for their voices, nor do they play any instruments. However, these people have managed to build a career in music. How come? By finding exactly the type of music they can sing and by out-performing anyone else.

5. Because the showmanship in pop music is without compare

Jennifer Lopez at the Pop Music Festival

Jennifer Lopez at the Pop Music Festival

Rock stars are blasé, jazz musicians are naturally cool, and blues people are in a world with their own emotions. But pop stars are always expected to bring everything to the table. Their shows need to have everything. Performing as a pop singer feels like a marathon. There’s dancing, running all over the stage, changing outfits, and singing all throughout the show. Therefore, what some feel pop lacks in depth, it compensates in entertainment, and isn’t this the purpose of music? To help you have a good time?

6. Because it’s genuinely catchy

If you ever caught yourself humming along to a pop song, it is because of the way they are constructed. They are pretty simple. There is a sequence of notes that usually alternates between the fifth note and the third note. Also, there is an 8-note rhythm structure. If some of it sounds the same, know that it probably does. And one of the major factors contributing to the popularity of pop music is how familiar it sounds to listeners. Therefore, if you once liked a song, you will most probably like the next one as well. It is the plan music producers count on when they are working on the next summer hit.

7. Because they make oldies look good again

No other genre is keener on recycling the proven gems of years gone by. One-hit wonders may be forgotten after a while, but you can bet someone will eventually come along and re-use the bridge, the hook, the chorus, or whatever other part is easily recognizable about the song. It is often argued that pop songs are short-lived hits. However, with covers and other writers getting inspiration from past productions, could we not say that, in fact, pop music is almost just as enduring as the music from other genres? Think about this the next time you hear a song inspired from something you used to hum a while back.