The Song just remains the same

Stuart McHugh

Stuart McHugh

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You know you’re getting old when... all pop sounds the same.

Of course, it may be that your hearing’s going – according to the WHO (er, that’s the World Health Organisation, not Daltrey and chums...) a billion people are at risk of hearing damage due to over-loud music.

Of course, modern music’s homogeneity may be a little more sinister. An Austrian study found that the more popular the tunes, the more similar their timbre and acoustics.

So it’s not surprising record labels are using data gathering techniques to predict which song might be the next hit, as pop becomes as distinctive as flat pack furniture.

Case in point: a quarter of the tunes to make the US Top 100 last year were produced by Swedish producer Max Martin. It’s a name you may not recognise, unless you read the small print.

And the UK isn’t immune to the curse of songwriters, and never has been. Right on cue, the Bay City Rollers are back. The original boy band had lofty ideas about playing their own instruments and (gasp!) writing their own songs, driving songwriting duo Bill Martin and Phil Counter to despair.

It may be part of our X Factor culture that sees modern popsters unashamed about not writing or singing on their own records, the thirst for fame overriding all else.