Modern artists leave ’80s one-hit wonders in the dust


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Phoebe Bridgers (pictured above) exemplifies the diversity in modern music that the classic didn’t have.

Leila Usanovic, Staff Writer

The sentiment that “older is better” certainly does not apply in the argument between ’80s music and modern music. Though many may say that the ’80s produced some of the best music of all time, people must realize that modern music is just as good and even better.

Many may boast that the ’80s were filled with a variety of music genres, with different sounds and artists who specialized in different things. Upon a close listening, almost all songs from the era have a cloudy, muffled sound that causes all songs to sound extremely similar, limiting the outreach of the music. Songs like “Jessie’s Girl” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” are from two different genres but have similar sounds, showing how limited the sound is in ’80s music.

On the contrary, modern music has a multitude of different genres that all have different sounds. Even songs in the same genre, such as “Your Best American Girl” by Mitski and “Motion Sickness” by Phoebe Bridgers, have different sounds. Both songs are categorized under the indie genre, yet Mitski’s song has a harsh, rock-like sound while Bridgers’ song has a softer, melodic sound.

This diversity allows for anyone to find a song they like, regardless of the genre. Music from the ’80s lacks this quality.

Some may argue that popular songs today take inspiration from the ’80s. This phenomenon is not surprising considering the fact that as humans, we will always take the old and improve upon it, and that is exactly what these songs do. 

“Levitating” by Dua Lipa has aspects that remind many of ’80s music, but it involves it by creating a clearer sound and incorporates modern sounds that allows for an energizing, up-beat song rivaling “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. 

Another aspect that makes modern music superior is the artists, specifically the ability modern music artists have to create more than one good song, unlike a large number of ’80s artists. There is a reason the ’80s was nicknamed the decade of one-hit wonders.

Unlike many ’80s, artists today are able to produce a number of fantastic songs. Artists such as Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Harry Styles have all produced multiple critically acclaimed albums.

Overall, modern music has elevated beyond ’80s music. Modern sounds, artists, and songs provide listeners everything that ’80s music could not.