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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

OPINION: The music industry needs to face the music

Ashley Ness

Today’s excitement about music is one-note, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Lately, all I have heard about in the world of music is Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. With a three-hour long setlist, that is essentially a chronology of her musical career thus far, the show looks incredible.

But it’s becoming exhausting to hear about. I am not questioning or doubting Swift’s repertoire — that would just be ignorant — but the attention that I constantly see on Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, the list goes on, portrays Swift in the light of a god complex.

And frankly, I don’t understand why. She’s a pop star stealing the spotlight from virtually any other artist at the moment. What’s refreshing or exciting about that?

It goes without saying that Swift is incredibly talented and there are a number of songs of hers that I have a soft spot for. From the piano ballad “Tolerate It,” to the guitar-rich duet with Ed Sheeran “Everything Has Changed,” to 2008’s classic “Love Story,” she has a number of memorable songs that I will always remember.

From my perspective, the media’s fascination with Swift borders on obsession. There’s no debate that Swift is an icon, and will be for generations, but what about other artists who won’t have the chance to dig their heels in simply because they aren’t her?

We all have artists that we’re incredibly enthusiastic about. I’ve been a fan of Beck since I was 14 and dressed up as Bruce Springsteen for Halloween last year. When Beck announced his co-headlining tour this year with Phoenix, I was over the moon. I was bursting with excitement when I got Spotify’s presale code and snagged a couple of tickets.

Beck’s career of over three decades has put forth an impressive, diverse, genre-bending discography. There’s the sample-heavy “Odelay,” the decadently orchestrated “Morning Phase” and 2017’s poppy and funky “Colors” to name a few.

But if all anybody talked about was Beck’s tour, I would be annoyed.

When so much energy is expended on one artist, as is the case with Swift, it’s a flat moment for music — pun intended.

I will concede that I don’t blame Swifties for how obsessive the music industry is. There are seemingly countless articles glorifying her tour, and rightfully so, but they are overshadowing other artists. As an outsider looking in, the way Ticketmaster handled the demand for her Eras Tour is pathetic. Hours-long online waiting rooms are a cheat, and a cruel way to give a fan slim hope of a wildly-overpriced ticket.

It’s time we shift our attention elsewhere and open our minds to the great, vast world of music beyond “Midnights,” an album that would not have gotten the rave reviews it did had Swift’s name not been on it. It’s just another pop album.

There needs to be more room made for smaller artists so that they can grow their fan bases and get the attention they deserve. Swift is not the best artist out there — no one is. It’s time we stop idolizing artists in this way.

I don’t want to end this story on a sour note, so let me recommend some tracks of the 2020s thus far that I think deserve their fair share of recognition.

“Tropic Morning News” by The National

“Plant Life” by Parquet Courts

“Goodnight Dreamer” by Dreamer Isioma

“Blue Light” by Two Door Cinema Club

“Witchoo” by Durand Jones & The Indications

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About the Contributor
Ashley Ness, Opinion Editor | she/her
Ashley is a senior from Jacksonville, Florida. She is majoring in psychology with a minor in women’s and gender studies. In her free time, she enjoys going to record stores, collecting funky socks, and playing solitaire. You can also catch her cracking puns. Ashley plans to become a mental health counselor one day.

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OPINION: The music industry needs to face the music