Madonna on today’s music: ‘Everything’s so formulaic, everyone sounds the same’

Miller Briefs on the RAISE Act

Madonna turns 60 years old TODAY. Isn’t that crazy? We’re all getting older, but I never thought that we would be sitting here, talking about Madonna turning 60 years old and… like, she’s still a relevant artist and celebrity? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that out of ageism: there are many artists who are still vital and relevant into their 80s and 90s. But it always seemed to me that Madonna was going to have a shorter shelf life as an artist, that her “always rebranding” persona would eventually phase out and she would be “over” at some point. I don’t know if Madonna still has a lot of good music to make – does she? – but I respect her position as an elder stateswoman of pop music. As it turns out, she doesn’t know what half of the kids are doing in music anymore either. Let’s consider this Madonna’s “get off my lawn!” statement – when she was profiled in Vogue Italia, she discussed the state of the music industry and why she prefers to live in Portugal now.

She doesn’t get music today: “Everything’s so formulaic, and every song has 20 guest artists on it, and everyone sounds the same.”

In Portugal, the music life is much different: “In Alfama, you’ll hear people singing and playing fado music everywhere. There are these weekly sessions called living room sessions which pop up in people’s beautiful homes that are 500 years old, and you walk up the marble steps which are lined with candles into the living room which is also dimly lit with candles. And there’s this rolling, very intimate performance happening where people play, they sing, they recite poetry. It’s like a salon; something which doesn’t really exist in many places anymore – people elsewhere say, ‘Call my manager, this is how much I charge.’ I’m pretty sure in Lisbon people would do these shows and not get paid, they just do them for the love of what they do, and for me, this is glorious and inspiring.”

[From NME]

Yeah… Madonna isn’t wrong? There’s a lot of pop music that just isn’t good, and there’s a lot of pop music that all sounds alike. Music trends do go through phases and we’re in a particularly bad phase right now. I mean, I love Beyonce as much as the next person, but Beyonce and Adele can’t save the music industry on their own (and Beyonce’s latest album is not her best work, ouch).

#JustOneDayOutOfLife on Newsstands Friday August 3rd 🌹@madonna by #mertandmarcus @mertalas @macpiggott @artpartner styled by @eyobyohannes Madonna with @dinodsantiago , @kimidjabate , Gaspar Varela, Vania, Donatelli and Tuniko Goulart at Jon Luz’s establishment Tejo Bar. It is located in the Alfama district, whose streets are enlivened by the sound of fado day and night. Read the exclusive interview with Madonna by @xerxescook in our new issue and tomorrow on 🌟 Full credits ❤️ Talents – #Madonna Dino D’Santiago Kimi Djabate Gaspar Varela Vania Donatelli Tuniko Goulart Editor in chief @efarneti Creative director @gb65 Make up @visionaaron Groomer (models) #FedericoSimao Hair @andylecompte @thewallgroup Manicure @adamslee_ @streetersldn Skincare @mdnaskin Props stylist @franciscotrepa Props @avidaportuguesa On set @ Across Media Production Local production @warsawcreatives Retouching @ Dreamer Locations @nomadportugalproduction With thanks to Turismo de Lisboa

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118 Responses to “Madonna on today’s music: ‘Everything’s so formulaic, everyone sounds the same’”

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  1. Really says:

    Beyonce is so over rated and full of herself.

    • Alissa says:

      yes! I really don’t get what all the hype is. It’s kind of annoying. That being said, Madonna hasn’t put out any good music for almost two decades, so I’m not really sure I need her opinion on pop music today. but she isn’t wrong.

      • Char says:

        @Alissa Ray of Light, Music, Confessions on a Dancefloor, Rebel Heart.

      • Alissa says:

        @Char I only agree with you on the first two, and since they came out in 1998 and 2000, respectively, my comment still stands in my opinion. It’s been almost two decades.

      • V says:

        Confessions on a Dancefloor was released 2005.

    • Udi says:

      Go and check out the Stevie Wonder Tribute, The “I was here” performance on World Humanitarian Day for the United Nations, The Ave Maria performance or check out the Glastonbury “”The Beautiful Ones” and “sex on fire” performance. She was pregnant and still slayed.
      If you don’t want the hassle then just type Beyonce “I care” or search “Beyonce head voice”. I don’t understand how you can say she is overrated when actually she is vocally underrated. I don’t understand how after 4, Beyoncé self Titled, Lemonade any one on earth can call her overrated. And if you don’t like her music then search for Beyonce’s Etta James covers for Cadillac records “All I could do was cry”, ” At Last”. That woman is the most versatile artist on the face of this earth right now. And then you will come up with “Oh! She doesn’t write her own lyrics”. Let’s ignore that she actually won an award for song writing and she gives credit to the smallest sample in her songs. She is the sole vocal producer on all of her songs. She choreographs her music and has been called the hardest working artist by people from Aretha Franklin to her backup singers. That woman can hit notes while pregnant with twins and she is overrated. She who Time has called the most important artist of this decade has never won the “Album of the Year” is overrated to you while Taylor Swift and Adele have won twice for repetitive sounds. Come back with facts if you want to lash at me.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        Agreed. My opinion of Beyoncé has gone from just a casual, “She’s pretty cool. I like some of her stuff” as a kid to, “Beyoncé is awesome!” as an adult- especially within the past 4 years or so.
        She’s definitely not overrated- especially when you compare her to the female pop stars she came up with (Britney, Pink, Christina, Jessica Simpson, etc.) She and Pink are probably one of the only ones of that group who can be described as the total package, even though I do like Christina. I like Beyoncé WAY more than Pink though.

      • hmmm says:

        I think it just becomes a matter of personal preferences. I think Beyonce is overrated to an annoying degree, and that for a lot of people it is “cool” to like Beyonce and that drives me bonkers – just like someone if you like the music! For me, personally, the melodies and structure of a lot of her songs just don’t do it for me, and aren’t beautiful to me. However, that isn’t a commentary on her vocal abilities, she’s a great vocalist. Definitely some exceptions though, like Heaven and I Was Here- love those.

      • Silent Star says:

        UDI, tell us how you really feel! 🙂

        In all seriousness, thank you for the concise roundup of Beyonce’s accomplishments. I didn’t know a lot of that, and I plan to look some of it up.

    • JAC says:

      I think she’s great, she has an amazing voice, amazing stage presence and she has a huge impact on today’s culture. What I fon’t like is the whole cult of personality around her, but that’s mostly due to her fanbase and the whole “Beyonce is Jesus” thing which is very annoying.

      Adele is lovely and has a great voice but her songwriting is very overrated. Her last album was formulaic and boring.

      • Ennie says:

        I am not a spring chicken, I like to go through the decades of good music, evwn before I was bornbut I agree that creativity is sometimes killed. People or labels overdone the formula. In my coutry they love reggaeton, so I never know who is singing because songs sound the same, I prefer hip hop ( just some issues with the lyrics justbas with reggaeton). I think in the 60s and 70s many sounded the same, too, but in the 80s and 90s you could distinguish many od the different styles and. Artista even if you didn’t speak English. Right now I play spotify and cannot distinguish many artists due to the style or production of the songs, which is similar.
        And yeah, I see Beyonce as one more artist, not the greatest, not even in a Madonna or MIchael Jackson level. Maybe her significance is lost as I am not American.

      • Adee says:

        Even Adele seems to be over today’s music scene.

        Gone are the days of soulful music…. Just this week I was listening to Amy Winehouse and thinking exactly what Madonna is now confirming.

        Glad we can re-listen to great music of the past tho

      • Mariposa says:

        I am here for your comment on Adele! I think she seems like a great person, and has an excellent voice and stage presence, but her songwriting?! Bad. It is like everything she writes is made up of chords that just keep going round and round with no real harmonic tension or progression, and her lyrics are just banal. I dont find anything poetic about them at all. I just can’t work out why everyone likes her songs so much.

    • Anna nuttall says:

      Beyonce was awesome during the Destiny Child years and i did like her first solo album – but since then i just think she over hyped and i haven’t like any of her songs.

    • theplot says:

      Couldn’t agree more. I know Beyonce works very very hard since I have friends who have worked on her productions. Still, that work isn’t translating into anything that great. She is a vulgar dancer who stomps around stage. Her singing voice has no distinctive timber. Her songs are just like everyone else’s in this day in age with different condiment mixes to tell the audience – oh this is country! oh this is rap!

      That’s how it is. And guess who was the first star to make this pattern of faux singing and faux song writing popular? Yep, Madonna herself. She shouldn’t be bitching about the music of anyone else for being shallow, inexpressive and repetitive.

      • Mumbles says:

        Madonna has a core group of three or four collaborators that go back with her 30+ years and they together wrote all her big hits and continue to work today. Compare that to the credits for today’s stars like Beyonce or Swift – there’s usually a list of ten or twelve people, including the singer (who probably got the credit via the “change the word, get a third” rule of pop music.) The Swedish songwriting machine has also taken over pop music as well.

        And when she was starting out, Madonna did not alter or autotune her voice. You can hear its weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and they’re charming. And back in the day when albums were important, you can listen to hers and tell all the songs apart.

        Madonna came to NYC as a teenager, lived in flophouses and abandoned buildings, played in Rock bands, did it by herself. She must look at these prefab pop stars (who in the case of Swift and Beyonce, got a lot of help from pushy parents) and roll her eyes, and she’s entitled to do so.

      • Alissa says:

        @Mumbles not to be a Swift stan, but there is definitely NOT usually a list of ten or twelve people credited on her songs. And several of her songs are credited to only her. She also has written several well-received pop songs for other artists, and can play guitar and piano well.

        I don’t think she’s the most amazing singer or that her songs are always super amazing, but she is talented. And yes, she got a lot of help from her parents.

      • Udi says:

        Vulgar is an ambiguous term. She had a squeaky clean image until self Titled when she went quite sexual and that is simply one aspect of her life that translates into her art. Beyoncé’s unapologetic sexuality is often weaponised against her and is used to categorise her as not a good role model or something alike. I see a woman who is independent, powerful, extremely talented , a mother, a wife and a sexual being. She is a good role model because she is multifaceted. She can not be limited into a narrow box labelled vulgar because she is composite human being with everything in healthy proportions. And she doesn’t “stomp”. She dances and does so very well.

      • Veronica S. says:

        I have…very mixed feelings about putting Beyonce into the “privileged” category because of her ethnicity. Yes, she was fortunate to come from a middle to upper middle class family and had access to educational resources that many don’t, but nobody bought her record deal the way Swift’s parents did. The vast majority of black families in America are not at that level of socioeconomic power yet. She had money that Madonna didn’t have, sure, but then Madonna had white privilege that Beyonce didn’t have.

        Setting them against each other feels…I dunno, disadvantageous to the idea of women’s success as a whole? They both had to fight to get where they were facing different obstacles. Swift is the most privileged out of the bunch, but even her success has lasted longer than we expected – and I can’t argue that it’s likely due to some of her own songwriting talent.

      • Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

        And while Bey came from a middle to upper class family, they did sacrifice a lot and struggle for years because her parents believed in her talent. They went from a nice home to something smaller. Changes that they made and then worked harder to turn around.

    • kim says:

      I think she wants to be taken seriously as an Artist, but she’s just a female vocalist. She has a great artistic team to come up witin great ideas for her…well the ones they didn’t rip off.

      • eto says:

        but let me guess, you consider TSwift an artist? because we all know she’s not a strong vocalist

    • eto says:

      Man y’all really hate Beyonce, huh? So many people on this site were confused about why people loved her Coachella performance and the references and homages meant so much – if you don’t get it what she represents to some people, fine. But why keep going after her?

      • Anika says:

        eto: No one is “going after” Beyoncé; she is simply–like any singer–not universally loved. And people are allowed and encouraged, esp. on gossip sites, to express their widely differing opinions about different pop stars. I don’t like Beyoncé’s music, and neither do I like Swift’s, for example. And I’m 100% fine if you don’t like the music/ musicians *I* like. See how that works? Everybody gets to express themselves; that isn’t “attacking”: it’s people sharing different views, in a place where free speech is condoned.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        There’s a thirst to Beyoncé’s haters that goes beyond casual disinterest- usually they try to make it a character flaw on her part.

    • Ronaldinhio says:

      I don’t agree with full of herself – it feels wrong
      I like how full of herself she is, I could happily see her up that
      I’m bored to death by her Carmen Miranda shots
      Blathering on about JayZ who must have a charm over her. There are weird dynamics in that.
      I think her music is dull. I am honestly bored by it.
      I love how she puts on a show but I wish her musical output had higher quality

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      I really hate this kind of ignorant comment. Just because YOU don’t like her or her music doesn’t mean she’s overrated. Overexposed with her personal life? Yes. That I can see. But she’s not overrated. The woman works hard, she sings, she dances, she’s an activist, she put out two amazing albums in the past 5 years, she’s still in top form after 20 years in the biz, she puts on an incredible live show, etc. How is any of that overrated? I’d really like to know.

  2. Dtab says:

    On her last Album (Rebel Heart) there were some amazing tracks, much better than what is on the charts now. She still has a massive following (including me) and her concerts sell amazingly well.

  3. Seraphina says:

    Ha! She is showing her age by that statement. Albeit, it may be true but I’m sure our parents said the same about our music.

    • Nancy says:

      Exactly. She had to walk five miles in the snow to get to school! Poor Madge, it has to be killing her to be amongst the seniors. Oh well, die young, or you’re lucky enough to grow old I guess. Happy Birthday Material Girl?!

    • SM says:

      Yes! Exactly! Also I would like her to specify, what is she listening to, because there are a lot of artists and bands outside pop scene that do amazing music.

      • Seraphina says:

        Correct, plenty of music that isn’t cookie cutter. Cookie cutter music has always been there ans always will. Some would dare say her music wasn’t that original anayway. More made to shock: Papa Don’t Preach, Like a Virgin, the Pepsi one. All made to shock. So Madge needs to keep it to herself.

    • Dee says:

      yep …and please, Madge. You spent the first 20 years of your career saying “call my manager. this is how much I get paid”. And you were proud of it. And as a young’un I was proud of your brazen nature.
      However, her observation is like comparing apples and oranges.
      It’s a beautiful tradition you are observing…but it has nothing to do with the music business, aka the machine that spawned you.
      And we all know how you got signed aaaand it’s chilling the lengths you went to do it.
      K thx byyyyyye

  4. horseandhound says:

    she is right about music today. also, she is so special. she has her flaws, but that woman was magic. her character, charisma, ambition, vision…she’s obviously not as talented a singer as celine or whitney, but her voice is very interesting and mystical in a way. most of her songs had deep and meaningful lyrics. every album was new and fresh visually, melodically. and even when she was sexualizing herself, she was delivering an important message. it made people more free, more in touch with their desires, needs, more aware of female sexuality and the fact that women also are complex beings , with their romantic side, but also a wild, raw, sexual instincts. I know she has a biiiig ego and all, but she’s done a lot for our culture. I think her impact on the society was great.

    • Eleonor says:

      I think we can’t deny she paved the way for most of the pop female artists out there today. I remember all the crap she had to put up with Express yourself, Like a prayer and the album Erotica.
      She deserves respect for this.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      She always could sing but never had the proper training, which she got for the role in Evita. Her impact on music, esp for female artists can never be denied.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      “She has her flaws, but that woman was magic. her character, charisma, ambition, vision… and even when she was sexualizing herself, she was delivering an important message. it made people more free, more in touch with their desires, needs, more aware of female sexuality and the fact that women also are complex beings , with their romantic side, but also a wild, raw, sexual instincts. I know she has a biiiig ego and all, but she’s done a lot for our culture. I think her impact on the society was great. ” <All of this right here! Madonna can be grating/ problematic at times (when you've been in the public eye as long as she has, you're bound to fuck up in some areas) but I definitely have respect for her for the reasons you mentioned.

    • Natalia says:

      I think she’s right. And agreed with Horseandhound, Mumbles, Plot and others. She was magic. Yes, I suppose you had to be there. I dont like her recent dark side though.

      Remember when it became all about “units?” Ugh.

  5. Jegede says:

    Happy Birthday Madonna.

    Of the holy trinity – RIP Michael, Prince – you’re the last one standing.

    ‘You’ll See’ remains my jam.

    • Alix says:

      As if she’s in Prince’s league!

      • Ama says:

        Madonna is pure entertainment and I don’t think she ever had any other intentions to play in the funk league.
        Holy trinity – I like that reference, Jegede! – refers to those three big artists, all born 1958, I guess.
        Surviving, as a woman, in this tough industry – all respect to her!

        BTW, am I the only one who likes all three of the “holy trinity”?

      • Jegede says:

        Yes. All three had their own strengths.

        And quelle horreur (!!), all were able to co-exist and dominate the music sphere in for a solid decade in America, Europe, Asia and Nigeria!

        My sentiment stands.

        @Ama –
        Yup, I appreciate all three.
        And yup, that is possible to do.

        They take me back to a time.

        I don’t have all their albums but their specific outputs of each that’s always on play.

      • smcollins says:

        @ama Nope, you’re not! 😁

      • Veronica S. says:

        In terms of talent, maybe not, but as far as cultural influence goes, yeah, I’d say they were at a similar level. They definitely defined an era.

    • Nev says:

      Yes!!! All born in the same summer. Amazing.

      A real artist to me.
      Happy Birthday Queen.

    • Carnivalbaby says:

      For me George Michael is part of this list as well. People can say what they want about Madonna, she paved the way for all those “I’m wearing my bathing suit on stage” singers today. Madonna, Janet, Ms Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Whitney Houston are some of the females on my greatest list. Before Beyonce I would put Janelle Monet, Sinead O’Connor, Mary J Blige and Dolores O’Riordan.anyday. And after watching Nicki Minaj on Stephen Colbert yesterday I am enjoying my Enya all over again.

      God I just heard Aretha passed. Feeling like the earth stopped yes. May she RIP

  6. Rescue Cat says:

    I doubt there will ever be another band as universally loved as the Beatles were at their peak. Society seems too fragmented these days for that to happen. I agree with Madonna about today’s pop music. But I’d go a step further and say it’s bad. I’ve even thought about wearing noise blocking earmuffs just to block the crap they blast at the gym because it’s so painfully banal.

  7. Loopy says:

    I honestly haven’t bought a Madonna album since Ray of Light.

  8. Brunswickstoval says:

    I also agree with her comment that every song has 20 guest artists on it. Finally someone has said this (at least that I know of). I know I’m showing my age but I just don’t get it.

    • Morning Coffee says:

      I don’t get that either. It used to make a song “special” but now it is “special” when just the artist sings. As for everyone sounding alike, she’s right about that as well. My 16 year old even says that. He pointed that out to me 2-3 years ago when they remade Do They Know It’s Christmas. I made him listen to the original version, and he commented – unprompted – that it was weird because you could tell who was singing on the original but couldn’t on the new one. LOL!

    • eto says:

      I think they do that for cross promotion? Or maybe to spread costs idk, but it’s really an epidemic

    • Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

      Like every DJ Khaled song. 🙄

  9. S says:

    In other words…Madonna is old and these kids better turn down that crap and get off her lawn.

  10. Really says:

    Madonna isn’t as relevant today as she once was, but she has made her mark on pop culture with her music back in the day.

  11. Kaz says:

    Madonna hasn’t made good music sInce I was a teenager. She has to be the most overrated music legend ever. Her singing voice has always been weak by the way.

    • Naomi11 says:


    • Lucy2 says:

      I never think of her as a great vocalist, but she does well enough to be very entertaining.

      She’s lasted a lot longer in this business than I ever thought she would, even if she hasn’t exactly done at gracefully at times.
      But there was formulaic and generic stuff back in her heyday too, and there’s a lot of good stuff now. Maybe she just needs to listen to something besides pop?

  12. Naomi11 says:

    Oh Madonna. Think it’s time you permanently retired. Just please go away.

    • horseandhound says:

      why would she go away? she has the right to do what she loves. even if nobody buys her record or goes to her concerts. I thing the disney stars mostly suck and I won’t tell them to go away.

      • Nancy says:

        Disney Stars do suck, well at least for anyone over a certain age. Someone above mentioned she wasn’t that talented and I agree. But she came at a time when there was nobody else like her. I guess girls back then dressed like her and wore their hair curly like hers. She was thicker than most girls of her era and was applauded for that…..I guess long before she started working out, etc. I did watch Truth or Dare years ago and she was a bitch for real and thought she was it. Wasn’t she married to Sean Penn? She will be remembered in history as revolutionary, which in her youth, she was. HB

  13. Chocolate Princess says:

    I am so sorry to say to the pop music artist and their crazy Stans out there but I will call it a spade a spade. Beyonce, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Adele, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and Drake are so OVERRATED. This is why music today sucks because the songs don’t speak to people’s hearts anymore than it was before. The music industry is all about who gets the most Twitter or Instagram followers, instead if the music is good or not. I heard that record company pay radio stations to play their artist songs on the repeat… However, the really good music are left in the back burner while crap music plays incessantly. I agree with Madonna at least, this music today is terrible.

    • Beth says:

      You are so correct. I love music that has meaning, and it seems like they’ve run out of things to write about. I agree your list of pop stars are so very overrated and so many fans care more about the singers Tweets, Instagram and fashion than they do about the artists music. I stick to bands from the 70’s -90’s, back when music was good

  14. Iskra says:

    I’m only in my early 30’s, and I agree with Madonna entirely. Today’s “pop music” with 20 “artists” featuring on one song is just too much. The music all sounds the same. And especially on popular radio channels here in the UK, they’re forever playing the same 20 songs… And my friends really wonder why “I’m stuck in the 80’s” when it comes to music. At least in that era, there was VARIETY! Unlike the same four notes being played for 5 minutes, that is today’s music.

  15. Melania says:

    I’m not a super fan of Madonna but I must say that she’s an icon. Almost every artist for better or for worse was inspired by her. She has changed and made the history of pop music.

  16. jwoolman says:

    It’s probably more that it’s so easy to put out singles and albums today compared with earlier times. Plus digital enhancement can make anybody sound acceptable, and the magic microphone gets them through live concerts thanks to the engineers.

    So things get out there much faster and there is little need to have real singing talent. Disney and Nickelodeon push their kid actors into music videos and tours regardless of how weak their true voices are and how little they understand of the lyrics — that just didn’t happen routinely when Madonna and I were young (well, except for the Mickey Mouse Club, but those kids were chosen for singing and dancing skills).

    Since the overwhelming majority of anything is crap, we’re just seeing a lot more crap because there is a lot more music available for cheap and people can carry it in their pocket. So they expect to have music on demand everywhere. We endured elevator music, but had more silence available in our youth than today.

    The ease of self-publishing does the same for books, I assume.

    Anyway, Madonna is describing rich people activities. She may not realize that because she’s been rich for so long. Good grief, she moved there to put her kid in a special soccer school…. Not too many non-rich people can switch countries for that!

    She also is hearing a different kind of music and more of it live, so it strikes her as especially new and interesting. She would have to dig deeper and wider to get the same feeling in her home country.

  17. Stef says:

    I agree that Beyonce is highly overrated and most popular music today sounds the same.

    While I’m not a super fan of Madonna, I appreciate all her music and the road she’s paved for other artists, especially in her “Like a Prayer” and “erotica” phases.

    Would love to hear some new good pop music from her!

  18. Aang says:

    The Irish music scene around the world is similar to what she describes. We go to sessions as a family and people sing, dance, play music, and recite poems. And no one cares if you aren’t Irish. If you have a talent in an Irish art they respect it.

  19. Persistent says:

    I agree about popular music, guest artists, etc. I also find both Beyonce and Adele extremely overrated. ESP Adele. She has such obvious vocal nodules it makes my throat hurt to hear her sing.

    I am walking out backwards now as I know I’m probably about to get brutally murdered with angry words lol.

    • Sandra says:

      I’m intrigued by your vocal nodules comment – how can you tell? Can you give me a line to listen to so I can listen for it? Thanks 🙂

  20. Chingona says:

    I think that music that is played on the radio is boring and repetitive, but there is a ton of great new music still being made. Most adults are not into discovering new music but stick to the music that was popular when they were younger, but there are so many new artist who are able to reach so many people across the world with technology and have huge fan bases they just aren’t played on the radio 5 times an hour because they don’t have record deals.

  21. Veronica S. says:

    Pop music has certainly gotten more formulaic – but that’s partly a result of the technological shift. Companies can no longer rely on album sales when people can just download one or two hit singles, or they can just pay for a streaming service like Spotify or Apple music. Outside of pop, there’s still plenty of talent, but the gears that make the industry turn have to sustain themselves somehow, and since they haven’t figured out a way to make up that revenue loss, they’re going to go with what sells.

    I like Madge. I used to own a lot of her old records, and I have a few downloaded on my iPod. She’s very business and celebrity savvy. Her newer music isn’t particularly wonderful (though I did love the ballad off of Rebel Heart), so I’ll be interested if she starts moving behind the scenes more in the music industry.

  22. Marty says:

    People never pass up a chance to call Beyoncé overrated, even on a Madonna post. That being said, she’s not necessarily wrong about pop music, although I think that also has to do with the changing guidelines of what is considered “mainstream”.

    • Aang says:

      My dad won Beyonce tickets for a upcoming show. Neither of my teens or their friends wanted them. He ended up giving them to a lady at work. I think she’s just followed by older fans now. Not really relevant to teens.

      • Miss Grace Jones says:

        Beyoncè not being relevant to teens? That must be a joke, unless you live in all white neighborhood or don’t hang around any black children or teens.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Restricting her fanbase to blacks alone is pretty myopic, honestly. She’s fairly mainstream at this point, even if the music tends to stay on the R&B/rap channels. The Formation tour sold out nearly all of its shows – something like 41 out of 49 of them? And that was less than two years ago, AND it was intercontinental. Clearly, it isn’t just Americans who are fond of her.

    • SlightlyAnonny says:

      My eyes nearly rolled out of my head that the first comment on a Madge article was about Beyonce. Madge would be insulted.

      • Miss Grace Jones says:

        These people are just as obsessed with Bey as the stans they hate. On this one I’m more annoyed they’re hurling the “overrated” jab in defense of a woman who can’t even sing, and who most people would consider a weak vocalist, even if they’re mega fans. They rush into every single post to get validation from other people for “not getting ” what’s so great about Beyoncè, like it’s a new topic and complain about somehow not getting her music which has been increasingly problack and not catered to the default white ear, which tbh is really what gets under a lot of their skin whether they admit it or not.

        You don’t have to be a fan of Beyoncè, but to pull out your hair and whine about not getting her on every post or how she’s overrated just screams that they clearly have skimmed through her music. There’s no way you can say she’s overrated in terms of vocal ability unless you brush past all her acapella work, her live performances when she’s doing a ballad. You can not like her dancing for whatever reason, say it’s stale or whatever but keep in mind she’s dancing and *singing* simultaneously which people of Madge’s vocal range can only do one of at a time.

        And to deny the visual concept and production and overall cultural impact of Self Titled or Lemonade? Maybe Self Titled isn’t your cup of tea, but minimizing Lemonade or pretending that Beyoncè is just a puppet with no creative input or appreciation of the work that’s produced with her collaborators is very very transparent and coded, never mind that you “not getting it” is more of a cultural thing.
        Ditto with the Beychella performance.
        But yeah, point all this out and the same tired jab to throw is that you’re a crazy Yoncè stan.

    • Anika says:

      Since Madonna was criticizing “today’s music,” it’s not odd or irrelevant whatsoever that Beyoncé is commented upon on here, since she IS a very popular current singer. So, it isn’t incongruous to this particular story that some people are bringing up Beyoncé. And, as we are ALL free to voice our opinions here, sure, some people are going to mention that they find her overrated. I think she is, too. So are Adele and Taylor Swift–in my opinion. ( And Madonna even in her heyday. ) I just don’t care for their types of music. For you to decide that *everyone* who does not care for Beyoncé’s music is actually a racist–that racism is the REAL reason that any white people don’t like her—is such an enormous, sweeping generalization that it’s utterly absurd. You are not omniscient, there is no way you can “know” such a thing about what’s in an entire group of other people’s minds. It’s a truly offensive, inaccurate, ignorant comment and presumption.

      • otaku fairy... says:

        But nobody actually said that anyone who just doesn’t care for Beyoncé’s music is automatically a racist. There’s not caring for someone’s work, and then there’s the way many women and conservative men need to actively, loudly, repetitively perform disdain for Beyoncé that’s often rooted in racism and misogyny. A lot of times there’s a general hatred for the rich/famous mixed in there too, but that card sometimes selectively gets used as a shield.

  23. Lala11_7 says:

    I’ll be 51 this year…and music is my joy…and I make sure to always stay plugged in to what’s current and I to make sure to never dismiss what younger people are listening too…

    I remember older people doing that to the music I loved when I was younger…and I hated it and vowed NEVER to become like that…

    So far…so good…

    • Elisa says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I make an effort in listening to music my nephews and nieces like and some of the new stuff is amazing.
      Right now my niece is hooked on Nevermind by Dennis Lloyd and i find that so funny because Nevermind will always be Nirvana for me. Anyways, there is great music out there today – right off the beaten track.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Our brains generally tend to get less adventuresome with the aging process and seek out new stimuli less often, and music is just one of the things that falls victim to it. I try to avoid that, myself, especially given that our tech age means having to keep yourself sharp and constantly updated. You can offset the effects by doing what you’re describing here – seeking out and learning new things.

    • Claudia says:

      I try to do the same. My kids keep me up to date. And there’s good music out there- lots of it.

  24. Green Is Good says:

    She’s not wrong about that. Now get off my lawn!

  25. Sleeping Beauty says:

    I love Madonna and agree with her assessment of pop music, but I’d disagree with her about a place like where she’s living being the only place where you can experience salons like she describes. I live in Maryland and have been to more than one house performance like that – it’s at someone’s house, people are invited, a hat is passed for the fantastic musicians performing for those gathered that evening. This is not some kids in a garage, it’s veteran artists performing for the love of performing, and while there are no marble steps, the feeling of community bringing people together for beautiful music in someone’s home is the same as she describes. I’m sure this exists in many places but by design it’s not something you hear about.

    • Veronica S. says:

      You can find it any decent sized urban area, honestly. You just have to have the connections and resources to find. My city’s on the smaller scale, but we have a thriving artistic community here thanks to the presence of some major liberal arts colleges.

      Although, she’s also skimming over the generational differences – Millenials and younger grew up with the Internet. We don’t have to be in the same room to explore new music together. You can upload it on Youtube or other websites to share with a much larger community.

  26. Other Renee says:

    I listened to current pop music until a few years ago when I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I agree 100% with her assessment of today’s music. It’s boring. It’s formulaic. It’s over-produced. 20 guest artists on every song. Lyrics are the same and stupid. and don’t seem to matter anyway. I think Beyoncé has a great voice but her music bores me too. The hero worship culture around her mystifies me. She named her child Sir. How pretentious. She and her husband have made bank off of his repeated cheating. Now when I’m driving I listen to books on Cds I borrow from the library. I’m much happier.

    • Alissa says:

      I listen to podcasts or my own personal music library, most of the time.

      My issue isn’t so much the 20 guest artists as it is that enunciation seems like a lost art. Ariana Grande has a beauuuutiful voice and can really sing, but you can barely understand what she’s saying because she doesn’t enunciate. Same with Sia. And don’t get me started on the mumblerap fad of trap music. It’s enjoyable to listen to in a “I know this song is crap but I don’t mind” way, but I always was more a lyrics than a music person so it’s a shame to me that I have no idea what people are saying.

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here – audiobooks (yay!), podcasts, and my own collection. I do buy a decent amount of new music, but it’s usually someone I find somewhere, not radio pop. But I do still love Pink and Kelly Clarkson.

  27. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I don’t know. Music has always been my everything…from life’s soundtrack to inspiration to well…my go-to for all emotions and all situations, and that ‘everything sounds the same’ notion can be applicable in any decade and for every generation. I bet most of you could this very second pick a decade and throw plenty of similar sounds in a pot, and proclaim it lacks flavor. If you’re listening to but one genre, that’s obviously going to shorten some lists. Like I love some of One Republic’s music, and he seems very talented and musically innovative in interviews. I can’t stand Jared Leto, but his band is pretty good. And Tool? I know it’s not pop but damn. Maynard’s a genius. Okay okay pop…sure it’s thinned some, but I don’t think the entire pool has been explored. I could never have enough of Florence and the Machine! And London Grammar? Wonder what Madge thinks of her? Imagine Dragons aren’t bad. Panic at the Disco, Bastille, The Killers, The Lumineers, Cage the Elephant, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, etc. And those don’t sound the same to my ears. I actually miss listening to Train, where are they? I think they’re classified as rock, but….no. There’s just too many to name. My lists are very long.

    It’s my opinion that whenever anyone stereotypes and generalizes, thus marginalizing said topic, they do so to prop themselves above the ‘fray.’ Hey that’s a good band name! Above the Fray. Anyway, it’s a insecurity tactic we all do in order to shut down the discussion, but for irritants like me, I like to challenge lol. Madonna rightly deserves her place, and she’s trying very hard to stay relevant and has for some time now so I’ll give her her right to an overall and unilateral pop beef. But it’s just not true in my world of music. It’s like tv. So very many awesome escapes.

    • Other Renee says:

      Mabs, I had a live version of the album “Songs About Jane” by Maroon 5 that I loved. It seemed so fresh and new. Then they went all commercial and predictable and I lost interest.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Yeah, unfortunately too many fall into the sellout trap, but I get it. Stay true, most return to their roots when the glitter fades and balloons wilt.

  28. Joy says:

    Y’all are getting old. Every generation demeans the next generation’s music. Old timers must have had the same sentiments on MJ Prince and Mdaonna’s music. I remember a scene in the movie Ray, when someone criticized him for pimping church music.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      ITA. The more things change the more they stay the same. What’s old is new; what’s new is old. All that.

    • Veronica S. says:

      There’s something to be said about how streaming services are forcing the hand of large music corporations to put profit over daring, but realistically, you can find good music anywhere. If anything, our generation has more access to new and different sounds than anything that came before us because of technology. Music is a global experience now.

  29. bacondonut says:

    I am a great beyonce fan, DC and her solo wok included. However by the time Lemonade hit the airwaves I began to wonder if my musical ear was dying. Beyonce seems to have become more of an abstract art musician, like if Picasso was setting art to music. You sort of get it, you know it’s kinda good but at the same time it just flies over your head. i sort of got lost at Ape$hit with her work, i wonder how to bop along to it.

    Still, she’s much better than people like Ariana, Selena and Justin.

  30. SlightlyAnonny says:

    She’s not wrong and her constant reinventions ensured that we always got something new yet somehow familiar. More artists should do that. I think Rihanna does, Beyonce, Janelle Monae… Adele does not and I think her last album suffered for it (it was not good and Hello is actually a terrible song). Taylor Swift tried but she wouldn’t commit to it, Madonna always committed to it (Ray of Light is my favorite era). Selena Gomez kinda does? At least from the few songs I know or it could just be her changing stable of ghost singers (compare the vocal on some of her later stuff to Julia Michaels). Some artists don’t have to, I’m thinking about groups like Florence + the Machines. I don’t want her to sound different but even she stretches her wings.

  31. Laura says:

    Over the years I have found Madonna’s aggressive, overly-sexual, and arrogance rather off-putting. I prefered Michael Jackson’s gentler, quiet, humble persona (during the “Thriller”-era, before he lost his mind.) I generally prefer artists such as John Denver, Gordon Lightfoot, Bryan Adams, and Annie Lennox – they’re all talented but not really in your face with loud personas.

    That being said, I have immense respect for Madonna as a mother, and have enjoyed a few of her tunes such as “Joan of Arc”, “Live to Tell”, “Like a Prayer” and “Cherish”.

    I hope she has a very happy 6oth birthday ❤

    • Valerie says:

      Same, but I love Live to Tell, too! I think she needed to be aggressive when she was young, and I respect how she built herself up. I couldn’t have done what she did, going to New York by herself with almost no money and no connections. But her tenacity became arrogance when she made it, and that was what turned me off of her. She had the opportunity to be a gracious and graceful artist and mentor, but she was spoiled by her success.

  32. holly hobby says:

    Madonna is right. If you listen to music from the 60s 70s 80s and even 90s you can pretty much now who was singing the song without the dj telling you. Now they all sound alike (Camella Cabello? Ariana Grande – same breathless baby voices. Ugh please where is the range). Don’t get me started on the Snakey Swift monotone and mindless lyrics.

    Songs from the other decades stand the test of time. Check back with me 30 years from now to see if this crop of songs will hold up. Same beats same sound. No thank you.

  33. Jaded says:

    Then Madonna should broaden her musical horizons before she makes over-arching comments like that. There is a wealth of talent out there that doesn’t make it to the charts – singers like Sarah Jarosz, Chris Thile and Nickel Creek, groups like Skinny Puppy, I’m With Her, Fleet Foxes, I could go on and on. Pop isn’t everything.

  34. Mika says:

    Of course there’s always gonna be people who sound similar and make similar-sounding music..but to say that everyone sounds the same, it makes me think that she just listens to a certain radio channel for a few minutes and turned it off in disgust. 😂

  35. Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

    I don’t see any lies from Madonna here.

    And Bey makes music for herself and her fans, not anyone else or the top 40 charts. It’s not about airplay or statistics; it’s about artistic expression and creative license. She resonates more as an icon to the younger demographic in African-American and also other minority communities…and some women in general. But, I will admit it’s not limited to just these groups. 🙂

    • liriel says:

      I don’t want to diss Bey but she’s a product and wants to be commercial and worshipped. Huge ego. Frankly it’s a bit offensive to the niche non-compromising artists to suggest Beyond doesn’t care about the chars, popularity and reputation.

      • Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

        Hi @liriel, I agree that she is a brand and an entertainment entity/product (and also much more). However, she’s grinded and paid her dues to attain freedom and exercise her own creativity at this point in her career than initially. I should have said that since the last 2 solo albums, she has made music more for herself and her fans, not the discography before. Just like Everything is Love by The Carters. However, her previous albums like Dangerously in Love and others, you can tell it was more radio friendly. And to your point of niche and non-compromising artists, she’s managing Chloe x Halle and seems to aim to maintain their authentic spirits, creativity, and style without compromising a lot to chase success.

  36. Tracy says:

    I like Beyoncé. She’s one of the hardest working entertainers of her generation. She has a great team around her. I remember when Madonna and cindi lauper came out. Lauper was winning the awards. Seen Madonna numerous times in concert. She’s one of the best. The musical arrangements dancing differ each tour. Blonde ambition tour is my favorite tour.

  37. Anastasia says:

    I thought she was turning 65.

  38. Valerie says:

    She’s right, but she has also profited from this formula for a long time.

  39. Nicole says:

    The thing is Madonna could shock and awe the world/press back in her hay day. I remember being very young and at one point wanted to emulate her whole “boy toy” look. I got over it pretty quickly though. She thrived on controversy. Nightline news dedicated a whole episode to her controverisal videos (I think it was Erotic and Ted Koppel was having to break it down) and themes. Now it’s less about trying to make grandmoms clutch their pearls and gasp. Therefore she insults the music now. I will say I love the 80’s! Every bit of the music mostly, so if she’s saying it sounds all the same now as opposed to 1980-1989 then yah I guess I agree. With the exception of certain artists. But Madonna is just trying to IMO not so gracefully transition into being an elder statesmen.

  40. Rescue Cat says:

    Another thing I hate about today’s music are the music videos. It’s all sportscars and designer clothes mixed with semi-clad insta models parying poolside at a mansion or some such shit. Being labeled a sellout used to be a great source of shame but popstars these days have completely capitulated to the worship of money. They’re so tacky.

  41. Tashiro says:

    I do agree that to many songs have guest artist. I’m tired of this trend of putting a rap in almost every bleeding song. Most of the time the rap sounds like crap and doesn’t go with the song. As for Beyoncé she can sing but I find that a lot of her music sounds the same. She works hard but most artist work hard for whatever success they have. My issue with her though is taking song writing credit for songs she hardly had any input in or flat out didn’t write. I think she’s very obsessed with being known as a singer/songwriter.

  42. Nicegirl says:

    Madonna is our Lucky ⭐️ Star. Come correct

  43. Marianne says:

    “Everything’s so formulaic, and every song has 20 guest artists on it, and everyone sounds the same.”

    I feel like you could say that about a lot of music/genres from both the past and present though. I mean AC/DC’s music all sounds their choruses seem to just be the title repeated over and over and yet that was music from back in her “hey day”. And there is a lot of “fluff” songs from the 60s as well. I mean I love the Beatles and I enjoy “I want to hold your hand” but you cant argue that song is incredibly deep or anything.

  44. Yes Doubtful says:

    She’s right. Most of the songs have the same beat. Trap music is fun, but there needs to be more variety. I also find it crazy how there’s 8-10 writers on most songs nowadays. I miss instruments….bands…unique singers…personal lyrics… But I’m a 90’s kid so that’s what I know. Madonna gets a lot of hate, but she has put out some good work. Rebel Heart, Confessions, Ray of Light, etc. She’s an icon.