Why they don’t make music like they used to

Published: 14 February 2018

“It’s just noise”, says man who’s favourite music used to also be described as “just noise” by another old person.

Kids these days don’t know what good music is.

“It’s just noise”, says man who’s favourite music used to also be described as “just noise” by another old person.
Image Source: Katja Ogrin / AAP Wire

Why don’t we like new music? Why do we think that all kids listen to these days is just a bunch of noise? All beeps and boops and nonsense words. The New York Times released a study examining why it is that we think that the best music comes from when we were teenagers.

The reason we don’t like the pumping tracks that all the youngsters are listening to is the same reason why our parents didn’t like the pumping tracks we used to listen to, it’s because our brains form the basis of our musical tastes during very specific formative years of our lives.

For women their musical tastes are formed between the ages of 11 and 14, while for men the average age where their taste came from between the ages of 13 and 16. There’s a second bump later in life when people hit their early 20s – presumably right around the time people move out of home and “finally get it, man”.

The study was conducted by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz who used the example of Radiohead’s Creep – “This is the 164th most popular song among men who are now 38 years old. But it is not in the top 300 for the cohort born 10 years earlier or 10 years later. Note that the men who most like ‘Creep’ now were roughly 14 when the song came out in 1993.”

If you’re thinking ‘that’s not me, I’m in my thirties and still listen to new music’ we get it, you’re still cool. All of the young people are very happy to see you when you roll into a gig wearing a Dune Rats shirt. They definitely don’t think you’re somebody’s dad there to pick up their kid.