Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Pop songs have become sadder

Pop songs have become sadder

But also it noted a somber trend: while people clearly prefer happy music, there is less and less of it.

"More and more unhappy songs are being released each year", a research team from the University of California, Irvine reported in the journal Royal Society Open Science. It would seem that the general concensus is that the best course of action is, instead of getting bogged down, just forget about it and dance the sadness away. That is to say, there have been fewer male artists responsible for pop's biggest hits and, correspondingly, the "maleness" of music has decreased, according to the study.

"The use of positive emotions has declined over the years, and semantic indicators of loneliness and social isolation have increased in frequency", the paper reads, referencing song lyrics. This period has seen "successful songs [be] characterized by a large percentage of female artists compared to all songs", Komarova also said.

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Songs were considered successful if they made it into Top 100 charts, which less than 4 percent of new releases do every year.

While the mood has gotten bleaker, songs that have been more popular have been the ones attributed to being "danceable" or "party-like". Dance and pop music were the most popular genres. Some from 1985 with a high happiness index include "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen, "Would I Lie to You?" by the Eurythmics, and "Freedom" by Wham!

The researchers named some songs with a low happiness index: "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith, "Whispers" by Passenger and "Unmissable" by Gorgon City, all from 2014.

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