A Stunning 60-year Analysis Shows Which Pop Are The Most Repetitive
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Or do you, perhaps, work in an office where camaraderie is still alive and one lone music source sets the atmosphere for all?
Well, I'd like you think a little more about the music you're listening to.
Performed by programmer and former Apple employee Colin Morris, it seeks to discover whether pop lyrics have become more repetitive.
And whether certain artists have created music that is, well, so repetitive as to be quite frightening.
Morris used a compression algorithm to delve into which artists just repeat words and whole sections over and over again.
Which, to my science-free mind, surely has an effect on their brains -- especially, I imagine, when they're working.
The more repetitive the music, the more you're going to be working like a robot. That's my hypothesis, anyway, and I'll invite you to disprove it at your leisure.
Back to the big brain, though.
Morris looked at every song that entered the Billboard Hot 100 from 1958-2017 and slipped their words through his algorithm.
Then he drew conclusions. Big, dangerous, disturbing conclusions.
I'm going to start at the top. Or, rather, the bottom.
The most repetitive artist of the last 60 years, the one that's droned the same old nonsense into your head, over and over again, is Rihanna.
I know. I wouldn't have expected it either.
It seems that Rihanna is so far off the charts in terms of repetitiveness that few can hold a candle to her wind.
Morris, though, is nothing if not helpful. He divides the results into decades, so that enthusiasts can focus on their favored eras.
In the 00s, for example, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys were the biggest drones, while Avril Lavigne and Nickelback weren't far behind.
In the 90s, well, Madonna bored them all. I mean, beat them all. Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige weren't far behind, mind.
In the 80s, the worst offender was, gasp, Paul McCartney. Though he still wasn't as bad as Rihanna by any stretch.
Michael Jackson, the Cars and Donna Summer hitched a ride on the Beatle's coattails.
These are the artists most likely to leave your brain addled and at the mercy of your robot-driven employers and their systems.
Where are the saviors? What sort of music should you play if you want less repetition and more, well, creative inspiration?
Yes, really. He's one of the least repetitive in his music, even if he's the most repetitively bonkers in real life.
Miranda Lambert is even less repetitive than Kanye, as are Brad Paisley, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and, oh, ZZ Top.
There are certain trends here, ones that Morris is keen to highlight.
Pop music has, indeed, become more repetitive over time.
Rihanna, Jason Derulo, Lady Gaga and Maroon 5 have really stretched things to a horrible limit.
Morris does, though, explain that certain genres invite repetition.
As he spread out his results, he saw that Hip-Hop and Country Music congregated on the non-repetitive side of the spectrum.
What might be defined as pop and rock drift to the banal, brain-numbing end.
There you have it. Tim McGraw can save you at work from Repetitive Drone Influence.
Rihanna, though, will condemn you to Hell.