The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Nostalgialistic: Musical Nostalgia

Music is changing, not getting worse
Photo by Marisa Valdez

Music has always been and will always be good. 

Now, depending on what kind of person you are, that statement may be controversial. 

It is hard for many people to agree on when, throughout the decades, music was at its best. These conversations are heavily opinionated and nostalgia-driven.

Of course, music sounded better when you were 17. You were 17.  

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However, I don’t think you can really go wrong in this debate. Music whether released yesterday or in 1960, has always had artistry at the core. I think there is something unique about each decade’s musical style. 

For example, in the 1950s and ‘60s, rock music was seen as provocative and sinful by the Christian conservative majority. This gives the music an air of danger and a sense of rebellion. It makes me appreciate listening to bands like The Beatles or The Doors that much more. 

Music is a reflection of the culture. Listening to older music can be an interesting gateway into a time you didn’t experience. The psychedelic stylings of The 13th Floor Elevators make me reminisce on the hippie movement, something I wasn’t even alive for.  

The way that this music is able to create a sense of generational nostalgia within me shows the heart and soul artists put into their music. 

One generation I have always felt called to is the 1980s. All politics aside, I see myself fitting right in with the big hair and neon colors that adorned this decade. The music from this generation is not exempt from my wistful listening.

From the pop icon that is Madonna to the notable riffs of Sting in The Police, I love it all.  

The ‘80s symbolized change and advancement in technology. Artist dipping their toes into a more electronic production really scratches an itch in my brain. 

I am an unapologetic synthesizer superfan. 

The next 40 years of music are just as delectable. With an undeniable R&B renaissance in the 1990s, an explosion of club-pop and electronic music in the early 2000s, the pop ballads of the 2010s and the ever-diversifying industry of the 2020s. 

I think it is unfair to say that all music is past its prime. The golden age isn’t over. Artists are experimenting with new sounds and production styles to create new unique journeys for the listener. 

Beyond that, smaller artists are more accessible now than they ever have been with social media platforms that can give them a kickstart in their careers. Supporting smaller artists gives you the opportunity to connect with them and their music before concert tickets are $400 (cough, cough, Taylor Swift). 

I also really appreciate discovery playlists on streaming platforms helping the average person  connect with new artists   

Music is changing, not getting worse. Artists are pulling inspiration from their predecessors and building upon it. 

In my opinion, the best thing you can do for yourself and your music enjoyment is to build a playlist that incorporates music from as many decades as possible and give it a shuffle. 

Freeman can be reached at [email protected].  

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About the Contributors
Ella Freeman
Ella Freeman, Freelance Writer
Ella Freeman is a second-year journalism student. This is her second semester on The Spectator staff. When she is not attending class or studying Ella can be found in your local thrift store, pretending to be mysterious in a coffee shop, on the nearest hiking trail, forcing her roommate to watch Marvel movies or screaming Taylor Swift songs at the top of her lungs.
Marisa Valdez
Marisa Valdez, Graphic Designer
Marisa Valdez is a second-year graphic design and multimedia communication student. This is her first semester on the Spectator team. She is active in the University Honors Program and UWEC InterVarsity. Additionally, she is employed at UW-Eau Claire's Learning Technology Services (LTS) as well as Printing Services. When she's not engaged in academic-related activities, she loves to crochet, watch movies, talk with close friends, hammock, hike, practice yoga, dance or read!

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