Pop 'like a scented candle', says Jarvis Cocker

If there's one thing that you can always bet on, it's old people complaining that music today isn't as good as it was in their day. Not only was it better, according to them, it was somehow morally superior; oh and by the way all this new-fangled technology is bad as well.

Unfortunately Jarvis Cocker has fallen into this trap, saying that music these days doesn't seem to matter to people as much as it once did, and that people only want it as background noise while they do something else. Wasn't it always like that, you moaning old minny?

'I used to be right into the charts,' whined Cocker to The Guardian. 'I stopped when it got too predictable. They killed it when they discovered that formula, where a single would be half price in the week that it was released, so all singles started selling loads in the first week and then dropping off. It stops that thing of a record building – the first week was always the highest – and then it wasn't interesting at all. It's a good picture of what capitalism does. They find a formula that kills off the thing they're trying to make money out of.

'To look for some kind of insight or meaning in pop songs is not really – well there's plenty of other places where you should probably look first before you start looking for it in a pop song. I guess it was just because I was really into music as a child, and I wanted it to say more. It was the thing, wasn't it? And now it isn't.

'Music's changed in that way, people still listen to it, but it's not as central, it's more like a scented candle, it sets the mood. Also, because people like to multi-task, in a way if you've got a bit of music on in the background and the lyrical content is making you want to listen to it, then that would probably put you off the texting you wanted to do. I think people like things that just make that right kind of noise, but leave your brain free to do something else.'

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