From chirpy to moody: How pop music got the blues


This is what researchers at the University of California at Irvine did when they looked at 500,000 songs released in the United Kingdom between 1985 and 2015 and then categorized them by mood.

We're all privy to some mopey melodies, but a new study has confirmed that over the past three decades, trends in pop music favour sadder songs.

Yet "successful songs are happier, brighter, more party-like, more danceable and less sad than most songs", it continues.

Songs with a low-happiness rating included Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and Passenger's "Whispers" while songs with a high-happiness rating came from the "80s and included Wham's 'Freedom". 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.

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The researchers emphasize that they were looking for the trends in the acoustic properties and the moods describing the sounds. They also found the most successful genres of music were dance and pop, as well as a "clear downward trend" in the success of rock, starting in the early 2000s.

In a study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine of over 500,000 songs released in the United Kingdom over the past 30 years, it has been noted that the amount of depressive content has become more present than ever before.

The study of lyrics concur that positive emotions are on a decline, and indicators of loneliness and social isolation are on the rise.

More successful songs also tend to feature female artists rather than men.