Has pop music advanced in the last three decades? Let’s look at the evidence. Here from just three years ago, is a song that, given what it is, is quite good:
And here is pretty much an identical song from 26 years earlier:
This occurred to me today when a motorcycle drove past me blasting what I originally thought was Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) but turned out to be Bad Romance. This is not an attack on Lady Gaga—she gives the people what they want. I suppose it is an attack on the people.
Like I said, there is nothing wrong with Bad Romance. God knows, most mega-hits don’t even come close. And I’m not that keen on Sweet Dreams. But both represent about the best of their time’s meta-hits. That they are so similar does not speak well of the culture. Maybe in that way, we have reached the end of history.
 I will allow a couple of things. First, Sweet Dreams was made on a semi-pro 8-track unit, most likely with similarly primitive effects. That makes the accomplishment all the more impressive, but the sound quality is not great. Similarly, I think the video was very good for its time, but there is no doubt that music videos have made major advances since their infancy.