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Pop music is pretty lame across the world.  Now I confess to shaking my moneymaker from time to time but I know that pop music is fluffy music for happy times and nothing more.  For meaty chords, searing lyrics, and jaw-dropping vocals, I'll turn to other genres.

Chinese pop music is lamer than lame.  Ask anybody.  There are a few bright spots (Jay Chou, early Jolin, etc.) but that's like saying this is the healthiest hamburger at McDonald's.  It's still gonna kill ya.  Now this wouldn't be so bad if all this audio cancer was only bombarding your senses for a couple hours a day.  But no.  You take the bus, walk past a clothing shop, get a fruit smoothie at those trendy drink stands,  you've got some girly-boy striking gangster poses with a posse of hotties squeaking out the most infantile lyrics imaginable, or some Barbie doll  pop tart crooning about her broken heart while mugging for the camera, hoping to get invited for a photo shoot in a fashion magazine, 'cause that's where the real money is anyway. 

Now even this constant assault on one's very soul would still be tolerable if there were other alternatives to this auditory trauma.  But no.  That's all everyone everywhere is listening to.  You no likey?  Tough beans, McSam.

Now there would conceivably be the slightest sliver of light in this maelstrom of misery if the girly-boys were becoming ever-so-slightly more macho, or at least maintaining a constant state of ball-less-ness.  But no.   Back in the day, China had Hong Kong rockers Beyond, and more recently hip-hop found a few fresh faces, such as Wang Lee Hom and Jay Chou.  The girl's music has always been cutesy and bouncy but that's forgivable.

What's not forgivable is where the music is at today.  As a university teacher, and with the majority of my students being girls, I get the 411 on what's popular in the pop music scene, and the television stations are also up on the latest musical trends.  In the 4 1/2 years that I've been in China, I've noticed a serious decline in testosterone levels in popular music.  Boy bands like Super Junior put the likes of the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync to shame with their commitment to girlishness.  The only bright spot in this black hole is that they're Korean, not Chinese (though one of their members is in fact Chinese).

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Every day I hope and pray for a macho revolution in China's music world.  Or at least some diversity.  I mean DAMN, how many times must we watch Michael Jackson wannabes until the novelty wears off?  China's underground is brimming with talent in electronic and rock genres but they'll never get serious publicity until someone plucks these pop-and-locking feather dusters.
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Tang Dynasty, now there was some Chinese music with balls.
 



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