When it comes to music, I have an open mind. We all tick very differently, so I understand that music taste may be difficult to criticise. However, Free Radio is still awful and here’s why.
Radio is a beautiful thing. How wonderful to tune in to someone cherry-picking songs for your pleasure, intimately addressing anonymous listeners far and wide. You wait in anticipation for the next random song to ignite a new interest, or tickle your nostalgia with an old one. We remember broadcasters like the late, brilliant, John Peel, who unveiled to the public new genres of music from the late sixties onward. He introduced variety into the dull routine of radio that was only focused on popular sounds at the time, which is remembered as being extremely important for the progression of wider styles of music. What Free Radio does for music will be remembered as insignificant.
Free Radio is a station associated with The Hits Radio Network which dedicates itself to broadcasting ‘The Biggest Hits’ of today. Since 2012, the station has managed to spread across the West Midlands, drumming the repetitive, headache-inducing, emotionless music of today’s mainstream world into numb ears. I am never exposed to Free Radio unless I am at work and then Ed Sheeran inevitably seeps into my life at the hands of someone lacking any music taste, which puts this radio station in the firing line.
If I didn’t make it too obvious, I am not a fan of the music played on Free Radio. Most of the songs are meaningless regurgitations of the ones before. You hear the same shallow lyrics. You hear the same dull chorus with the same beats and melodies, sung by the same-sounding voices. You feel nothing unless you’re the eighteen year old girl in the club, with your strawberry and lime Kopparberg cider, worshipping Dua Lipa because she is JUST AMAZING. When you look at the driving force of ‘artists’ in the charts, it’s difficult to see any real passion for music and its deeper magic.
What is easy to see is how money has become the biggest motive for creating. You don’t see people picking up their instruments with a message to deliver. Instead, you only hear of people sitting behind computers, conjuring up an algorithm to make unoriginal songs to satisfy the unhealthy need for immediate gratification given by that engineered, algorithmic chorus. The music is of zero substance and only plays to an increasing generation of dumbed down curiosities. You don’t even see that creator performing their words; you see a conventionally attractive body with an acceptable voice fronting the music. It’s all about image and it’s a poisonous disgrace to the beauty of music and its power to evoke so many different feelings.
The variety is non-existent. Dull routine isn’t being broken enough by the exciting creativity of talent hidden in the shadows of the mainstream monster. Musical curiosity isn’t being aroused when Free Radio is constantly spitting out chart rubbish over and over and over. Someone please hang the DJ. I don’t know how you presenters do it.