Wall Street Journal: The Dumbing Down of Electronic Dance Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Wall Street Journal has a new article out about the so-called “dumbing down” of electronic dance music. The article covers how the genre has become more accessible to a wider audience in recent years, but some purists feel that this has come at the expense of the music’s quality.


In the past few years, electronic dance music, or EDM, has gone from being a niche genre to one of the hottest trends in pop music. But some critics say that as the genre has become more mainstream, it has also become “dumbed down.”

In a recent article, Wall Street Journal music critic Jim Fusilli argue that EDM has lost its artistic integrity as it has become more commercialized. Fusilli writes that while early EDM was experimental and often cerebral, today’s popular EDM is “mired in conformity” and focused on simple catchy hooks.

Fusilli’s article has generated a lot of debate among EDM fans and critics. Some people agree with his assessment, arguing that the genre has become too safe and formulaic. Others say that Fusilli is missing the point of EDM, which is meant to be enjoyed for its energy and positive vibes rather than its artistic merit.

What do you think? Is EDM dumbing down? Or is it just evolving like any other genre of music?

The Dumbing Down of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music, or EDM, has long been criticized by some as repetitive, simple and formulaic. But a new study suggests that the music is actually getting more complex.

The commercialization of EDM

Commercialization has led to the deterioration of the quality of electronic dance music. In order to make a profit, producers have been forced to make their music more accessible to the mainstream audience. This has resulted in a decrease in the overall quality of the music.

many underground artists have criticized the commercialization of EDM, claiming that it has led to the dumbing down of the genre. These artists argue that the mainstreaming of EDM has resulted in a loss of creativity and individuality. They believe that producers are now more concerned with making money than with making quality music.

The decline in quality of EDM

With the recent popularity of electronic dance music, or EDM, there has been a decline in the quality of the music being produced. This is due to the fact that EDM is now being made for the mainstream market, and not for the underground clubs where it originated. As a result, the music is becoming more simplified and less creative.

This trend was first noticed by DJ and producer Mark Ronson, who said that “a lot of electronic music these days sounds like it was made by algorithms.” Ronson believes that this is because producers are using computer programs to create songs, rather than using their own creativity and imagination.

This decline in quality is also being blamed on the fact that EDM has become more commercialized in recent years. With festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Tomorrowland becoming increasingly popular, there is more pressure on producers to create songs that will appeal to a wide audience. As a result, many artists are making music that is more accessible and less experimental.

However, not everyone agrees that the quality of EDM has declined. Some argue that the genre has always been about simplicity and that the current sound is just a natural evolution of the genre. Others believe that the mainstreaming of EDM has actually helped to improve the quality of the music, as it has exposed more people to artists who are pushing boundaries and experimenting with new sounds.

Whatever your opinion may be, there is no denying that the sound of EDM has changed in recent years. Whether or not this change is for better or for worse is up for debate.

The Future of EDM

Electronic Dance Music, once an underground form of club culture, has now gone mainstream. But as the genre has become more popular, it has also become more homogenized and formulaic. Some worry that this trend will lead to the “dumbing down” of EDM.

The rise of independent artists

Independent artists are on the rise in the electronic dance music industry, as the “dumbing down” of hits creates an opportunity for new sounds to break through.

EDM has long been dominated by major labels and superstar DJs, but that is starting to change. In recent years, streaming services have given a platform to a new generation of artists who are producing innovative and exciting music outside of the mainstream.

This shift has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced festivals and clubs to cancel or postpone their events. With fewer opportunities to perform, many DJs and producers have turned to online platforms like Twitch and YouTube to reach their fans.

As the industry evolves, it will be interesting to see how independent artists continue to shape the sound of EDM.

The return to underground clubs

In the 1990s, electronic dance music was the province of small, sweaty clubs. Then came the commercial explosion, led by the likes of Swedish House Mafia and David Guetta. But now, as big-name D.J.s fade in popularity, the party is returning to its roots—and to much smaller venues.

In recent years, electronic dance music—or EDM, as it is commonly known—has boomed in popularity. Massive festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival attract hundreds of thousands of revelers each year, and top D.J.s like Calvin Harris and Avicii command enormous fees for their services.

But this commercial success has come at a cost. Many longtime fans complain that the music has become too “mainstream” and “commercialized.” As a result, there is a growing movement to return to the genre’s underground roots.

This shift can be seen in the increasing popularity of smaller clubs and parties that cater to more dedicated fans of EDM. These venues often feature less well-known D.J.s playing longer sets that emphasize experimentation over mainstream appeal.

This return to underground clubs is likely to continue in the coming years, as more and more fans tire of commercialized EDM and seek out a more authentic listening experience.

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