To answer this question, it is essential to define what is meant by "older pop music" and "modern pop music." In this context, "older pop music" refers to the music of the 1950s to the 1980s, while "modern pop music" refers to music produced from the 1990s until today.
To determine whether older pop music is more sophisticated than modern pop music, it is necessary to consider various factors such as the lyrics, melody, harmony, and instrumentation.
Lyrically, older pop music often contained more complex and meaningful lyrics that were more expressive of emotions and experiences. Many songs from this era dealt with social issues, politics, and personal struggles. In contrast, modern pop music tends to be more simplistic and repetitive in terms of lyrics. However, this is not always the case, as some modern pop songs also contain deep and meaningful lyrics.
In terms of melody and harmony, older pop music was often more complex and varied. Older pop songs often used a variety of chord progressions and key changes, creating a more intricate and dynamic sound. In contrast, modern pop music tends to use simpler melodies and chord progressions, resulting in a more repetitive sound.
When it comes to instrumentation, older pop music often used a wider range of instruments, including brass, strings, and percussion. The use of these instruments added complexity and richness to the music. Modern pop music, on the other hand, tends to rely more on electronic instruments and production techniques, resulting in a more artificial and synthetic sound.
It is important to note that these observations are not universally applicable to all older and modern pop music. There are exceptions to these generalizations, and individual songs and artists may demonstrate greater complexity and sophistication regardless of the era in which they were produced.
In conclusion, whether older pop music is more sophisticated than modern pop music is subjective and depends on individual taste and preferences. However, it is fair to say that older pop music tended to be more complex in terms of melody, harmony, and instrumentation, while modern pop music tends to rely more on simplicity and repetition. Ultimately, the sophistication of pop music is in the ear of the beholder.