Popular music has long since dictated what the public listens to. Often, it is separated into two groups: that which is standardized and contrived, often a by-product of the music industry, and that which is what Theodor W. Adorno would describe as "serious". Two such popular artists exist today, Avril Lavigne representing the former and Weezer, the latter. To support this, Adorno's arguments on the state of popular music can be implemented, using his notions of music being "listened to for you" and consumers being "kept in line". Adorno's view of popular music can be applied to both Avril Lavigne and Weezer proving and disproving, respectively, that they fit his definition of standardized, pseudo-individualistic and indirectly supportive of capitalist hegemony.
To qualify as popular music, one must, as Adorno puts it, bear "just one isolated trade-mark which makes it appear to be original". This was Avril Lavigne's staple for her 2002 breakthrough: the "punk rock" image that allowed her to achieve quadruple-platinum status for her debut album Let Go.
This pseudo-individualism was the main aspect of her character for the first few years of her career until it became apparent that punk was no longer the current fad.
"If no attention is given to the song, it cannot be sold; if attention is paid to it, there is always the possibility that people will no longer accept it, because they know it too well. This partly accounts for the constantly renewed effort to sweep the market with new products, to hound them to their graves; then to repeat the infanticidal maneuver again and again." (Adorno, paragraph 25 in Theory About the Listener)What this means is that Avril needed a new standardized sound. Consequently, her third and most recent album, The Best Damn Thing, included softer melodies and incorporated elements...