1. Somewhere around the turn of the millennium, musicians started saying they were “lonely” or “alone” in their songs less.
His new History of Music project compiles a series of similar graphs, each showing how often a certain word has been used in popular songs over the past five decades.
Confused? The horizontal axis on the charts measures the year a song came out, and the vertical axis measures its popularity on Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart for that year. Cells that are red feature the word in question a lot; blue cells feature it less. So: a cell at the far right of the graph is new, and a cell at the top of the graph is a song that was popular.
2. Artists are feeling more connected, but they’re not necessarily in love.
They say “I love you” less than they did back in the ’60s and ’70s.