Does pop sound louder, dumber, and more and more the same?

According to a new study from researchers at the Spanish National Research Council, the familiar complaint that contemporary popular music has grown loud, predictable and simpler than ever may be exactly right. While we often cast a sceptical eye toward quantitative studies of music like this one, a closer examination of the paper reveals that even for sceptics the analysis may have a point – even if the portrait it paints is incomplete.