In A Social Critique of Radio Music, Adorno lays out a foundation that posits that radio music has essentially become commodious, fueled by society's wants and needs rather than the individual message that each song is to represent. He claims that radio music has become standardized and that it "has ceased to be a human force" producing what he calls 'commodity listening,' in which "the listener suspends all intellectual activity when dealing with music and is content with consuming and evaluating its gustatory qualities--just as if the music which tasted best were also the best music possible" (Adorno 211).
In particular, he juxtaposes radio music with that of classical music with classical music being a high art form and radio music being the commoditized end product of a low culture. He mentions how radio music has become part of 'commodity listening' but to that defense, there are several outlets of media which allow for radio music listening that weren't available before. With programs like Pandora or Spotify, it's easier to find music and listen to it now than ever and who's to say that radio music isn't as high of an art form as classical pieces. Sure, radio music these days sound alike but I think that just like classical music, we can dissect perhaps not the melody or the beat or tonality of the piece, but of the lyrics which represent some form of uniqueness and add that special touch to songs that wasn't present in classical pieces.
Music has always been a form of entertainment and it has transitioned itself to fit the growing changes of societal wants and, yes in a way has become commoditized, but I wonder if music has become what Adorno considers passive listening simply because of the technology that has allowed us several means of access to radio music than before and because of that ubiquitous nature, has trained us to multitask with it in the background. We're in a age where people don't have as much of a luxury to really sit down and interpret music like how he believes classical music is interpreted so that you understand the complexities behind it but I believe that there are some hard core fans out there of radio music who will stand by their favorite radio song because it speaks to them in a way that nothing else really can and that doesn't "suspend all intellectual activity when dealing with music," but rather inspires them. (Adorno 211).