The Unbearable Lightness Of Pop Music
Bad music is like a bad cold, you feel you will never get over it and then you wake up one day and you feel alright again and life goes on. I’ve had a coupla weeks without one great album, lots of mediocre albums and plenty of dogs and I began to wonder if it was me so I went back and listened again and very carefully to Brandon Flower’s The Desired Effect, which I’d dismissed as an 80s synth move with a coupla good tracks and not much more and Shamir’s Ratchet –housemusic plus.
Brandon maybe had another coupla songs I missed and Shamir didn’t improve but certainly didn’t get any worse, which suggests to me the albums had no hidden depths.
In 2015, music feels awful light. Not necessary bad, and not all of it, but enough of it feels lightweight, as though a dimension is missing.Reasons
1 – The audience isn’t what it was, I hate to agree with Bob Lefsetz but he has a point when he notes that the audience that made music important from the 1960s to the 1980s doesn’t look to music for cultural relevance the way it once did. The sort of musical. The truth is, the more the audience asks from its music, the more it gets.
2 – Ubiquity – There is so much music out there that not much gets its due. Everywhere you look there is music, nobody can get a handle on the state of music because there is no center.
3 – Production – I blame Dr. Luke, you can’t have sound people working as musicians because the music becomes all about sound and not feel.
4 – Time – Forget it, an album has around five minutes to prove itself with me… and I am kind.
5 – Attention Grabbing – Which means musicians have to provide their hooks fast and strong.
There is so much music out there that I feel if you could find all the good stuff the 2010s would be the equal of the 00s… but how do you find it? Overhere at rock nyc we try and save you time by telling you what to listen to (that’s also why we use grades so liberally, so you don’t even have to bother reading it). The next decade should be interesting at the very least…