If the current pandemic proves anything it proves that popular music is no longer the voice of young America, no longer the litmus test for anything at all except the stuff that you put in your ears. The 60s are finally and irrevocably over and we can’t even pretend otherwise. Drake is great but he isn’t John Lennon, and he has no moral authority: no musician does, if Billie Eilish or Rihanna or Jay Z (or Beyonce for that matter) tried the pop art political rhetorical performance art of a Lennon-Ono they’d be laughed at, and not just by the untrustworthy over 30s…
Nobody has really turned to music at this moment in time, not as a way forward, indeed with more people at home than ever in the history of the USA streaming music numbers have dropped and dropped. We aren’t turning to music to lead the way.
Yet… music has NEVER SOUNDED BETTER… oh, I know, analog, tinny, etc etc. But if you listen to the top ten your ears explode with please. The Weeknd, Drake, Post Malone, Dua Lipa, are all electronic variants on hip hop and pop and the pleasures are purely hedonistic, they aren’t about thoughts but about sounds and they sound great and that is their reason for being, to sound like magic tricks.
If you compare the charts in the 1980s to the charts in 2020 the 1980s are dreadful: all synth pop bands with the right idea but no execution. In 2020, the songs as songs are worse but the sounds as sounds are vastly superior. None of this adds up to a mindset that their audience can glom on to as a whole, no “Blowing In The wind” or “Imagine” is imaginable, we don’t have anybody with the overwhelming respect to pull it off. Bruce is too old, Jay Z too selfish, hip hop too angry, pop too shallow, and rock and roll sounds like shit.
So what we are left with as something that can function as a balm through pleasure without recrimination, without a downside, without a reason other than the transitional joy of pop music. Pop music is back at its roots, disposal joy given artistry by our love of it and nothing more… but nothing less.
Harry seems to have it sewn up
a superb songwriter who can fill an album with excellent country mainstreamers
lovely tribute to her single mom
a classical guitarist and composer and has released more than 30 solo albums
“The song is about a mental institution”
Freakout Records Announce The 10th Annual Freakout Festival Taking Place on November 10-13 in Ballard (Seattle, WA)
a diverse arrangement of voices and sounds
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician