Whatever happened to music with feeling? I don’t just mean gushy mushy love songs. I mean songs that are an expression of human existence. Where have they gone?
Today, it seems that most people are content listening to songs with catchy lyrics describing some cliche regarding clubs and bars or living in lavish ways that most people have no chance of doing. Why is this garbage so prevalent?
I think part of the problem is touched on by Andy Warhol when he said that the greatest art movement of our time is the celebrity. In the past, people were made famous for their accomplishments, but now it’s an accomplishment simply to be famous. This effectively lowers the bar. I think this is evidenced by the popularity of people like Paris Hilton that don’t really do anything to gain their initial fame.
This concept makes it easy for anyone to get famous for doing almost nothing at all. In relation to the music world, someone simply has to relentlessly promote themselves to achieve fame. When performers lack talent and content they cover it up with stupid gimmicks, overused cliches, and autotune programs in the studio.
When I listen to music, I want songs performed by musicians with real talent in and outside of the studio and lyrics that speak to me and describe what it means to be human in some way. I want music from performers that are passionate about what they are doing.
I know this music still exists somewhere, but good luck finding it in the newest radio hits. I have not completely given up hope, but in the meantime, I’m sticking with music from people like Billie Holiday, The Weakerthans, and Minor Threat.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Chris James and do not reflect the opinions or views of any other Pioneer employees.
To contact Chris James, email firstname.lastname@example.org.