By CHRIS FRYMAN
To say that I dislike today’s popular music would be an understatement. I know, Nicki Minaj is your spirit animal because she’s just like…OMG… I can’t even. But seriously…I can’t listen to today’s Top 40. It’s horrendous. I swear on everything holy that if I hear another song by the ever-so-talented Pitbull I might just shove a Q-tip in my ear just deep enough to puncture my eardrum. That man’s only redeeming musical quality is that he’s courteous enough to warn listeners every time he’s about to do whatever it is that he does by saying “MR. WORLDWIDE!” So thanks for that, Pitbull.
Honestly, what happened to music? When were beautiful vocal recordings replaced by the incoherent ramblings of wannabe hip-hop artists? When were the face-melting, mind-blowing guitar solos of yesteryear replaced by bass drops? When did songwriting go from being an art to being a scheme to see who could generate the most profits?
Don’t get me wrong (and I say that knowing full well that anyone who disagrees with anything that I say will, in fact, get me wrong), I just can’t feel the same passion, the same energy in anything that Nicki Minaj sings as I do listening to Janis Joplin. Listening to Taio Cruz and Ludacris say words in “Break Your Heart” doesn’t have nearly the same effect as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page absolutely pouring out their souls into “Heartbreaker.”
To me, there’s no contest. Everything (or most things) I hear on the radio today just lacks…well, everything. There’s no creativity, there’s no passion, there’s no talent. Let me tell you what there is: sex appeal. That is about all there is to anything on the radio these days. It doesn’t take a beautiful voice to get you on the radio anymore. It takes a big booty and a metric ton of makeup. It’s not amazing and clever songwriting that gets you into the Top 40, it’s repetition and an over-produced beat.
The point is that rock and roll needs to make a comeback. Think about it: when is the last time a truly groundbreaking event occurred in music? When was the last time that an album absolutely blew the world away? It hasn’t been recently, I can tell you that much.
I’m sure that if you disagree, you’ve probably got valid counterpoints. I can imagine that you’re thinking that rock has been done to death and that it died with dignity and has resumed its post back on the musical periphery like it began. I can imagine that you’re thinking that music evolves, just like everything else and that this is the state of music right now. We’ve outgrown all of our previous musical phases and this is just the next logical step in the process because of the progression of technology.
And you’re right. There’s no arguing that I’m definitely a homer when it comes to rock. I’ll take Led Zeppelin over Iggy Azalea every day. I’m a part of the party that firmly believes that the only English boy band in history that’s worth a damn is the Beatles. I’ll also tell you that the best use of audio effects hasn’t come from the Mac era. It came from Pink Floyd in the 1970s.
But, hey…we’re all entitled to our own opinions, right? Music is about being creative and expressing yourself in the best way that you can. It’s about making something beautiful and new and unique. Music isn’t a competition. But just remember that if it were, my music would kick your music’s butt.