Jump to content

Music of The Decade: Love/Hate


Carl
 Share

Recommended Posts

Following up on http://forum.songfacts.com/showtopic.php?tid/147384/ thread, I'd like to find out if you thought the '00s were the best decade for music, the worst, or some combination of the two. Please explain why - if we get some interesting ideas we'll post it in a story linked from the home page.

I'll start:

Best:

Music entered a new era of accessibility, with a return to the dominance of singles. No longer are we forced to buy an album with a few great songs and plenty of filler, since we can pick and choose the tracks we want to purchase. This raises the bar and forces artists to create a quality track if they want it to sell.

Worst:

Auto-Tune and the inexplicable popularity of Lil' Wayne.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, with the popularity of singles the magic of an album's 'flow' is lost. Some things have to be listened to in their entirety and I think there are a lot more songs that sound better as part of an entire stream, and fewer that are meant to be singles.

I do like the 00s, though. 2009 has been the first year I've been able to actively 'take part', so to speak thanks to my new location and new people :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best: The increasing rise of Indie music allowed for many many artists to be released of the control of record companies allowing for a freedom in musical expression.

Worst: The fact that most of the music above is not terribly popular. The mass public is very content listening to music that requires little to no musical talent. Some of it at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the best thing to happen this decade was the blurring of the line between mainstream and underground. I suppose this tends to happen every decade, and next decade there will just be a new underground that will become part of the mainstream, but I think something that can be said of this decade that can't really be said of the other decades after the 60's is that experimentation became popular.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think that the rise of mp3s has been an extremely positive thing for popular music. There are many artists who are able to get their point across in 3 minutes and there's no point in making those artists try to fill up a 45 minute LP with things they don't really need to say. The mp3 allows for the singles artist to exist in the realm of popular music.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Worst:

- auto-tuner and lip-synch pop

- mp3 over quality sound

- rap and hip hop still being popular

- american idol

- the resurgence of the single and less album-oriented work

- bands inspired by the 80s and sucking at it

- emo and everything about it

- hipsters and everything related to that trash

Best:

- YouTube, Pandora, lastFM

- cheap prices for used lps, cds, and other media through the Internet (i.e., Amazon, eBay)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

good-the internet, and modern media in general, have given artists a chance to be noticed that wouldn't have been there 10 years ago, though there are still countless bands that nobody's heard of that are better than most of the mainstream 'good' :beady: music.

bad-the fact that every 'music channel' on tv isn't about music. i remember when fuse was all about underground/indie/punk rock music. now, i don't even know what to say about it.

and mtv still sucks, and has sucked since i was in diapers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I disagree with some of what was said in the 2nd article. I'll admit I'm pretty tired of the auto-tune trend, and also that I think it's being used way too much in the wrong contexts. But the paragraph about it makes it seem like you just put a voice into an "auto-tuner" and it automatically becomes melodic. The melodies don't come out of nowhere. The audio engineer/producer or whatever has to create a melody out of it. I think the people who grew up before auto-tune existed have a hard time accepting that because they are used to the simplicity of "Robert Plant is the frontman. He is singing. He is a musician." Now it's "Rihanna is the main performer. Some random nerd is making her music. She is not a musician, but this album with her name on it contains music." It's really weird because these pop stars are able to sell music becuase of their image, but if you really want to enjoy it you have to disconnect the image from the music.

Also, I think if you really do want this auto-tune and corporate pop star thing to go away, you shouldn't hate on Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero is, in my opinion, the main reason anybody under 13 still listens to guitar rock. When I was 11 the game "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater" came out for hte N64, and everybody I knew (myself included) bought a skateboard. I teach music lessons at a kid's camp over the summer, and I can say that whenever I ask a kid why he or she wants to pick up a guitar, it's because of Guitar Hero. And it actually sets their sights really high and gives them something to work towards. A lot of kids will master "Free Bird" on guitar hero and inevitably get tired of pressing the same buttons on guitar hero all the time and then they want to learn the extremely difficult solo on the real guitar. And making your music "guitar hero friendly" isn't any different than making a song that's really easy for beginner guitarists to learn. The White Stripes did it with "Seven Nation Army" and they're mentioned as one of the best things about the decade.

Also, I think you're confusing hipsters with emos. Emos are the ones who are stereotypically self-loathing. Hipsters freaking love themselves, that's why they dress so fancy and take all those pictures of themselves.

I also don't agree that MP3s have killed the album. CD sales still make up for more than half of music sales worldwide (as opposed to digital sales). And seriously just name one pop star who only does singles without an album to back it up. You have to go deep into the underground to really find singles artists (which I actually think is unfortunate...I think more artists who make albums full of filler should just focus on making great singles. The book world has novel writers and short story writers, why can't the music world have that as well?)

Also I wouldn't say that everyone hates Kanye and Lil Wayne. They both seem like pretty terrible people but at least 40% of Lil Wayne's raps are actually pretty good, and Kanye's first three albums are pretty great, especially "The College Dropout" which simultaneously became extremely popular and decried all the things that rappers did to make themselves popular. The song "All Falls Down" is a great example of what that album did best. In the 2nd verse, Kanye pretty much just bashes all the materialistic rappers, but in the 3rd verse he admits that he isn't above materialism and struggles with staying humble. It's too bad that later in his career he pretty much just became everything he said he hated about hip hop. I guess that's just what happens when your ego gets too big and your publicist doesn't keep you under control, ha ha.

But one thing I agree with a lot is that the music industry going to war with the fans was a really bad thing and was a huge mistake for the music industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Batman, you give me hope for the future, and the kids at camp getting your music lessons are very fortunate.

As you can tell from the comments on the Blog articles, people gravitate toward the negative, but you poked some serious holes in the downer piece and make a real good argument for why the kids are still alright. That's the first eloquent defense of Auto-Tune I've seen that makes sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Carl, glad I could provide another point of view. But even though I defended it, I still am getting pretty tired of autotune. My problem isn't the autotune itself, it's the way in which it is used. I think it can totally be used in the correct context (see Daft Punk, Basement Jaxx, even T-Pain does it pretty well in my opinion), but too many artists are using it in songs where a purely human voice would sound much better. Electronic dance music can (and maybe even should) sound like it's being made by robots, but R&B is supposed to have some soul to it. So yes to Daft Punk, no to Rihanna (except "Umbrella" which is a guilty pleasure for me).

My biggest problem with music this decade is that trends come and go too quickly. Something will get big, then it will get huge, and then it will be passe within a few months. I can't tell if it's due to the nature of the trends or the quickness of information spreading these days. I think part of it is that the rise of independent artists has made it so everybody wants to be a star, even moreso than in the past because stardom seems so within reach now. So a band will have a popular song and millions of normal people will imitate the things that make the song popular until everything about the song seems cliche. I could be totally off about this though. I know for sure that this is the way things are now, but I don't really know for sure if things were very different in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also tend to disagree a bit with the “worst decade†article. To me auto-tune is like any other production ‘innovation’ trend the industry has used to try to create what they consider better quality and better selling music. I don’t disagree with it on principle (just like I wouldn’t object to a song because it uses a drum machine instead of a ‘real’ drummer provided it fits with the context of the song) The music itself is still legitimately written, as Batman said, even if the vocals are altered. However I don’t care for much of the mainstream pop and R&B in the first place that makes the most use of it and how they’ve distorted its original function. I am however a fan of plenty of house/electronic music that is plenty synthetic and manipulated but it works in those genres and for those artists. Basically I try to evaluate what I hear on its own merit not on what technological tweaking it does or does not have.

I find the Idol shows more embarrassing to music and often the hapless contestants than anything else. But music-based video games have been generally a good thing helping to expose younger generations to music they might otherwise have missed and at times inspiring them to pursue music in real life.

I also don’t think it’s a terrible thing that older artists are still popular. Music doesn’t have an expiration date. If young people like their stuff, fine but I disagree that they attract fans because suitable “replacements†do not exist among the subsequent generations of artists, only perhaps they remain largely undiscovered/ignored (and probably most people attending those concerts are older fans anyway, who else can afford it?) I find some younger music fans (myself included) actually start out going backward and gradually move toward contemporary music as they refine but also expand their tastes. Well-established music is way easier to discover and appreciate than most alternative and indie, past and present.

And technically wouldn’t most of the people in the next paragraph (those who died young) be considered old embarrassing guys as well by now? There isn’t much proof that they would remain as good or get better with age and really only a handful of artists have ever achieved either, in my opinion.

Spot-on though about music stations, Industry vs. The Fans and generally reviled bands and performers. But I too think something should be said for Kanye West at least as a producer and for his earlier records. What I’d like to know is if so many people hate these artist’s music who keeps buying it and reinforcing the impression to the industry and onlookers that this is what music today is all about??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...