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Opinion

New music lacks character, quality

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October 20, 2006

I don’t want to sound old or dated, but music these days is just awful. Laughable, even.

Brooke Hogan has a song with the lyrics, “I’m just trying to live but you’re all up in my grill.” For starters, she hasn’t worked a day in her life, so it’s hard to believe that she is just trying to live. Second, she is a rich little blonde girl so the idea of her “grill” is a joke.

But people watch it, listen to it and buy it.

This goes back to MTV’s theory that if they present anything in the right way, you will like it. For example, in 1994 when Michael Jackson kissed then-wife Lisa Marie Presley with that awkward, robotic head tilt. Watching it even today makes everyone feel freaked out.

But everyone at Radio City Music Hall cheered like it was the end of prohibition.
MTV pulls the same trick with that new Beyoncé video in which she doesn’t really dance. I don’t even think she knows what she is doing. It looks like they force-fed her a truckload of meth, cracked her over the head with a shovel and taped her convulsing for three minutes.

Probably one of the worst things to ever happen this year is Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel.” If you don’t know this song it’s also easily recognizable by the actions of pretty much every girl within earshot. They all gather in a little circle singing (out of tune, mind you), and they all agree, “Oh my God. I love this song — it’s about me!”

No, it’s not — stop talking.

At best, that song sounds like something a 50-year-old movie producer thinks rock music sounds like. Like when you are watching an action movie and a chase scene crashes into a concert. There is a band playing what is supposed to be rock, but really you sit there and say, “That’s not what concerts are like and that’s not what my music sounds like.”

Like in “School of Rock.” All the bands sound like the most ripped-off cheesy rock ballads ever.

Or we get garbage like “SexyBack.” Because he is the guy who is bringing sexy back. As though sexy was ever out of style. I promise you have never heard a girl say, “Forget that tight shirt, just bring me that burlap sack — I’ll just duct tape it. I just want to look like a sack of potatoes when I go out tonight.”

Oh, that’s right though, it’s JT. So anything he records is gold. MTV could play 50 minutes of him making out with a snare drum and people would spend months talking about how original and sensual it was.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. When Pink Floyd was on tour, lead singer Roger Waters hated that his own fans were treating the band as though they were gods. At one point during the Animals tour he spit on a concert-goer, just ‘cause he could.
This alienation and other influences prompted the band to put out “The Wall” in 1979, one of the best selling double albums of all time.

We don’t have to like music just because we hear it a dozen times a day (KDWB, MTV), and we don’t need to like music because someone made a porn movie (Paris Hilton).

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a music snob. In modration I like bad music just as much as the next guy. But at least I have the decency to listen to it quiet shame by myself.

I’m pretty sure I have some Kelly Clarkson on my iPod. I’m not proud of it, but what do you do? I defy you to find someone without Kelly Clarkson on their iPod. It might be hidden under a different name, like Metallica or Kenny Chesney, but it’s there. Trust me.