Music Rant

record playerAs I get older, I have a hard telling if I am getting wiser or just crankier, more discerning or just out of touch. Nowhere is that more apparent than in my taste in music.

I once heard Justin Hayward (front man of The Moody Blues and solo artist) say that we always gravitate to the music of our youth. That seems pretty obvious. Younger people are huge consumers of music. They probably have more time to listen to it. They  seem to really enjoy having something plugged into their ears, rather interacting with with real life. I suppose they feel the need to find some emotional validation more that we oldsters and they want something they can move to.

I am fairly serious about my music, periodically looking for music from new artists to expand my tastes, and tunes from old artists that I may have overlooked on my playlist.

When the old stuff comes on the shuffled playlist, it is usually a delightful little feeling. It’s something familiar, something that reminds of what was going on when I was a teenager, something I know I like. The Moody Blues are a great example of that. Patty and I listened to their melodic, prog rock, sometimes drug induced sounds from their thematic albums as we snuggled on the couch in her parent’s family room. They were, and still are unique.

There is nothing that will ever take that beautiful, youthful memory from me. The Moodies still tour, as does Heyward as a solo act, even though they are in their upper sixties and seventies. We have seen them twice. They are still great, still rock, still have good vocal quality, and can still get the crowd in a sold out theater on their feet for the majority of the concert. The local chiropractors are probably inundated with calls the next day. I could fill a page with other classic artists that I love, but I would rather rant.

I wonder if most of the young women artists could sing with their clothes on.

I am weary of the catchy, meaningless hooks that junior high girls love singing together over and over.

I don’t how female singers can dance wearing rediculously high heeled boots. I don’t understand why every music act has to also be a dance act that includes a whole troupe of dancers. I weary of the computer generated sounds put together by some producer who thinks it is music. It all seems very inauthentic and devised to connect with a young audience that no longer knows what music really is. It doesn’t seem like art flowing from the heart of a musician. 

It is overproduced and formulaic with an over dependence upon a hip hop beat, a catching hook, vacuous lyrics, and a bizarre stage act. We have had enough hunky country boys wearing tight jeans and singing about partying and enough underdressed adolescent girls shaking their booty. These acts are more stage show than music. I am actually in favor of a concert being a total artistic experience, but I want to see the music being made.

I feel better now.

I do like some new music and I am always looking for it. I like those artists who take something familiar and freshen it up. Alabama Shakes comes to mind or Nathaniel Ratecliff and the Nightsweats. It is still fun and still makes you want to move. At least it it real music with real people playing real instruments, singing about something from their heart.

Here is a link to an article that got me thinking about this.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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