Is modern music any good?

OK, so whats up with music these days? Having two young children, I routinely get to hear what they listen to because they often pester me to buy it for them on ITunes so they can upload it to their IPods.

My younger daughter, Annie, is into the predictable…Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers…etc. However, tossed into the mix are AC/DC, The Beatles and Michael Jackson to name a few.

Molly, the 13 year old…I don’t know what she is into…few of the names of the bands I really recognize. However, she has been watching Much More Music a lot so I get to hear some of the music that she likes. Who the hell are Yolanda Be Cool and D Cup anyway?

Not to sound old and crusty (because I am not) but, yuck! In my humble opinion some of it is crap and highly forgettable.

Isn’t that sad? I appeal to all the people reading this blog who are over 40. The music we grew up on is timeless. Artists like the Beatles, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, The Who, Billy Joel, AC/DC; even Michael Jackson. These are artists whose music has endured and will probably continue to be important and popular for generations to come.

My kids know of these artists and often listen to their songs not because their Mom and Dad are ramming it down their throats.

Why is that?

I remember attending a Paul McCartney concert about 3-4 years ago and in front of me was a 12 year old boy who was word for word, singing along to each and every song that Paul sang that night.

Why was the music of my generation more enduring than the disposable music of our children’s generation? What made that music so damn good and today’s music so damn bad?

Was it because of the period in which it was inspired? The sixties and seventies were important decades in our world. Issues pertaining to social unrest and civil rights were often the fodder for many songs written in that period. Was it the lack of technology (no Auto-Tunes) that required artists to rely more on their own raw talent with emphasis on the song writing? Was it the use of hallucinogenic drugs in the songwriting process? Are all the best riffs and melodies taken and thats why so many modern artists sample songs from the best years of popular music?

Don’t get me wrong…there are some current artists whose music I very much enjoy. Some have the potential of having the same kind of longevity as many of the artists that came from that very prolific period in music history.

It just seems that music has become a very disposable commodity. Even the way it is now delivered to us has actually, in my opinion, cheapened it. I always looked forward to cracking open the plastic off a new vinyl record album. Even better if there were liner notes on the inner sleeve and lyrics to sing along to.

Today, mp3 files are the way the industry has headed. Songs are sold individually (don’t you remember 45’s with the hit side and the B-side?). Album artwork and graphics are secondary and worst of all, the assumption that music should be available for free (a whole other conversation!).

Emphasis is on touring (which is good) but music videos take focus away from the music. Dreadful songs are released but have eye-catching videos to accompany them.

Dick Clark said it best, “music is the soundtrack of our lives”. Hearing certain songs takes me back to specific moments and times in my life. I listen to different musical genres depending on my mood or to give me a lift. I even listen to music when I practice yoga. Music is important.

Who do you listen to? What do you think has happened to music? What will the future hold for music? Will it be filled with more Lady Ga-Ga or more “ca-ca”?

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About theenlightenedmale

Stephen Gosewich is an aspiring enlightened male. He spends his days during the week as a guy working in real estate. At all other times, he just enjoys hanging out with his wonder best friend and wife and their two very active and inspiring daughters. Steve has supplied blogs to The Good Men Project, Village Living Magazine (print/online) and has been the "Daddy Blogger" at pinkandbluebaby.com. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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3 Responses to Is modern music any good?

  1. Aric says:

    Very interesting! I’m only 18, and I actually listen mostly to older music as well. My favorite band is Jefferson Airplane, from the sixties. Now that’s quality music! Although, don’t get me wrong, I listen to modern stuff too. A few bands I particularly like are MGMT and My Morning Jacket, very psychedelic and good quality.

    But it is so sad, there is so much good music in the world today, but the mainstream music industry doesn’t give a crap about talent or innovation. They realized in the 80s that they can make way more money spewing out generic, catchy tunes and lyrics. It’s even worse today. Just compare Justin Bieber to Janis Joplin. I mean, what the hell happened? It’s sad. But this isn’t the first generation to have crappy mainstream music. It was like that in the 50s, so people changed that. We can change this era as well for the better.

    • Aric…
      Thanks for the comment. There are a few bands that might have longevity..but their roots are probably inspired by bands of an earlier era. For me the best music came out of the late 60’s and 70’s.

  2. cam says:

    I think the 1990’s was the last decade to have some mainstream music that wasn’t complete crap. It really makes me angry when an old timer or someone from an older generation says “All todays music is crap” (Not you, i just have met people like this). I mean how would they even know? I think they just assume that the only music out there is what they hear on the radio or tv. Times have changed, the internet has given people the opportunity to listen to music they want to, and the record companies no longer have control over what we have to listen to. I hear plenty of songs that are modern which are timeless and very well written. Record companies just realise that that can get a talentless kid, market him well, and get other writers to write a catchy hit and it will make money. Do you know the story about the singer Usher? My memory of the story isnt completely accurate, but a record company signed him when he was about 6, because he had a really good singing voice, and they thought one day he would be a really good singer and make great songs. When he turned about 15, his voice completely changed and the record company even commented that his voice wasn’t any good. They didn’t know what to do since they had just invested all this money into him. But then they realised he was actually a handsome man, and decided that they would market him as a sex icon to sell his music. Its a horrible industry.

    It’s so stupid to assume that there is no good music anymore. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

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