Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Music that I Like

Today's prompt for the Summer Blog Challenge is: What's a band that you've been listening to and liking lately?

This is actually a challenging question for me because much of the music that I'm hearing these days sounds the same. To me, there isn't a lot of variety in the music I hear nor are the lyrics that engaging or complex.

I was thinking that perhaps it was just me who was thinking this...or, perhaps, a sign of my age. (Kind of like when parents or grandparents would say, "What's that noise you're listening to? You call that music? In my day..")

In The Daily Titan (the student paper of California State University in Fullerton), an article addressed this very topic. The author said, "There is no doubt the music being produced, recorded, and released today is no match against the music of yesteryear." He went on to explain his reasoning citing technology, originality, iconic status, and work ethic. 

For me, the point that I agree with most is that many artists today aren't that original. In fact, as the author of the article stated, "Songwriting, lyrics, and the overall quality of music have deteriorated."

For example, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me" is one of those songs that sounds like many others on the radio. Out of the 21 stanzas in her song:
- 12 are repeated (4 stanzas repeated 3 times), 
- 2 more are repeated (with different lyrics from the 12 noted above)
- 4 others are repeated with only a word or two changed 
So, that leaves 3 stanzas of different thoughts (or 14% of the song). Hmm...not that original or complex if you ask me.

As a comparison, "Something's Coming" by Barbra Streisand is a song that I like. I first heard it on "Defending Your Life" (a great movie, by the way, with Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks). In this song, there are 47 lines. Of the 47 lines, 8 are repeated and 39 are different thoughts (or 83% of the song). 

So, rather than listening to one particular band, I tend to listen to a variety of music (except country and rap) by many different artists. Some of the artists who I've downloaded songs by include: Annie Lennox, Barbra Streisand, Brian Ferry, Cold Play, Damien Rice, Dave Matthews Band, Florence + The Machine, Jesus Jones, John Mayer, Kim Carnes, Madonna, Michael Kamen (he wrote pieces for "Mr. Holland's Opus" - another favorite movie of mine), Moby, Norah Jones, One EskimO, Paul Potts, Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass (he had some great pieces in the movie "The Truman Show"), Queen, Sarah Brightman (songs from Phantom of the Opera), Sting, Talking Heads, The Verve, The Wallets, and U2.

Some of the artists I like have only one song that they are known for while others have written and performed music for decades. Listening to a variety of music written by many artists is something I prefer doing rather than listening to one performer or band.

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