I was thinking about writing a new FAQ-ish post, where I would answer the question “What sort of music do you like/dislike?”, but I realized, when thinking about it, that I had enough to say about music to write an entire article about it. So, here we go. This is Me And Music.
Now, concerning my views on movies I’ve often said that any film of any genre can be wonderful just as any film from any genre can be awful. Similarly, I think any song from almost any genre can easily be a wonderful piece of music. But what is it that I specifically am looking for in music? What do I love about the songs I love? Well dear readers, what I’m looking for is either music with splendid orchestrations or extremely clever lyrics. Smartly written songs and/or skillfully composed tunes. And it is precisely this, my dear readers, that is my biggest problem with modern music!
Okay, allow me to rephrase that. It isn’t my problem with “modern music”. It is my problem with the kind of music modern people have decided to make mainstream and pop culture. Now, let me tell you about a lady by the name Nina Simone. For me, she is a woman who represents a certain age of music; a time when deep lyrics were more common; back when songs with profound messages behind them were not as rare. That was Nina Simone. Today we have this:
“My lovely lady lumps.”
“I wanna boom bang bang with your body, yo”
“Damn you’s a sexy bitch, a sexy bitch, damn you’s a sexy bitch.”
“And I was like baby, baby, baby, ooh. Like baby, baby, baby, no”
“P-p-p-poker face p-p-poker face, (mum-mum-mum-mah)”
“Boom boom boom, gotta get-get Boom boom boom, gotta get-get Boom boom boom, now. Boom boom boom, now. Boom boom pow.”
“Which seat do I take?”
Anything by Nicki Minaj… ANYTHING!!!
What. The Hell. Happened?! I am way too young to be this old, guys!
It saddens me tremendously that the very few modern musicians with a knack for lyrics aren’t the ones that become pop culture. We live in a sickening music world, ruled by the untalented likes of Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Sean Banan (Swedish unfunny comic; don’t ask) and all those rappers with nicknames so retarded they only can have been created using Madlibs.
So where is it that do I go to find well-written or well-orchestrated music? Well, we still have the funny people who write comedic and hilarious lyrics – Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for instance, do this superbly well, as does Weird Al Yankovic – and I’m sure some other arists, including favs of mine like Voltaire and Nightwish, still write some really nice stuff, and if I desire music that sounds great on its own without lyrics, good or otherwise, well thank God that we still need people who compose film soundtracks!
Indeed, the works of soundtrack composers such as Morricone, Clint Mansell, Hans Zimmer and John Williams, as well as makers of very cinematic-sounding music such as Two Steps From Hell, Era (call me a new-age fag all you like), E.S. Posthumus and Globius is some of the most brilliantly composed music I know. Music that tells a story and conveys emotions without the necessity of words. Truly on par with classical. Psychadelic, ambient music like that of Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada is lovely also. Other than all that, I can find little to absolutely no beautiful music these sad days.
Please don’t get me started on Auto-Tune. It makes you sound like a robot who just hit puberty, and modern pop stars seem to love that, as do their fans, which is equally inexplicable. It can be cool if used right, however. Just look up Daft Punk and Kraftwerk. Music that is almost entirely electronic and experimental is allowed to have it, says I.
Oh, and before anyone even starts, I don’t want any metalheads to tackle me with e-mails or comments explaining that metal songs can actually contain some very good and smart lyrics. Sorry, metalheads. What I’m looking for is a song with an intelligible message, and not one I need to decipher by trying to read along from a sheet, as I simultaneously attempt to listen to the so-called song. Even if I tried that, I could not possibly endure all those headache-inducing screams combined with the hideous cacophony of electric guitars and massive drums, at least if its deathcore, or worse yet – black metal.
Other fanboys/fangirls of modern stars will surely attempt to defend their idols by claiming that not all modern singers and writers have descended to Nicki Minaj’s abysmal level yet. However, if you compare modern lyrics to, say, Victorian age poems, the fact that the quality of writing has decreased gradually for decades will become inarguable even to them. I hope.
Disney, as most of you are hopefully aware, are absolutely smashing both when it comes to music and song texts. Can we still turn to them when we get tired of the extraordinarly crappy music made popular by tweens and the like today? Can the loveliest symphonies and the most delightful lyrics still be found with them? I admit that I have not yet seen The Princess & The Frog, Tangled or Winnie The Pooh so it’s still unknown to me whether or not Disney has cleaned up the unspeakable mess they created with such abominations as The Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana.
Well, dear readers. I don’t know what else I can tell ya. The bottom line, I suppose, is that pop, rock, jazz, classical and even some metal (Nightwish – listen to them! Dont’ argue, just do it!) can sound good, as long as you know how to write and/or make the music itself sound like candy to one’s ears. This is rare these days but very thankfully, it exists still.
But this is just what I think. If you any of guys love Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, death metal or even Rebecca Black, then that’s fine. As long as you have stuff to listen to when feeling in the dumps or when you just need to think for a bit. Music is a beautiful and incredible invention and everyone deserves some. It helps us think, feel good, feel emotional, meditate, party, set the mood for a movie scene and so much else. If you have found the kind of music you love, then you’re lucky, because music is a blessing.