Friday, July 27, 2012

Lily Tomlin and Pop Music

I read an article this morning about a computer study of pop music. Its conclusion : "Pop music has become louder and less original over the years."   (source AFP) 
The group must not have looked at the songs of Nicki Minaj, since they seem pretty original to me, but fair enough. I suppose there is a tendency to riff from older songs. Tell me Windows Down by Big Time Rush isn't the same concept as Song 2 by Blur, hmmm?
Lily Tomlin once said, "I'm afraid drugs are making us more creative than we really are." As the music industry moves from garage bands fighting windmills and personal demons to industry-controlled "discoveries" from reality shows, perhaps music is becoming more similar and less creative. I'd still argue that Taylor Swift's songs expose personal corners of her heart that are breathtaking and simple at the same time. 
But is it Nights in White Satin? Is it Tales of Ulysses by Cream? Or Chantilly Lace?
I like the stuff my kid listens to on the radio, although I have to say there seems to be a certain similarity to the songs. They are either about glitter and dirt and the night after, or love (of course.) Thank you, Katy Perry, for bringing in the paranormal element, and Lady Gaga for confronting political demons. But where are the songs that are about a Russian Visionary? Euro disco in the 70's was talking about Ra Ra Rasputin.
If you look back farther than the music industry, to the 40's or even the 20's, songs and music become even more different and strange: the lyrics of Stardust, Rhapsody in Blue, Corrine Corrina, and Valencia are like poetry. 
I'm not dissing modern music. Hey, I hum along. But do I think that someone who takes a chance, a leap outside the norm, such as Nicki or Katy, tend to stand out. When producers allow that flight of fancy, then beautiful things happen.

1 comment:

Johanna Garth said...

What, you don't love Carly Ray Jepson? I looked in the backseat yesterday and three of the kids backk there knew EVERY single word of those lyrics.