Yesterday and Today’s Songs

When I was on the bus a couple of days ago, this video was playing:

It’s amazing to hear that power coming from someone who has been in the industry for several decades. This is what I love about musicians back in the day. Their ability to create songs that permeate your feelings is beyond me. The music then was so pure, so they are easy to understand and love. It’s more amazing that these songs were produced without Auto-Tune, Fruity Loops, or any other software.

If you go on YouTube frequently, then you have probably seen the following comments a thousand times already:

“Please don’t compare this song to the shit you kids are listening to.”
“God, please kill Justin Bieber and bring Kurt (or other dead legends) back!”
“I’m a prepubescent kid, and I listen to this song. I’m so different from the people in our school!”

I hope you understand where I’m going with this. In fact, I’ll just tell it: Music today sucks! Okay, okay, that’s a bit unfair. Before hipsters and underground junkies stone me to death, allow me to explain. Yes, I know that great artists who make great songs are out there. Sadly, they are unheard. Some choose not to go mainstream, but many aren’t given the breaks they deserve. The “Music” I’m talking about here are the ones you hear on the radio every day. There’s this kid who’s barely out of puberty, singing a song about girls and babies. And there’s a girl who sings about the greatest day of the week. Apparently, she’s so psyched that she can’t even decide what seat to take. Such fun.

I rarely bash someone’s song because I know how hard it is to make one, let alone make a hit song. Yes, the examples I have provided will pass as songs. But — and this is a huge BUT — they don’t feel genuine. They aren’t even close to it. What I see in these songs is a lot of face value, but little to no sense. Of course, they are viral today. But after twenty years, I bet you my future son’s college funds (sorry, kid) that these songs will be forgotten. Stand-up comedians will probably use them as materials, which is kind of a good thing.

Also, it’s hard to relate to songs nowadays. For me, a song is great if I you can relate to it. Now, relating to a song doesn’t mean that you have to go through what the singer has experienced. I think that’s not possible. When you FEEL the singer’s story, then you can relate to him. Simple as that.

In the end, I have not given up on today’s music. The underground scene (at least here in our country) is brewing great acts. Many independent (and highly talented) artists are reaching the mainstream. Enough with the face value. Enough with the countless covers and revivals. We have to make NEW music that matters and can represent this generation.

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