A few weeks ago, I was quietly working on my blog when I heard strange noises coming from the apartment below mine. It took me a while, not too long though, to realise it was my cousin playing music. Could it be called music though? It was a series of noises, mixed with minimalistic deaf sounds similar to those of beatboxing but much more unbearable. As much as I respect every form of art, I wondered, how can this be put next to a Mozart record? Or even one amazingly produced *put almost any genre here* album?
I keep wondering, where is music going? Is what we have today in the charts nothing but the ghost of what music once sounded like? Don’t get me wrong, we can still get masterpieces nowadays, but rarely do we find them on top of the charts, with a few exceptions luckily. As much as one surrounds oneself with one’s favourite genres and types of music, it is what dominates the charts that you find on the radio, in big retail stores, and basically everywhere you go! You just cannot escape it, can you?
The other day, I was reading a fellow blogger’s opinion on today’s music, that people’s desire for perfection “has taken music in a horrible direction“. The beat is, without a doubt, entrancing and sometimes enjoyable, but some played with electro-beats a little too much. Some resemble a honk, others a bell ring, others pneumatic drills. As much as one might enjoy the current dance scene in Europe and America (as it seems to dominate in both these continents mostly) there is one element that I cannot seem to consider ‘enjoyable‘ and that is the melancholic feeling that they express. Yes, there’s some sort of melancholy and sadness behind some of those upbeat dance records. This is how I perceive it. And what about the lyrics? Does the world revolve around people getting sweaty on the dancefloor looking for sex? Or, on the other hand, isn’t there more to life than surviving or crying over a failed relationship as some songs suggest? Surely, it must be better than that. What happened to feel-good tracks like those we used to get in the 1980s and 1990s?
Once again, I’m losing myself in too many details and I’m failing to look at the bigger picture here. It’s very difficult to perfectly descrobe the music scene as it is. In comparison to Visual Arts, but mostly Literature, with Music we don’t have ‘movements‘ but only trends and dominating genres and one could make the mistake of painting all these features with the same brush. Let’s just look at the facts: the last decade saw the rise of Electronic Dance and Urban Hip-Hop and R&B as the leading genres, and soul music made a comeback with Amy Winehouse, Duffy and later Adele. The rise of the latter has also probably prompted a feeble interest in singer-songwriting, a genre which has only now fully blossomed into a brand new age for music. However, singer-songwriting is possibly the truest reaction to the extreme features in sounds and context that current dance records propose and the only introspective genre to ultimately make an impact in the charts.