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All Pop Music Sounds The Same: Now With Scientific Proof:

You're thinking of Frank Zappa, not the Beatles. Your version of the Beatles never actually happened. What on earth are you listening to?

Anyways, there was a time when you could turn on the top 40 radio and hear something you'd never heard before. I'm not even saying the top 40 is bad. I like Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, LMFAO, Kanye, and others. But where is our Stevie Wonder? Our Prince? Our Beach Boys? The people who came up with stuff out of nowhere that no one had ever heard before and still topped the charts? When was the last time you turned on the radio and said "Oh my God, what was that, where did it come from, and how can I get more?"

We had Outkast, but they're dead already, and didn't make quite the mark I was hoping for. I feel like if they had done just a couple more albums they would have exploded. Ah well.

I have some hope for Bruno. His first album is really solidly written, and "Forget You" was the best song of the past five years. I'm not sure how much of that he wrote, how much Cee-Lo wrote, and how much the other four writers wrote though ...

edited 2nd Aug '12 7:11:56 AM by Cthulboohoo

 
 27 Twentington, Thu, 2nd Aug '12 9:40:41 AM from Somewhere Relationship Status: Desperate
Mustelidae = awesome
[up]That was an exaggeration. I know that Here Comes the Sun is in some ungodly mashup of time signatures; Rain had the vocals sped up and the instruments slowed down; and there were a lot of weird/outlandish studio tricks on Sgt. Pepper's like the artificially extended piano chord, the chopped up calliope/organ parts, etc.

I think that the "big"ness of the artists you just mentioned is at least somewhat retroactive. In 10-20 years, someone will be identified as a cornerstone of the 2010s.

edited 2nd Aug '12 9:43:55 AM by Twentington

Windmill, windmill for the land / Is everybody in?

[up]

It's possible, but I'm not so sure - the model of the record industry has changed a lot, with way less focus on developing artists with creative control. If anyone would be our Beatles, I think it would be some production team, holed up in a room somewhere who we never meet.

I'd also like to point out that you are pointing to a handful of songs from a twelve album career. "Here Comes the Sun"'s time signatures are fairly bizarre, but not as bizarre as you make them out to be. Moreover, they are so expertly done, that most people don't even realize they're happening. And it's disingenuous to cite that song as an example of the Beatles not basing their songwriting on strong melodies, as it is very clearly constructed as a vehicle for a very simple and incredibly catchy and singable melody.

For every truly bizarre song they came out with, they had five or six that were written in the style of freaking Gershwin or Porter - strong and compelling melody supported by harmonic progression that works to call more attention to that melody. For instance, even with the bizarre stuff on Sgt. Pepper's, you have the straight forward shuffles "When I'm Sixty-Four, " "With a Little Help From my Friends, " "Getting Better, " and "Fixing a Hole;" the straight up rock of "Good Morning, " "Sgt. Pepper's, " and "Sgt. Pepper's Reprise;" and the straight pop of "Lovely Rita." So even on their most experimental albums, most of the work is very melodic pop.

It's fine that you don't like them, but you're being kinda disingenuous when you imply that they used those studio tricks as opposed to strong melodies. With only a handful of exceptions, even their experimental work had strong melodic song writing.

And I would like to point out that the Beatles would be the last ones to use huge reverb and distortion on drums - Ringo tuned his drums tighter, muffled all of them, and invented modern studio mic'ing, basically having the clearest and cleanest sounding drums in recording history to that time, and set the standard by which all drums are mic'ed in the studio today.

edited 2nd Aug '12 11:29:44 AM by Cthulboohoo

 
 29 0dd 1, Thu, 2nd Aug '12 11:14:47 AM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Well, Kanye gets a lot of credit for how he makes his music, and after My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, I'm inclined to side with that point of view.

edited 2nd Aug '12 11:15:05 AM by 0dd1

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 30 Erock, Thu, 2nd Aug '12 1:30:20 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
[up]Exactly. Hip-hop is having a renaissance right now, and Kanye has both lead the way and topped the charts.
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 31 Twentington, Thu, 2nd Aug '12 9:44:00 PM from Somewhere Relationship Status: Desperate
Mustelidae = awesome
[up][up][up]I never said that the Beatles didn't use strong melodies. They do have genuinely good songs that are more straightforward. For instance, I like "Yesterday" and "Help!", and I'm sure I'd like more of their stuff if I listened to it. But their more experimental stuff often comes across to me as "we were really freaking bored in the studio".

[up] LED the way. "Led" is past tense. "Lead" is never past tense. (Sorry, major grammar pet peeve of mine, just like using "it's" when you mean "its".)
Windmill, windmill for the land / Is everybody in?

Can-I-Bus
[up][up] True but in order to see the extent of MBDTF's influence you have to look underground.
The smartest idiot you will ever meet.
 33 0dd 1, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 1:01:37 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
[up]We're not talking about the underground though, so that's irrelevant. We're talking about pop and the top 40.

@Twent: What are some specific Beatles songs where the experimentation grates on you (not including "Revolution 9" or "Tomorrow Never Knows", since those are the obvious answers that even fans often admit to not liking).

edited 3rd Aug '12 1:04:00 PM by 0dd1

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Eh, [up], I'm pretty sure it's just a case of hype aversion.
 
 35 0dd 1, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 2:42:51 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
I'm just curious. I like to hear people's opinions on things, especially on things I like tongue
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 36 Twentington, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 3:10:45 PM from Somewhere Relationship Status: Desperate
Mustelidae = awesome
[up]Some of it could be hype aversion, true.
Windmill, windmill for the land / Is everybody in?

 37 Magic Laser, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 3:12:31 PM from higher than this
missing since 1998
Some generally respected names in modern popular off the top of my head: Cee Lo Green, Jack White, Adele, Lady Gaga (though divisive), Kanye West.

Those are off the top of my head with no pre-thought, and I listen to very little pop music. So I'd say the "pop music since the eighties sucks" argument is a bit flawed if we're going by common consensus. And if we're not, there's not a big point in arguing about it at all.
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Can-I-Bus
[up] From what I've encountered, people who enjoy pop music have generally not been exposed to any other music, so I assume that they will probably like other (Older or non mainstream) music more if they where to come across it.
The smartest idiot you will ever meet.
 39 Magic Laser, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 3:33:29 PM from higher than this
missing since 1998
I'm just going to go ahead and call stereotype there.

Also how are we defining pop here? As a genre or as "popular music"?
sometimes I feel like I know you from somewhere

any information please call 555....
I want to reiterate that I never said it sucked, just that it was less musically adventurous. And again, that's just the top 40. Not pop in general.
 
 41 Twentington, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 4:31:27 PM from Somewhere Relationship Status: Desperate
Mustelidae = awesome
I grew up entirely on country, and only claimed that anything else sucked because a.) I extrapolated that from my mom's lack of desire to listen to anything else, and b.) I was retaliating to my peers "I like everything but country" mantra because they were the kind who believed that country is nothing but whiny cowboys singing about dogs and trucks.

Even now, I know so little about pop music. Most of what I do know comes secondhand from my sister, who likes to play the pop station in her car or plug in her iPod. I generally don't like club anthems, but there is still some perfectly listenable stuff out there. Who would've ever thought I'd have Gotye on my playlist? Or Nickelback even?
Windmill, windmill for the land / Is everybody in?

 42 Erock, Fri, 3rd Aug '12 7:22:13 PM from Toronto
Proud Canadian
True but in order to see the extent of MBDTF's influence you have to look underground

You heard of Drake?
If you don't like a single Frank Ocean song, you have no soul.
 43 0dd 1, Sat, 4th Aug '12 8:58:45 AM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
@King Nerd: Yeah, gonna call BS on that.

[up][up][up]Would you have expected even half the music there is today (especially what's on the Top 40) to be heard in the '80s?

[up][up]To be fair, before this year, who would've expected Gotye to be on anyone's playlist tongue
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My music.
[up]

No, but that's because genres change over time. But just because the genres change style, does not mean that the level of talent or innovation necessarily has to decline. Do you really see anyone on the top 40 that's as musically adventurous, innovative, or talented as Michael Jackson, Prince, U2, Madonna, Billy Joel, The Police, the Talking Heads, Queen, Van Halen, etc?

Because those guys were consistently on the top 40 in the '80s.

Our closest? Well Lady Gaga wishes she was Madonna and has maybe five or six decent songs to her name. Justin Timberlake's Future Sex Lovesounds made him sound like he was the second coming of Prince, but then he disappeared from the music scene completely. Kanye is wildly inconsistent, alternatively brilliant and infantile. Usher is a pale shadow of MJ. Cee-Lo has two great songs - they're incredible, but it's still only two. Janelle Monae has the ambition, but her actual music is pretty lackluster - outside of like tightrope. Fun. was better as the Format, but they didn't get hits till they stopped being interesting. Etc.

Outkast was legitimately as good as those guys above, but they're dead now. Who else do we have? Bruno Mars is promising, but can he keep it up? Katy Perry showed huge improvement on her last outing, but she's also got to keep it up. Hopefully Lady Gaga is just in her sophomore slump and she'll pull it out with her next album. The only one of these I'm optimistic about is Bruno. I guess Green Day has a new thing coming out soon - if they can recreate American Idiot's chart and critical success then they'll be in the conversation.

edited 6th Aug '12 1:20:19 PM by Cthulboohoo

 
 45 Twentington, Mon, 6th Aug '12 3:38:01 PM from Somewhere Relationship Status: Desperate
Mustelidae = awesome
[up]As long as Bruno doesn't give us another song as stupid as the Lazy Song, I could get behind that. I agree with Todd in the Shadows Bruno threw in the random masturbation/nudity references entirely to make it not sound like a Sesame Street song.
Windmill, windmill for the land / Is everybody in?

 46 Meta Four, Mon, 6th Aug '12 7:13:27 PM from the house of bread and battle
hahahaha
Do you really see anyone on the top 40 that's as musically adventurous, innovative, or talented as Michael Jackson, Prince, U2, Madonna, Billy Joel, The Police, the Talking Heads, Queen, Van Halen, etc?

Why the concern with the Top 40, though? You said yourself that The Format was more interesting than Fun.; isn't it good enough that the music is accessible without the major labels forcing it down the public's throats?

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Total posts: 46
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