We were sitting around bullshitting at the bar the other day and, as usual, the topic of music came up. And frankly, these days, most of it is the equivalent of auditory Ex-Lax. "How can he say that?" you ask, when we live in an era where staggering musical prodigies the likes of Katy Perry and Kanye West rule the airwaves? Well, here's our breakdown of why modern pop music is funkier than a freshly-baked dog turd.
Great Music, Terrible Lyrics
There are a fair amount of musical millionaires who are actually damn good musicians, but their lyrics may well have been written by inbred chimpanzees. The first band that comes to mind is one I actually like: Linkin Park. Their genre-blending synth-rock-rap is well composed and has evolved decently over the years, but for the most part, lyrically, these guys are knuckleheads. They've brought us such brilliant verses as, "Clutching my cure I tightly lock the door, I try to catch my breath again, I hurt much more than anytime before."
Still don't believe me? Make a drinking game out of it. Every time they say the words "I, me, or you" take a shot. You'll be dead in half a song.
Great Lyrics, Terrible Music
Somehow even worse than that is great lyrics with terrible music. He's that Indie rocker who can write masterful prose but plays music that sounds like a bunch of rabid cats raping each other in a back alley.
The Catchy Hook (that doesn't really mean anything)
Now we don't want to sound like the old whippersnappers hating on modern music, but let's face it, there's a ton of songs that rely on nothing more than a catchy hook with a chorus full of empty words. You know what I'm talking about. The same 4 notes playing over and over again, on repeat, turning a song into nothing more than a 3 and a half minute long chorus.
Like this abortion of a song that's been strangling the radio airwaves for an eternity now.
It's terrible, yes, but it's so easy to get stuck in your head... which is something that we're not dismissing for our own musical endeavors.
An upgrade from the HitMaker 2000 which has 5 keys (so unnecessary!).
Let's face it, whether they're talented or not, a lot of artists these days rely upon corny gimmicks to sell their image. Probably the most notable of these is Lady Gaga, who routinely shops for her wardrobe at modern art galleries and meat-packing plants.
Yes, Gaga's main schtick is tacky wardrobe. And I used to respect her for it. Hell, I'll even admit to owning and enjoying her first album. However, I haven't even moderately enjoyed anything of hers since. It's all crap. But hey, who needs to write a high quality song anymore when you pander exclusively to the gay community? Sure, we wholeheartedly support gay rights, but what we don't support is lazy songwriting just because something you believed in became a success and you used that to turn a positive message into a gimmicky, half-assed album.
Auto-tune sucks. It just does. Chances are, if you're a singer and you use auto-tune, you probably shouldn't be singing. Because you're not. Thanks to this wonderful little technological advancement any old schmuck can have his voice transformed into that of an operatically inclined robot. Hey, if it works for Kanye West, who's to say you can't be the next big rap star, Mr. Tracheotomy?
Sometimes you don't need musical talent. Sometimes you just need a gigantic pair of boobs, a pretty face, and a skimpy bikini, which is totally comparable to strong vocal cords and general musical ability.
Speaking of sex, sexual lyrics sell albums like you wouldn't believe. Look at Rihanna. Every song she's made in the past 2 years is about how much she loves the caulk. And while we've got nothing against a sexually empowered woman, I don't know if any of her lyrics really qualify as "empowering", unless you're an avid Sesame Street watcher and you need dumbed down explanations of how basic sexual functions work.
Remedial Vocabulary -
I read last week that the average American reads at a ninth-grade level. I'm assuming that the corresponding vocabulary isn't a whole lot higher than that. But does that mean that music has to be dumbing it down for the masses, too? More and more we're seeing music saturated with terrible grammar, coming from musicians that have a perfectly competent vocabulary. Ask yourself the question: would proper grammar really make a song all that terrible?
Skreezy graduated from the school of hard knocks, but he also graduated Magna Cum Laude from a prestigious New England college as an English Major, which his fans don't need to know.
Now, we're not trying to make you feel bad for liking Justin Bieber or the Skreezies of the world. But if you do, you probably should. Admittedly, music is subjectively appealing, and we've all got our guilty pleasures. In fact, Bryan is a huge fan of traditional Afghani folk warbling set to break-beats. So, take our opinions for what they're worth.
What do you think constitutes bad music?
Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Beer: Modelo Especial
Music: Weird Al Yankovic