Friday, December 6, 2013

No More Watered Down Music!



What do Rihanna, Miguel, Nicki Minaj, Train, Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry all have in common? A few things: All of them record watered down music, none of them have outstanding musical abilities, and I dislike all of their music. Yet, the masses love them and they have the paychecks to prove it. Instead of fighting the assault of pop music, most people choose to go along with it and try to find the best music within the worst genre, but I say, Enough! I will not go gently into that awfully bad music nightmare. Here are my worthless two cents on which artists help me to keep my head above the sewage that pop music has spit out.

First, I want to back up my caboose to Train. They started off as an amazing band with a wonderfully unique sound. Their first two CDs are just plain awesome. However, they started switching to the pop sound on their third album, and when their fourth album was released, they were a bona fide pop music group. All of the others I mentioned were never any good.

Now that I got that out of the way, I actually love music of different kinds, but the reason why I hate pop music is because every song sounds like the last twenty, the artists can barely sing, and there is no depth to their music. But you would be surprised to learn that I actually was into pop music a little over a decade ago. I loved Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, and Savage Garden – actually, it is still hard for me to categorize Savage Garden’s sound, but it is closest to pop, I guess – and that was the last time pop music was any good. Wait, I forgot that Maroon 5 is pretty good, but that is it.

How have I gotten through it all? With a little help from my friends, like Hoobastank, Breaking Benjamin, Lifehouse, Tonic, Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, Modena, Foo Fighters, Alter Bridge, Creed, Mark Tremonti, Dave Matthews Band, The Script, Pearl Jam, Trapt, 10 Years, The Doors, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Staind, 3 Doors Down, Pink Floyd, Foreigner, Stone Temple Pilots, Audioslave, and others. 

Then I started wondering what other nations had to offer when it came to good music. Equipped with YouTube, Google, and Wikipedia, I set out to find out what I had been missing. That is when I learned about a lot more music by Radiohead, who hail from the UK. Up until this point, I only knew about Karma Police. I even had a distant memory of the music video where the car is set on fire at the end. Then I found out that they are a serious force in the fight for good music. If I tried to name their songs that I love, I would end up naming most songs they have made, and yes, I did check out all of their CDs, even the first one that critics said was no good. I think I went a month listening to all of their music every business day while at work.

Looking for bands with a similar sound, though that would be a feat, I came across another band from the UK called Porcupine Tree. These guys cannot be any good with a name like that, I thought to myself. Oh how wrong I was! I mean I was really, really wrong. They also have a variety of sounds like Radiohead, but their sound is completely their own. I also listened to their music over and over again.

Thirsty for more, I decided to come back to the UK later and see what Ireland had to offer after desiring to hear bands similar to The Script. Okay, I do not know how I did not know this before, but Ireland has some good behind music. I seriously want to visit there now. I cannot go into each band, but all I can say is to look up Ash, Butterfly Explosion, Alphastates, The Coronas, Delorentos, Elspeth, The Fallen Drakes, The Frames, In Case of Fire, Mono Band, Shouting at Planes, Tired Pony, and The Devlins, to name a few. This is what I had been missing!

These artists and others from Ireland had that depth of music that reaches to the very heart of a person, that way with lyrics where they did not care about making a rhyme as much as making a statement. I loved it! I will go back to checking out the UK next week since I am about to get off of work in an hour or so.

I encourage everyone out there to think outside of the musical box. Music is much larger than the pop music that gets played over and over and over again on the radio. It is also much larger than the United States. So pull up your YouTube, Google, and Wikipedia, and arm yourself with music – good music.

What music do you enjoy (even if it is the dreaded pop[corn that gets stuck in my radio])? What music, if any, do you enjoy music from outside of the States?

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