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Old 23-12-2009, 00:52:03   #1
Walrus Feeder
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Music in The Noughties

How's it been for you? My instant thoughts are that for music in general not that amazing and previous decades have been better, especially the 90's. I can't really think of many exciting moments in the decade for music. Particularly the guitar based stuff i generally listen to and try to keep interested in. In the 90's there seemed to be a lot more defined scenes and genres like grunge and Britpop and in my opinion generally better bands, better tunes and more talent.

Looking at some of the biggest selling and popular bands around today most seem to have started in previous decades and arguably produced a lot of peak material then, such as U2, Metallica and Oasis. What indicates a lack of quality new music is the amount of older bands and artists reforming or reappearing on the scene as if they have sensed this is such a lack of quality nowadays it worth them making a comeback. Morrissey is a prime example, with Take That for the pop scene and ithen look at other artists who have done the same and sold out gigs and played high up the bill at festivals such as The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Guns n Roses and Blur. If there had been more of a quantity of better bands now would 50 Cent have played at Reading and Jay Z headlined Glastonbury? With McCartney in 2004, Springsteen in 2009 and U2 headlining in 2010 you get the impression too that there aren't enough 'big enough' bands arounds now to warrant headline status. I saw The Darkness headline Reading in 2004 with not enough material to fill the 90 mins slot. Mind you, you would think going to watch live music is more popular than ever with gigs and Summer festivals selling out in days, though the nature of buying tickets online has accentuated this. There is always hype about the possibility of The Smiths re-forming, and you bet if Cobain were still alive then a Nirvana reunion would have been mentioned. Referring back to Morrissey, he himself has been quoted numerously saying that very few artists have anything interesting to say, and i think he's right. Even in Black music, there seems to be little artists who grab our attention with any political lyrics or social commentary. A lot of the latest music from the States seems to be urbanised Hip-Hop inspired RnB for the masses such as Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Rhianna and Beyonce. Alternatively it's about being 'In da club' or slagging off celebs aka Eminen style. In Britain and particularly, there have been the rise of underground scene named now as Urban but i tend to try to avoid listening to this whenever it appears on those Flava music channels as in my opion it's crap most of it.

The band that i think defines the decade in mainstream music is Coldplay (and all the soundalikes they spawn like Snow Patrol and Athlete.) Other notable mentions go to Kings Of Leon, The Killers and The White Stripes and maybe from a Brit perspective The Kaiser Chiefs, Muse, Kasabian, Razorlight, Artic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse and Franz Ferdinand. If we're talking harder rock then System Of A Down, Queens Of The Stone Age, Slipknot, Linkin Park and Emo sound of Fall Out Boy and their guyliner wearing contemporaries.

One thing that's definitely more difficult to be is original. In my opinion there hasn't been that much new invention or changes in the musical scenery So many bands/artists nowadays are inevitiably being linked to previous scenes like punk, metal, blues etc. This has always seemed to be the case to some extent in the last 20-30 years i suppose though, with even the Black Sabbath having roots in Blues, but who are deemd the godfathers of heavy metal. In my opinion there hasn't been that much new invention or changes in the musical scenery this decade. The bar has seemed to be lowered too, in terms of what is great music. From this i mean a lack of talent and flair. A lot seems to focus more on image and enthusiasm rather than individuality and creativity. In previous decades we had guitar heroes and singer/songwriters we admired for their lyrics, now Guitar Hero is a video game. Sorry to sound like someone's moaning parent but i do wonder if the huge increase in gaming has stopped a generation of young people learning an instrument and forming a band and instead pretending to shoot people. I also think the increased popularity of DJ-ing doesn't really add much to the music scene.

Regarding pop music (as with mainstream culture) one thing that stands out in the Noughties is output created by reality shows like X Factor. Give me Stock Aitken and Waterman anyday rather than Will Young, Gareth Gates, Michelle McManus and Leona Lewis with their glorified karaoke. I'll let Girls Aloud off though as they are comparable to the Spice Girls in terms of quality of songs rather than global grabbing attention.

Another major thing in the Noughties has been the change of how music is listened to and particularly bought and the effect this has had. The immediacy of downloading music is now commonplace and is, yes, very practical but the old institutions of going to independent record stores off your local high street is being snuffed out, with the demise of Top Of The Pops and the interest of who will have a number one single almost totally gone. It seems if you release a song and it is publicised or marketed well you are guarenteed number one spot - if only for a week. Mind you 14 weeks of Bryan Adams in the 90's was hard to stomach! The recent Rage Against The Machine v X Factor winner has proved to had an interesting twist on this though.

Last edited by Walrus Feeder; 23-12-2009 at 01:28:55.
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Old 23-12-2009, 09:02:52   #2
Lazarus and the Gimp
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Quote:
One thing that's definitely more difficult to be is original. In my opinion there hasn't been that much new invention or changes in the musical scenery

Only in the mainstream commercial strand of music, and then only arguably- especially when you see songs like Dizzee Rascal's "Bonkers" at number 1.

It's been low on invention for guitar rock bands, sure- but just start reading "Wire" magazine and you'll soon see there's loads of wildly inventive stuff flying around in the margins.
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Old 23-12-2009, 12:00:30   #3
Scabrous Birdseed
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My favourite decade in music thus far. I can see the reasons for despair if you like guitar-driven music, but I know friends who'd still say the same from even that perspective (they're into grizzly bear, cat power or whatever).

From my viewpoint the explosive growth of amateur and third-world electronic musicianship has made possible a huge explosion in quality and talent. Multiple amounts of the number of people who made music in the nineties make it now, and it shows, you just have to have the serendipity to find it! I never thought that I'd be listening to angolan DJs electronically manipulating children crying and enjoying it, but here I am. The sheer interconnectedness and mutual access means trends, ideas and fragments bounce around the world at ever increasing speeds, creating all these great combinations and mutations. In London alone you've had eski, grime, sublow, dubstep, wonky and funky all producing amazing things with each others' material and ideas, at the same time going to some fantastic extremes in the sonic palate.

My prediction is that the tens will be much more unified and restrained in terms of excess, in a good way.
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Old 24-12-2009, 09:21:52   #4
jsorense
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I like music, but I miss zmama .:sad:
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Old 24-12-2009, 10:54:02   #5
Debaser
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Can't really generalise about stuff like this 'cos ultimately it's about individual songs, but here goes anyway:

This decade: better than the 90s, worse than the 80s.
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Old 24-12-2009, 11:14:01   #6
Funko
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There were some really good albums and songs that I really liked in the noughties.
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