Time flies quickly. One minute, everything seems simple; there is no cable television to worry about or smart phones. Then, all of the sudden, there are a million and one new innovations that found their way into our lives…and we cannot live without them. But technology isn’t the only thing that has changed over the years; so has the music.
For just over two weeks, I have been immersing myself in songs from the early 1900s to the 1960s, as part of the 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die Challenge I am doing on my blog. Every day, I listen to ten songs from the 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die book, and I find my frustration growing daily. The comparisons I am making in my head have changed my perspective almost entirely.
“You know, back in my day…,” is a phrase typically applied to an “old person” stereotype.
But as time goes by, and as I listen to more of these classic songs (even re-listening to those I’ve grown up on), I think I finally get it.
While there are some incredibly talented artists in today’s industry, let’s focus in on the typical offenders on the Top 40s list.
You’ve got your Kanyes, your Rhianna’s, your Miley’s, and, heaven help us, your Justin Beibers, which is only a small part of your typical modern Top 40.
For just a moment, think about the songs.
Let’s say, in the current Top 40, there are two songs that are about sex…and they’re pretty obvious about it.
But when you look at older songs, from eras like the 1940s and 50s, subtlety was key. The artists back then could sing about lust and sex and everything in between, and often times, those of a more naive train of thought wouldn’t even notice.
Then we move into good old rock and roll, which appeared to have a different standard entirely, drawing influences from blues and jazz.
So what’s the change?
Is it just the steady pace of musical evolution as more and more sub genres form?
Or is it the influence of the technology in our daily lives on our art?
It’s obvious that listeners aren’t the only one noticing this change; even bands are taking steps to produce new music on a back to basics route. For example, The Maine’s Forever Halloween was the turning point for the incredible band, who recorded live to a tape.