Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Guilty as charged.

Okay, I'll admit it. I listen to pop. I'm not exactly proud of this. But let me at least defend myself.

I love music. I love music that is music. I think music is an art form. No scratch that, I know music is an art form. And like any art, there is good and bad music. Also like any art form, good and bad is subjective. There is popular art, classical, contemporary, and yes even alternative methods and forms of art. Music is no exception. However, many people, in some misguided struggle against the Man, have completely written off pop music. These people are the ones who say stuff like, "I don't listen to my radio anymore." They hang out at coffee shoppes (yes shoppes not shops) and their intelligence is more often than not expressed with each word. These people hate music. They don't appreciate music. They appreciate art.

And here's where we draw a fine line between music and art. You see, music as an art form is subject to critics. However, just as some critically acclaimed pieces of art can be completely unenjoyable, so can the opposite be true. Some pieces of art transcend time because they're enjoyable. You can't find a critic alive who would say Kung Pow: Enter the Fist was a legitimately good movie. But sit down and watch it. Its hilarious. Even if its not your cup of tea, I'm sure if you're honest with yourself, you can think of at least two or three movies that aren't Oscar nominated but are incredibly enjoyable. Guilty pleasures right?

But now, we come to music, and in our effort to fight the powers that be, we instantly write off pop music, simply for striving to be popular, i.e. enjoyable. Sure, pop music is way too popular at times, and I'll admit, I don't want to hear it 24/7. Still, that doesn't negate that its enjoyable, and therefore of some value, however so little you might give that. I find it ironic that many of the bands who truly create art become thoroughly arrogant towards pop singers (no, I want call them artists) because instead of trying to constantly be the next big thing, they just do what they know works consistently. The record sales may not tell the full artistic story, but lets be honest, no one remembers the best independent releases of ten years ago. No one important that is. Ask me about a pop song of ten years ago. I remember Return of the Mack, The Hotstepper, Victory, No Scrubs by TLC and at least ten other songs. Is that wrong? No.

And when I wake up in the morning, and hear Jessica Simpson, or Christina Aguilera, or even the devil himself, Britney Spears (who fortunately has apparently revoked music to return to her southern roots of beer and pregnancy) I gotta admit, they do some catchy music. Its fun. Its light. I'm depressed enough in the morning, I don't need even more depression in the form of the music I'm using to kill the silence.

What am I saying? That all non-pop music is depressing? No. And I'm not going to say that all pop music is upbeat. I'm just saying that every form of music is appreciably good. And if you don't think that record company's aren't aware of the next big sound, then you haven't really been listening to the radio have you? What happens when the indie sound you treasure so much becomes main stream? Are you going to throw it away for the next big thing because more people than you know about it? I doubt it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go listen to The GO! Team.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

well said javann, well said
~hannah

Itzjerm said...

you've sold your soul to the airwave devil javann...

is your cd player broke? Or is it the fedex truck requires you listen to radio?

The fact that you have fallen into musical depravity does not mean that you can justify this by a meager expression of word to correct.

True there have been times where pop was ok, I am a fan of quiet a bit that ended up on the radio in the 80's... in fact it was a rule then that having more than one song popular was against the rules. There may be the song here or there that is created for the main stream listener today which is listenable (i'll admit to liking some of Madonnas later stuff)... but in general pop music of the radio is basically an equation... an equation which anyone be it Paris Hilton or any other person can plug into... I'll pass... i'll find the oldies and flashback stations.. but in general pop is like country music.. to generic for my taste.