Let's face it, music has changed a lot since the 1950's. If you're a Boomer, or at the tail end of the Boomer generation like me, Modern Pop doesn't come across with any relevance. Cardi B, with her #1 hit song, WAP, doesn't even bother to use a chord progression, or guitars!. So, it seems Pop's changed a lot.
I hope, as a subscriber, you'll see why I'm trying to appeal to your inner sense of what good music is. So, what are the big things that really turn us off to Pop? Here is an abridged list.
1. Auto-Tuned Vocals
You can thank Cher for this. Her song, "Believe" started it, and Will I Am took it from there. Now, auto-tuned vocals are the "sound" of Pop today. Who wants to listen to a robot sing?
2. The Grid
The Grid is how music is thrown up with quantization on the computer's digital work station. All of the timing and tempo are pretty much all of the same. The drums are automatic and don't add anything to the groove other than beats. Boring.
3. The Clicking Cock Roach
That annoying click track that never varies in speed or dynamics that everyone in Pop uses these days. You can also say the hand clap, and the sub-woofed kick drum, too. It's so irritating it actually makes Boomers turn off the radio. And that's bad because Boomers, generally speaking, have more spending power than almost everyone else. If radio really cared about money, they'd cater to us.
4. No Real Instruments
Let's face it, you may hear a guitar or a real drum kit on occasion, but you know the studio looped it. There are very few actual musicians on any song. There are singers, sure. But can you name the musicians who played on the song? No. But do you remember when Eddie Van Halen played on Micheal Jackson records? Yes. Can't miss it. Not these days.
5. No Sonic Variation
The singer may pull out a lot of trills, and vocal runs, but there are no music volume swells. In order to make a chorus sound loud, the studio just adds more stuff. When I was in the studio, an engineer made sure to tell me to play with more intensity at the chorus, or it'll bore us. Today's Pop music, since it's done on computers, and doesn't have real instruments falls flat and isn't satisfying.
6. Perfection Is The Enemy of The Good
Confucius would say it's better to have a diamond with a flaw, than a stone without one. Today's Pop music uses such precision, it lacks the imperfections we actually used to enjoy in the analog world. And now, we miss them. There are very few perfect musicians. I'm OK with that. I would dare say Stevie Wonder is pretty close to being a perfect musician. Click here to see him lay down some drums.
For all of these reasons, and many more, I choose to listen to Independent musicians. It's not that I can't stand Modern Pop music. I'd say I don't relate to it. And that said, I do admire a lot of the production value some labels use. And one day, with your financial support, I could fly to London and record with Stu Epps. It would be a dream come true for me. And that would be totally up to you.
Until then, please know I believe the guitar, the bass guitar and the drums (maybe some keyboards) are pop heritage. Without them, the music just doesn't appeal to me. Probably you, too.
I've never written this on a blog before. God didn't give Rock 'n' Roll to me. My parents did. And they did it on 45's, LP's and 8-track cassettes. That's how I roll with the Rock. And that's what's in it for you.
Get my non-perfect CD, Bait & Switch, today. Listen for yourself.