Archive for August 27th, 2009

Is Rock all said and done? Part II

Two months ago I wrote an opinion piece about this decade not having a defining artist with enough music influence to compare to monsters of rock of the previous decade. I know some of you disagreed with the opinion, and the rest completely missed the point. But I am now revisiting the topic, since there are some interesting articles discussing this same issue. Their writers also feel that there is indeed an “issue” with today’s oversaturated music industry.

Refe wrote an article here, published a response from an industry veteran here, and that same veteran wrote an article of his own here. The consensus seems to be that there is indeed a “problem” in this decade pinpointing new genres or influential artists that take the world by storm (rather than being niches). As the internet age is trying to define itself musically, the culture itself takes a hit. Maybe it is a social sign o’ the times. Please read these articles before commenting below.

And please let me rant a bit more, this time about Muse’s brand new album, “Resistance“. It sounds exactly like Queen did in the ’70s and ’80s. The album sounds like a bad cover of Queen (many others have noticed too, and one music reviewer even made fun of the fact). Now think about it: if a “progressive rock” band (that was the definition of Muse’ sub-genre so far) is copying a 30 years old band, how progressive is that? Obviously, not much. I can see the rotten state of music perfectly through the new music of Muse. It is to me a perfect example or irony.

I wonder if and when the internet age re-shuffles itself and the dust is settled down, maybe the new major genre we might look at would be electro-rock. Think of bands like the Passion Pit, Metric, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT. This genre encompasses electronic, dancy pop-disco melodies, and rock. It is accessible enough to pop audience, still has rock elements to appease the rockers, and it uses electronic samples which are in line with the internet and computer revolution (each generation uses whatever tools it can to make music, and electronic is today’s main tool). This is the only genre that I see as emerging right now as one that has enough strength to become ultra-popular. If this genre fails too to create major artists (e.g. the way grunge had Nirvana as its poster boys), I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel for music.

Then again, as Refe wrote, maybe the true legacy of this decade is to have true variety, through many niches of genres and artists. And maybe that’s a good thing — just different from what we were used to before.