What’s “good” music anyway?

Up to a year ago I thought, like most people, that I knew what “good” music is. A year later, my music listening habits have changed dramatically towards more experimental, so I’m not sure if what I knew back then is correct anymore. See, how is it possible to like a number of bands, and consider their genres the best, and a year later find them lame and “not fresh” anymore?

What all this means is that different people, with different life experiences, or the same people at different times in their life, they prefer different audio stimulation. And that’s only normal. I now know that reviewing an album can never be objective. It’s 100% a personal experience, and it’s different for everyone. Bands that make no sense to me, might make to someone else, and vice versa.

MGMT put up their new album for free streaming today, and most people don’t like it. I too find it too experimental, having lost its melodies and hooks that the previous album had. So MGMT say that they don’t want to be a mainstream pop band, so they put out this difficult-to-stomach album.

However, what’s “good” anymore? It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

3 Comments »

Daveson wrote on March 23rd, 2010 at 3:39 AM PST:

“It’s all in the eye of the beholder”

sure. music should transport emotions and if that happens, it’s fine. people feel different so it’s always a personal thing. educated musicians tend to judge music by it’s technical level, that’s is bad. i know artists that can’t play any instruments, but when they pick up a guitar and start something with it, it just feels fine. to me.

doesn’t mean that any experimental music is transporting emotions. some bands do experimental stuff just to call themselves experimental.
also, a lot of commercial hits are based on good creative ideas/emotions.

jus my 2 cents


mark dossett wrote on March 27th, 2010 at 3:30 AM PST:

I think the easiest way to answer your question is to look at what was good back in the day and still sounds good today.

Thriller and Purple Rain are timeless!

Meaning you could be in the grocery store and when it’s on you find yourself singing along and forgetting what you came for. That exact thing happened to me last night when I heard “Human Nature by MJ off of Thriller while shopping for some ice cream..

You could have a club full of 20 somethings listening to LADY GAGA vomit all over a track and then put KISS on by PRINCE and the place will go APE SHIT! I saw it happen last weekend.

From Elvis to the Mowtown sound to INXS there are just certain songs that are great songs. Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” will get anyone moving.

There is no original music anymore just recycled music.
Just listen to the new GOLDFRAPP album……..100% 80’s sounding all the way! It’s 2010….right????

I never like VAN HALEN growing up…..I was more into the music I stated above. BUT……I heard “GIRL YOU REALLY GOT ME” the other day and I didn’t want it to end. It was such a great cover song cause they made it their own.

The best quote to ever come out of David Lee Roth’s mouth was……(speaking to Tabitha Soren back in the 80’s when MTV actually played videos). She asked him where does the music come from? David smiled and said……

“It comes from everywhere…you take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you put some spit on it and count to 4 and then start all over again with new words. You don’t sit in a dark room and a burst of light comes in and the hand of God reaches out and say’s…HERE HAVE A SONG….nonsense..man. You steal it just like Bethoven did. If it’s good enough for Ludwig Van Bethoven then it’s good enough for VAN HALEN.”

My favorite all time Davidism as I like to call them.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 27th, 2010 at 12:06 PM PST:

I actually disagree that only what stands the test of time should be considered “good”.

We just had some Queen and The Who on our stereo playing just now, and both JBQ and I agreed that they sounded dated. I had to rush and fast-forward these songs, which are considered CLASSIC for these bands.

Which again brings me to my point, which is what’s classic, and what’s dated and what’s not, it’s again at the eye of the beholder. Different people, like different tunes, at different times in their lives, and all these tunes are ALL acceptable, because they *represented* these people at these times.

According to that theory it also means that a bubblegum hit like “Never gonna give you up” has the same value as “Stairway to Heaven”. And personally, I’m ok with that.

As for David Lee Roth, he’s right. It’s impossible to not be influenced or reuse ideas. We do it all the time on ALL aspects of life. No one is re-inventing the wheel, everyone builds upon, and in fact, that’s the proper way to go ahead with… fewer bugs.

As for the ’80s sound of Goldfrapp, the new wave sound of the ’80s is now in fashion. In the last 2 years that’s the sound that’s currently “in”. Funny thing is, I was listening to some alternative rock band the other day, and someone made the remark that “they sound so ’90s”. It’s really ironic how a ’90s genre is currently “older” than the ’80s recycling we get via the Pitchfork-style bands.


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