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Why I'm fed up of hearing that there's no good music anymore

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As a huge fan of Cracked.com, I found myself cracking up (pun intended) at their article “4 Common Music Arguments and What they Mean”. The article contained such gems as “American Idol ruined everything”, and “I liked them before they got popular”, wherein in the latter, they alluded to Green Day, and how many people view them as a band who sold out and who’ve been writing pretty much the same song for the past 10 years (I actually love Green Day, but can get on board with this).

This article did get me thinking however, about how fed up I am with doom-mongerers predicting the end of the music industry, and having a hernia every time David Guetta comes on the radio, and most of all with the age-old argument “There’s no Good Music Anymore”, wherein hipsters and people who take music far too seriously bemoan the state of the music industry constantly.

I won’t lie, I do get the same feeling on occasion, but really, is it worth getting that upset about?

Here are five reasons why it’s not all doom and gloom, and a few ways that you can find good music!

1)    Use the internet

Ever since putting my band’s stuff on Soundcloud, I have become an active user of it, finding each day fantastic band after fantastic band. It really is a great platform to find unsigned talent, who of course are not bound to record contracts, and who as a result write about what they want, when they want, and best of all, some of it is free! It really is pretty easy to find great music online, as opposed to sitting next to the radio/ in front of the TV, seething every time Nicki Minaj (who is admittedly, terrible) or Will.I.Am (moron) come onto your screens. Just look a bit harder. We’re students; have we got anything else we should be doing anyway?

2)    Don’t be such a snob

Yes Nicki Minaj can’t rap particularly well, and David Guetta has put out some real crap, but at the end of the day, “pop” music is so-called because it’s designed to cater to the masses, i.e. be “popular”. Its sole purpose is to cater to what people like, and to be basically a disposable piece of art (yes, art) that will probably be thrown asunder in two years or so. For example, I know someone who absolutely loathes Moves Like Jagger By Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera. But what is so wrong with it? The reason he hates it is because “it’s just designed to be a piece of crap, and to sell millions”. Yes it is, and I agree with him. But that doesn’t stop it from being funky as hell, and awesome to dance to. Plus Sir Mick Jagger himself acknowledged it as “very flattering”. That’s a pretty big endorsement there. Pop music is supposed to be fun, dumb and colourful. Embrace it, because deep down, everyone loves it, and your musical heroes won’t suddenly turn up, staring at you open-mouthed whilst you dance to it, demanding that you never listen to their music again! You can still be a Metallica fan and love “Sweat” (I’d know).

3)    There is!

Regardless of this, there are plenty of good bands knocking about on the current music scene, in England at least. Bands like Yuck and The Vaccines are up-and-coming and are really original and exciting. Also, on the other side, Frank Ocean’s music is exploding. Plus people like the Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Adele, Florence and the Machine and Foo Fighters (to name but a few) are still writing songs, and will be for the foreseeable future and for a long time thereafter. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think that Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Olly Murs and Tinchy Stryder are some of the worst things to happen in the past five years, but I console myself with the fact that realistically, is anyone going to care in another ten? Yes sure, their songs may prove hard to get away from (I remember literally crying with rage every time I heard Price Tag – one of the most hypocritical abominations to ever come out) – but not only can I choose not to listen to it, I honestly don’t think anyone’s going to be listening to it in ten years. Which is the beauty of the whole game.

 

4)    Reality TV has NOT been the “death of music”

I honestly dislike The X Factor, never watched The Voice UK, never even bothered with American Idol, or indeed The Voice. I have never bought a song by any reality TV show winner. However, what irritates me is people (more than often, failed musicians), who sit there in their armchairs, dismissing reality music shows as “shit”, and say that “it’s killing the music industry.” It’s not. It’s really really not. It’s giving people a chance to pursue, what is statistically, a very unlikely and unrealistic dream. Yes some of the people on there are certifiably insane, but I actually believe it takes balls to go up there and sing in front of a crowd that size, purely to be judged on how you look and sound. Look at Susan Boyle. People dismissed her immediately as she looked like a crazy cat lady (which she actually is), but she had this incredible voice, and took on this whole new lease of life and became very successful, because she was damn talented and deserved it. So just take them for what they are – entertainment. Also, if it’s bugging you that much, turn the TV off and go outside!

5)    It is genuinely a question of taste

Anyway, the beauty with music, or indeed any art form, is that it is down to taste, and what someone can think is utter tripe, can actually be someone’s Mona Lisa (aurally of course). For example, I’ve heard people criticise Axl Rose’s voice (in his pomp) as whiny and irritating, whereas for me, he has one of the greatest voices in rock. Ever. I hate Muse, I think they’re overproduced and that Matt Bellamy over-sings in quite literally all of their songs, and just abuses his guitar effects pedals. However, to some people, Muse are an incredibly vital and important band, not to mention wildly popular, and my stance would be considered “blasphemy”. I also know someone who is adamant that Nicki Minaj is a superb rapper, whereas I genuinely dig my nails into my hands every time I hear “three years ago I renewed my license”, or whatever the hell it is that she’s actually saying. It’s all down to taste; there is nothing that is universally agreed on as "good" by the six billion or so people on earth, where we all sit down and go “yeah I like that, let’s all be friends” (I know people who don’t like The Beatles for example). And that’s why music is just so exciting, because of the variety and the sheer amount of it. Embrace variety, but don’t let it get you down, because life is genuinely far, far too short!

All in all, it is important to remember that there is good music still around, and that iPods were invented for everyone to compile their favourite music together to have as they wished with them wherever they went. Plus, it’s ok to embrace pop music once in a while, (or indeed the whole time if that is what you prefer).

Music is wonderful in so far that it gets us thinking and deciding what we like/don’t like, and the best part is when you surprise yourself by finding something you never thought you’d like. So take a deep breath if you hear something you don’t like on TV/ radio, turn it off, and hey, pick up an instrument or something if you think you could do better. Let music inspire, not irritate you.

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