Reapergurl

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It's just like, all the kids of today listen to this music, and what the Hell am I hearing?


I don't hear anything that doesn't sound auto-tuned, pitch-corrected, WTF...


And then there's this absolute garbage that is not only auto-tuned, but worse, it is warped and modded beyond understanding, and they EAT THIS **** UP like candy...


It makes my brain puke. Sorry but I just cannot 'dig it'.


I mean, I just don't even understand it; more than half the lyrics don't make any dayum sense, or are so redundant it leaves me staring like 'What the **** is this all about!?'


What happened to picking up an instrument and ACTUALLY playing it!?


Or singing with your soul into the microphone?


'Girls, Girls, Girls! Raisin' Hell, at the Seventh Veil...'


'Obey your Master, Master! Master of Puppets, I'm pulling your strings!'


'Mental wounds not healing, who and what's to blame? I'm goin' off the rails on a Crazy Train!!'


'The stranger's candy...takes you where you ought to be...in broken alleys, in the back of every street...'


'One for all, all for one, we are strong, we are one! One for all, all for one, we are one...NEMESIS!'


'Nothing to see where the sleeping souls LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEE...CHEMICAL WARFARE!!!'


'I'll make you cry, make you bleed, make you see, the Depths of Your Folly!!!'


'Crossing silent seas, over mountains high, to the Valley of the Damned!!'


'And I think, it's going to be alright, yeah, the worst is over now; the morning sun is shinin' like a Red Rubber Ball!!'


What happened to music? What happened to people enjoying watching a real live performance?


Just...What...the bloody Hell happened!?!?!?


I mean no disrespect but...I just cannot get into the music of today (that is 'popular' anyway).


There are some out there who still play music that is for the sake of music and not money.


Like Arch Enemy; Angela (lead vocalist) is amazing.


In fact, I implore you all to go back to music's roots, and see what music was meant to be, and what it has become.


If I knew how to post a YouTube video, I'd do that too.
 

Wavelength

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Listen to One Republic.  Listen to P!nk.  Listen to Ed Sheeran.  Heck, even listen to Katy Perry or Kelly Clarkson and you'll find more good than bad there.


Popular music did suck a decade ago, but these days even the Top 40 Stations and Adult Contemporary Stations are chock-full of well-composed music, great instrumentation, and sometimes very nuanced lyrics.  Listen with an open mind, and I'm sure you'll find things that you like.  Is there some mediocrity in there as well?  Sure, but remember that every decade of music had its mediocrity.
 

Kes

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Art, Literature and Music forum is for posting your own work.


I've moved this thread to General Lounge. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.
 

mlogan

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While I'm with you on not really getting into most current pop music, I'm going to venture out here and assume you're near my age when I use the collective "we". And will say, I'm sure when we were younger it was the same for the older generations and pop music. I mean, there are many songs that I know grin goofily at and sing along with for the sake of nostalgia, all the while I'm scratching my head thinking, "I liked this?!?".


The curse of getting older...
 

Syltti

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Do you really need to relate to it? It's music regardless of how awful it is. If it's not your style, don't listen to it. If you can't escape it, just bear with it till you can. There's no use in trying to complain about it because the music industry will honestly never care. If people like even the most incredibly niche genres, you can expect more of it to surface. The only option you really have in today's music world (if you can't stand/understand what's going on) is to just smile and nod until you secure an escape route.
 

Diretooth

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I understand where you're coming from. There are multiple factors that tie in to what music you like. Upbringing, tone, sound, whether or not certain sounds trigger reactions in your brain... I grew up listening to what my parents grew up, for instance, but I also grew up playing video games. While I tend to like most music, I'll even listen to rap if it's good enough, I typically listen most to video game music. A lot of people find this strange, but I've gotten more enjoyment from entire OSTs than what most people churn out today. Not that what they churn out isn't too too bad either.


My main problem with any type of music is whether or not it has melody to it, if the music itself tells a story. I cannot stand dubstep, barring few exceptions. 'They are coming' by Foxamoore, for instance, is his only song to my knowledge with dubstep roots, but it mixes with actual orchestral melody to tell a story. Further, there are some songs that are entirely done as you, personally, would desire. That being, played with an actual instrument. Most modern country can be summed up with 'Beers, tractors, and heartbreak'. Classic country I can relate to more, but modern, it's utter crap to me. Same with certain types of metal. I can enjoy death metal, but it varies between different songs and different artists. Same with pop, same with rock, same with electronic, same with video game music


Though, to be completely fair to those who don't use an actual instrument, it's not necessarily easy to make a song, a good one, without practice. Oftentimes, a person wants to make music, but can't be assed to learn how to play a guitar, the piano, violin... Or can't find/afford a good enough teacher to do it. I, personally, am a self-taught writer primarily. While school may have supplemented the way I write, the structure of my sentences, it's through writing my own stories, first as giant walls of text, and eventually into the mess you're reading right now.


I am mildly proficient in traditional art, and still learning how to do digital art well enough. In both of these counts, I've never had lengthy formal training, my handwriting sucks and I can't draw a straight line without the use of a ruler. I used to write my books via pen and paper, then through typing it. I can say, for certain, I can type better than most people I know because I spent so much time at my computer. Even though I rarely put pen to paper anymore, that no more invalidates the use of computers to create music. (See? There was a point to my writing tangent!) Same with digital art. You can paint a beautiful meadow with paint and canvas, and you can do the same with digital media. Both require time and patience, and some are better at one than the other. Same with music. I can't play a guitar for crap, I can play the Doug theme and 'peter, peter, pumpkin eater' on the piano, but I couldn't play something more complex. (Granted, I can't do much better with a music-making program.) Does that make any one more valid than the other? No. They're both sound waves entering your eardrums and making things vibrate.
The main point of all of this is that it all comes down to personal likes and dislikes. You don't like certain music, I don't like certain music, I certainly don't like bad lyrics or lack of melody, but other people do. It hits that sweet spot for them. My brother listens to (I'm going to get this wrong, I just know it) Lindsey Sterling(?), who makes violin dubstep. It has melody, but I don't like it as much as he does. He listens to Celldweller and Starset and a whole slew of different bands I don't particularly enjoy... But I'll listen to them, because sometimes you have to find a good one to appreciate why they like something.
 

mlogan

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@Syltti Goodness, I don't think Reapergurl was commenting to try to make the industry change or anything, just simply expressing their opinion of it.
 

Syltti

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@Syltti Goodness, I don't think Reapergurl was commenting to try to make the industry change or anything, just simply expressing their opinion of it.





 
Oh, I know. It's just that I see a lot of people saying they "can't relate" to music. ...Do you really need to, though? It's not as though every piece of music was made for someone to relate to something. I'm just saying you don't always need to try and relate to it, just enjoy it. (Or don't if you don't like it of course.)
 
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HexMozart88

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Nah, she's right. This music today is utter trash. All of it is about the same thing. I'm like, all alone among my friends who listen to all this junk about going to the club or xyz person ditched me so I'm going to do a whole bunch of garbage now. I listen to 80's, 90's and early 2000's. The Smiths, Depeche Mode, New Order, The Killers, Green Day. That stuff is actually meaningful, and little to no auto tune. Literally, half my class got so mad at me before because I said I couldn't tell the difference between Beyonce and Rihanna. People have lost all expression in music and it ticks me off. I shudder to even call it music. As far as, "it doesn't need to relate", um, yes... it kind of does in a way... I mean, it doesn't need to be like, "Oh my gosh, I've felt this exact thing before," but the point of music is self-expression, not "let's make some money". The music actually needs to make the listener feel something other than, "What the heck is this song?"


The thing that really bugs me is that whenever I tell people that the modern songs I've heard are all about drugs, they say to me, "That's what makes it good." That gets me really concerned for their future. That's the thing too. All of this music glorifies drug use, they make it seem like you have to use drugs in order to get anywhere, and they make it seem like you have to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Meanwhile, the older songs are just about whatever is going on, whatever they need to actually convey. There's no shame in listening to old music. Keep listening to whatever the heck you want.     
 

Diretooth

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Hex raises a good point that I'd completely forgotten about. Too many songs are about doing drugs and getting shitfaced. Black Eyed Peas, for instance, had some good songs that meant something, then they released 'I've gotta feeling'. That was a huge whiplash for me. Granted, music has had similar themes to it for a long time. Not necessarily drugs, but lyrics that are much darker than you expect. Elvis' song 'Hound Dog', for instance, is basically him insulting someone by calling them a whiny b****. It's more tactful than most songs today, but that's history for you. We've basically been doing the same thing over and over throughout history, we just do them in slightly different ways.
 

Syltti

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... As far as, "it doesn't need to relate", um, yes... it kind of does in a way... I mean, it doesn't need to be like, "Oh my gosh, I've felt this exact thing before," but the point of music is self-expression, not "let's make some money". The music actually needs to make the listener feel something other than, "What the heck is this song?"





 






 
What I'm talking about is that you don't need to be able to relate to every piece of music you hear to enjoy it. Yes, music is all about freedom of, and self, expression but that doesn't mean artists are required to create something that someone from two generations ago can enjoy because they can relate to it. I'm pretty sure that would go directly against self-expression. An example of not needing to relate would be music from a different language. Language barrier. People can just as easily enjoy music sung in other languages as they can their own. Does that mean they can relate to it? I often listen to songs in Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese despite not speaking any of the languages simply because I like the composition and/or vocals. Does that mean I relate to them? Nope. It simply means; I like them.


Now... about songs about drugs, sex, sheep-talking, and all that... As much as I hate to say it (and I truly hate to say it), that's self-expression as well, even though most of these... "rappers" are just doing it to get famous, get money, and get [female dogs in human form]. Even though much of it is just kids copying other people they've heard... it's still music. It's still self-expression. That I wish would hurry up and die.
 
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LaFlibuste

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Well this is a very large subject and a lot could be said about it. I'm not sure it's even worth mentioning, but for the sake of it, a lot of very good music is being produced today. You just have to look away from big labels and industry giants. I read a very interesting article or opinion piece or whatever some time ago, basically it said that  "back in the day " (read "before the 80s"?) big record labels were directed by old school guys who didn't really understood the new trends. They were searching for the next revolutionary sound, the next trend. They took risk, they tried new stuff. But when these guys went into retirement, they were replaced by hip, trendy youths who understood the new trends. The new guys stopped looked for the next big trend and started exploiting the actual trend, to sell more albums and make more money. Music evidently stopped thriving within the big labels shortly thereafter. I'm not saying absolutely nothing noteworthy was ever produced or released after the 70-80s, I'm saying it started stagnating and even though the odd worthy artist managed to creep through, a lot of crap was also released.


Besides, there are a number of very interesting ethical dilemmas to be discussed and thought about around music:


First off, you mention autotune a lot as the staple of crappy artists. True, when autotune is used as a crutch to compensate someone being poorly trained, it's bad use and will reflect poorly on the whole performance. The same could be said about most all other modern tools, though. I don't know if you've ever seen modern recording software. Basically each input is a track which you can cut up, apply diverse effect to, reorganize. You could take a crappy drum track, isolate every sound, straighten them out and place everything on time because the musician was maybe not able to keep a tempo or something. Used this way, it's clearly wrong. But where do you trace the line? sheep happens, even to highly shilled musicians. Is moving one slightly out of place snare hit a big deal? What if this is used artistically to produce something you couldn't have otherwise? An exemple is Phil Collins' snare sound in the 80s, he put a very large reverb and a very short gate on it, so his snare would sound incredibly large but be very short, crisp, precise. Imagine hitting a snare very hard in a huge cathedral but you didn't have like 7 seconds of reverb afterwards blurring the whole music. This is clearly impossible to render physically, but surely the use of technology is good in such a case. It's the same with autotune, used to compensate for a poor artist, it sucks, but there are very creative ways to use this and can create very interesting effects in the hands of a competent musician. These are tools, it then only depends on how they are used. The comparison with digital art Diretooth made is very apt, in my opinion. Or with writing with a spellcheck. Grammar-correcting software can be very useful and save writers huge headaches, but it cannot compensate for not knowing how to write properly. The dilemma, however, is where to trace the line (once again). Does this mean only highly trained individuals should attempt music? What about the good old garage band whose members are having fun? I'm exagerating a bit, but by reserving music to some elite, it renders it inaccessible to the masses. They are less trained, less involved, they do not understand it anymore and delve towards modern pop, which is easy to pick up, made to be catchy and blaring everywhere.


The bit about editing tracks leads us to another dilemma. Modern pop music is about producing a finished, professional, perfect product. It's an age of sound techs. Musicians perform their bits in glass cages, often not even all at once. Like only the drummer and bassist will play the whole song, then  the tech will have it played back in the guitarist's earphones who'll play his bit over it, etc. Then the sound techs will apply effects, crop and straighten the tracks, make something perfect and unattainable. On one hand, we can understand: who'd want to release a product in which there are mistakes? This also saves times, tedium and money. Recording a bunch of people at once, in the same room, while feasible, is much harder to edit and correct. And even if they re world-class professionals, don't get me wrong: there will be mistakes. On one take the energy will be awesome but the track will speed up a bit and the guitarist will have made a mistake or something. On another it'll be better but sound dead, etc. But recording everyone separately makes it sound a bit dead. Also, people will expect this sound on stage. It was not always the case, but the album often sounds better than the performance possibly ever could. So how do you deal with this? The music is so disconnected from the musician and there are so many crutches to help disguise lack of skill, I can somehow understand big record labels wanting a good looking, charismatic figure to do lip sync on a stage. Even if it were the original artist, the CD sounds so good and they are going to play it as exactly as possible, anyway!...


Aside from (varying degrees of) greed, laziness and perfectionnism, what also explains this, in my opinion, is a quirk of the human psyche that has very strong evolutionary reasons to exist. DO note it's a personal theory of mine but I quite like it and so far, in my experience, it holds up. So, in my opinion, people first and foremost like what they already know, then what they can understand, and have a very hard time liking all the rest. I mean, have most pop-listening people listen to something like this or this (and it's not necessarily the weirdest thing I could think of) and they'd be instantly turned off. They are used to mostly listening to a regular beat with barely any melody, they use (some degree of) text to attach themselves to the music: you've said so yourselves, some people you know like songs only because of the theme that's tackled by the song and how it's exploited. Not only do these tunes not have words but the beat is not easily discernible but it changes several times, the rhythms are irregular, there are a lot of weird sounds and changes, lots of references, it's kinda long.... And yet these are extremely proficient musicians, it is very high quality music. But it's so out there, there is nothing they can relate to in it, they literally cannot understand how it works, how it is built, why anyone would want to play or listen to this. And it's the same with everything else, mind you: visual art, food, clothing, other people, etc. There have been wars because the next tribe had darker skin, bigger noses and dressed weird, spoke weird, listened to weird music. At some point, in my opinion, you have to come to term with the fact that acquiring new tastes is a LOT of work and having an open mind is not something easy and automatic. You have to explain how and why things work, so that they can understand them, accept them and see/hear/whatever them long enough that they get to know it and aven like it. You also have to nudge them slowly, step by step, towards those things. You don't start someone who has never eaten cheese in his life with blue cheese, you start off with mozzarella, than maybe brie or cheddar, etc.


Anyway, I've rambled a bit, I'm sorry if my post is maybe not very structured or well organized :p  And a lot more could be said about copyright laws, technologies, trends and where they come from, but I'll leave it at that for now.
 

HexMozart88

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First off, you mention autotune a lot as the staple of crappy artists. True, when autotune is used as a crutch to compensate someone being poorly trained, it's bad use and will reflect poorly on the whole performance.
Of course, like most things, there will always be some that ruin it for everyone else. I'm not scolding it for people who actually use it legitimately to, you know, clean up some chords or whatever, I'm talking about those people who sing like garbage and use autotune to make themselves sound a bit "better". Meanwhile they overdo it and they no longer sound human. That's what really ticks me off. I know there are probably a lot of pretty decent modern songs but the ones we are exposed to are all trash.

Yes, music is all about freedom of, and self, expression but that doesn't mean artists are required to create something that someone from two generations ago can enjoy because they can relate to it.
I believe we are thinking of two different meanings of "relate" here. What I mean by "relate" is to actually legitimately feel something in the music. I hate those songs that are literally completely pointless and they don't convey anything.

I often listen to songs in Japanese, Korean, or Taiwanese despite not speaking any of the languages simply because I like the composition and/or vocals. Does that mean I relate to them? Nope. It simply means; I like them.
It is practically impossible to like a song and feel absolutely nothing. Relate means to feel some kind of emotional connection to something. I don't mean it as "have these exact same things happen to you." Otherwise there would be little to no songs to relate to. Relate as in "feel the same sadness as them, feel the same pain as them."

Now... about songs about drugs, sex, sheep-talking, and all that... As much as I hate to say it (and I truly hate to say it), that's self-expression as well
   Self-expression, eh? They sure do a really garbage job at conveying that self-expression. Self-expression is supposed to be mutual. The artist should feel something, but as well, the listener should feel something. Maybe not the same thing, but something nonetheless. All I feel, all I picture when listening to those songs is some glassy-eyed, robotic human that is as blind as any normal person on the street, and sees nothing more through those glassy eyes than a chance to get money, girls and drugs. So please tell me, what do you feel when listening to those songs? What emotions are they trying to convey, eh?   
 

Reapergurl

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@ksjp17 I actually wasn't sure where to post this, so I posted it in the only music-related forum.


To everyone who responded, I'm glad to know there are some who aren't completely brainwashed by the music.


@mlogan I don't know how old or young you are, but I'm physically (oh yes I'm one of THOSE kinds of people) in my thirties, have a body and health like a high school graduate (though I graduated when I was 16), and in my mind, am 13-17.


That being said, I definitely took to rock and metal, and even some rap, but rap and I went our separate ways around 2003. It became redundant and I wanted nothing more. Guitar Hero, albeit a bit crude, played songs most people wouldn't think twice about, unless they were older and weren't brainwashed.


I've also been called a sissy for liking those guys in glam (again, more brainwashed foolishness and anti-LGBT nonsense), but those guys were good (and still are).


@LaFlibuste I like Frank Zappa, actually. Sometimes, jam sessions tell a story all their own (like the end of Metallica's One is just a jam session).


Speaking of that song, I've also read the book 'Johnny Got His Gun' and it's incredibly sad; 'One' is basically a tribute to that book.


As for me ever getting into the groove with 'popular' music, don't count on it. The acquired taste is like getting used to Cyanide.


It offends me when some of the kids say that the vocalist doesn't really sound like that when they just cannot grasp that Death Metal is real.


Angela of Arch Enemy does scream like that, and her voice is unaltered. I know; a friend of mine actually works with them as a roadcrew manager.


For those who use software like FL Studio or the like, that isn't a bad thing, just don't let it be all you do.


Karma sexy lady uses software to assist them, big deal.


@HexMozart88 Yes, I don't connect with the brainwashing music at all. 
 

Syltti

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@HexMozart88 Self-expression... mutual? ...Even though it's "self"? You'll have to explain that one to me, I'm afraid.

It is practically impossible to like a song and feel absolutely nothing. Relate means to feel some kind of emotional connection to something. I don't mean it as "have these exact same things happen to you." Otherwise there would be little to no songs to relate to. Relate as in "feel the same sadness as them, feel the same pain as them."





 
You and I must live in completely different ways, then. When I listen to music, I simply listen to it. If I like the sound of the melody or the vocals in the song, then I like it. If the artist was trying to convey some sort of emotion in their composition, you hear and recognize it. That doesn't mean you need to feel it. When I listen to a happy/upbeat/energetic song; I smile. If I listen to a dark/depressing song; I still smile. Not because I relate to whatever emotion was being portrayed, but because I simply like the song.
 

HexMozart88

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@Syltti Yes... I live a very complicated musical existence but let me explain it to you as best I can. Essentially, the way I see self-expression is, even though you are expressing your- "self", look around. Look at all of those kids that always have headphones on. Sometimes, that's more than just Pokemon Go. They're listening to music because they've had a hard day, and they want to find someone else who's had a lot of garbage happen to them. Or maybe they've had a really good day, filled with a lot of excitement, and they need a musician to pinpoint it, bring it out in them. Music, while it is supposed to be you expressing yourself, good music is also a gateway for people who have emotions that they don't understand, or a powerful emotion that they think no one else feels. It empowers us. If we listen to a really sad song, we can feel sad for a variety of reasons. It can bring out our empathy (which is usually the case) or something that's been bothering us for the longest of times that we had in the back of our minds, and need a means to let go. So yes, you are right in one way, when the artist creates the song, they intend to express themselves, rather than others, but if their music is done well enough, it should bring out something in others, whether it be empathy, or a true feeling. 

You and I must live in completely different ways, then. When I listen to music, I simply listen to it. If I like the sound of the melody or the vocals in the song, then I like it. If the artist was trying to convey some sort of emotion in their composition, you hear and recognize it. That doesn't mean you need to feel it. When I listen to a happy/upbeat/energetic song; I smile. If I listen to a dark/depressing song; I still smile. Not because I relate to whatever emotion was being portrayed, but because I simply like the song.
By the way you speak, you probably (no offense) are not a musician. Me, being musically changed for a large chunk of my life, I hear it a little bit differently. I am known as a composer, and even in covers of songs that I do, for my sheer amounts of expression. My piano teacher says that she has never heard such expression from anyone in a long time. So, with this, I tend to hear more than just notes, I fuse them, I create melodies, I create feelings. As a composer and an arranger, I feel it is my job to feel every note, hear every colour (yes, I hear colours, it's complicated).  So perhaps maybe not everyone hears music the way I do, maybe I have this completely wrong, but that's how I see music, and whenever I hear the modern pop, my entire brain screams "this is not music." 
 

Syltti

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You'd be right; I'm no musician. I did have a strong interest in learning how to create music myself years ago, but nothing came of it really. But that would explain why we see this so differently. I don't really need a prerequisite to want to listen to music be it walking, working, eating, playing games (MMOs), cleaning, sleeping (doesn't work too well for me xD), or working on a game. All I need is the random thought; "I want music in my ears."


For me, when I think of "self-expression" I more get the idea that artists focus more on creating the music they want to make with little, or no, regard about what people think of or feel about it. Because it's what they wanted to make. It's the message they wanted to get across. I have literally never seen self-expression as a two-way street. That's a concept that's going to take some getting used to.


Also, for your last question;

So please tell me, what do you feel when listening to those songs? What emotions are they trying to convey, eh?
Like I said before, I don't really feel the emotion in the music. One thing that I can whole-heartedly agree with you on is that the music that many rappers nowadays put out has zero emotion in it. The sad thing is, though, is that you don't even need to try to feel it. Just listen and it's obvious. A friend of mine said it best herself years ago; "Music is all about having fun and enjoying yourself." These new-generation rappers are in it for a twisted kind of fun. They put zero effort into their music and it shows. 
 
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Punamaagi

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I'm a bit confused. What does it mean to 'go back to music's roots and see what music was meant to be'? Are we talking about what kind of music is good or what makes music relatable (if that's even a word)? Personally, I don't think that the two always overlap.


I relate to music which evokes either feelings or images in me. I am a relatively visual person, so quite often I start imagining of pictures or scenes when listening to a song or an instrumental track; if I can't come up with any "mental music videos" (as I like to call them) or feel any emotions surging within me, I feel detached from the piece of music and am not very likely to listen to it again. Still, I wouldn't say that any music which makes my mind go blank is automatically bad because there are almost entire genres which just don't inspire me in this way - such as classical music, save for a few exceptions.


Music has different purposes, and 'good' is a very subjective term. I like some songs which aren't probably the kind people would consider skillfully made and thus in a way "good", but if they evoke feelings in me, inspire me or make me want to dance the night away, they fulfill their purpose, don't they?
 

trouble time

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Ronnie James Dio isn't around anymore so yeah music is pretty dead, well not really but I still have yet to find anything I like nearly as much as an album like Magica, or the more popular Holy Diver, still there is some pretty alright music still being produced, at least it's alright by my standards. It might just be that I happen to like power metal and there's like a trillion billion power metal bands that are at least passable (probably because there seem to be a quatrillion billion million power metal bands in general) . It's not quite the same way I felt listening to "As Long as It's Not About Love" the first time, but it's alright.
 

Reapergurl

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@trouble time Ronnie James Dio, now he was awesome...


@Punamaagi Going back to music's roots means going back in time and hearing the music, how it was composed, how long it took, etcetera.


It used to be, that I didn't appreciate music because all I could think of was looking at music on a chart, and I couldn't read it...


My grade school music teacher had it all wrong, as far as needing to know music in depth to understand and embrace it. I'd like to slap her.
 

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