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post #89 of (permalink) Old Oct 16th, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Re: Does contemporary music mostly suck?

Originally Posted by The Swiss Miss View Post
This is an argument music critic Simon Reynolds puts forward in his book "Retromania."* Neither this decade (so far), nor the one before it produced a brand new music genre. Reynolds' claim is that, starting with the 2000s, popular music stopped evolving. He says that, unlike past decades (eg. '50s rock and roll, '60s psychedelic rock, '70s post-punk, '80s indie rock and college rock, '90s rave, etc.), the 2000s produced no new music genres. There's no innovation in pop music, there's just a return to past trends. In the early 2000s, you had a return to garage rock (The Hives, the Vines, The Strokes, The White Stripes, etc.). Then you had a return to post-punk (The National, Interpol), which slowly morphed into new wave (The Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, French Films, Future Islands), which was probably the key popular genre in the 2000s. This cycle was reminiscent of how in the mid-'60s you had garage rock, in the late '70s you had post-punk, which eventually morphed into '80s new wave and dominated the '80s. There was also a return to folk somewhere in-between (The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Devendra Banhart). Then, in the early 2010s, you had a return to space rock in the vein of ELO or Ziggy Stardust (Smiths Westerns, The Antlers). PJ Harvey also recorded a dream pop/space rock album. You also had a return to dream pop (Beach House, St. Vincent) and blues (Jack White). I'd say all of these acts are pop acts compared to experimental acts like, say, Ariel Pink, Laurie Anderson or Annette Peacock. So yes, pop music these days lacks innovation. Sure, not a new concept. But I'd say there still is variety within pop music, which is more important for me. It's just more difficult to dig out good pop music because you don't have a unifying concept like "radio", "vinyl" or "CD" anymore. The Internet made pop music more dispersed.

* A great read, and it has a great cover. I also recommend his book on post-punk.
Excellent very informed post. Rather suprised that you would then make the sweeping statements you did about punk rock as punk rock came in many different varieties with many different approaches and attitudes. To suggest it is all sped up rockabilly strikes me as a very simplistic statement from someone who judging from the post I am quoting actually appears to have a pretty good grasp on musical developement over the last 60 or so years. Within the wide umbrella of what could be defined as punk rock there was plenty of innovation although much of it could probably fall into the subdivision of post punk.

Last edited by Shvedbarilescu; Oct 16th, 2012 at 09:35 PM.
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