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Unpopular Opinions about Music

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At the risk of sounding petty, am I the only one who doesn’t like to hear Drake or Taylor Swift talk?

For them to both make such put-upon music, they both have what I call Boardroom Voice

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I think I’ve said before that I think the reason artists like Cardi B, Camilla Cabello, J Balvin, Ozuna, among others, are being pushed is because of the political climate we’re in with Trump and immigration and the wall and all that. I’m annoyed by that for two reasons:

1. I...don’t like when corporations and The Suits try to make sociopolitical statements through artists. I don’t have a problem with messages via music in a general sense — that’s part of the power of music — but it’s more annoying when I feel like certain people are being put in position just to Make A Point or fulfill a quota. It feels really manipulative and off-putting. Plus, I like when I feel like a message is emanating from an artist so I can hold them accountable if they sound ridiculous. It’s harder when the message is something stupid and it’s buried in an AutoTuned pop song.

2. Speaking of which, the other problem I have, and this is main issue: THEY’RE USING BLAND, BARELY TALENTED ACTS TO SEND THESE MESSAGES. Camilla Cabello has been on TV so many times performing Havana; it’s not a great song, she isn’t a great singer, she’s cute but nothing special in the looks department, and her album was just a’ight. Why do I keep seeing her, on TV, singing this same five-note song? Twenty years there was a “Latin craze” with Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera, and J. Lo. The former three can sing and perform, and J. Lo can perform and at least had some catchy songs. Camilla was just the cute chick in the kick line for Fifth Harmony. 

Even though, I will say it was slyly ironic that Ricky Martin came out to perform Havana with Camilla at the Grammy’s since twenty years ago he had the Latin-crossover novelty hit Livin La Vida Loca which similarly got played out and has haunted him the rest of his career. 

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*Is sitting here struck by the realization that "Livin' La Vida Loca" is now twenty years old*

Damn. 

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33 minutes ago, 27bored said:

Speaking of which, the other problem I have, and this is main issue: THEY’RE USING BLAND, BARELY TALENTED ACTS TO SEND THESE MESSAGES. Camilla Cabello has been on TV so many times performing Havana; it’s not a great song, she isn’t a great singer, she’s cute but nothing special in the looks department, and her album was just a’ight. Why do I keep seeing her, on TV, singing this same five-note song? 

I can't help but wonder (TM Carrie Bradshaw) if her friendship/opening act gig last year with Taylor Swift contributed to her rise. I actually do like Havana and Never Be the Same, but I mean, I can take them or leave them.

Of course, Charli XCX also opened for her last year, and we don't see her as much as we see Camila (but based on the interviews I've seen with her, that's probably in large part because she's less than enchanted with the current accepted "type" of pop stardom; in spite of "Fancy" and "Boom Clap", she seems MUCH more comfortable with being an alt pop type of act).

Here's a UO: While I'm not super familiar with everything Halsey has done, I liked "New Americana", "Bad at Love", AND "Him & I". Yes, really. I mean, there's some dumb lyrics in each (the first song in particular), but I also like Katy Perry, so who am I to judge? 

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Here’s a random idea: Post Malone and Halsey should remake “Broken” by Seether.

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4 hours ago, 27bored said:

Here’s a random idea: Post Malone and Halsey should remake “Broken” by Seether.

I love "Broken" & I don't think Halsey's voice could carry it like Amy Lee's. 

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5 hours ago, GaT said:

I love "Broken" & I don't think Halsey's voice could carry it like Amy Lee's. 

Oh, me neither. I think if that were to happen they would add an annoying trap rhythm to it for the kids and it would probably pale in comparison. But I just think it would fit their personal narratives well, and I’m almost certain Halsey knows and loves that song.

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While I think Lady Gaga's rendition of " Shallow" was brilliant, breathtaking, electrifying and astounding in its power and beauty in A Star Is Born,  alas I have to say her Grammy performance of that song was at best a shadow of what she'd  put forth in the movie. AFAIK, she could have worn a kangaroo costume and that wouldn't have taken away a jot from the musical performance itself but it seemed she was making it a 'number' to be sung by rote at the Grammys rather than the angsty, soul- bearing plea she had done in the movie. 

 All the above said, nothing can take away from how fantastic that song is nor how well she sang it in the movie!

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5 hours ago, Blergh said:

While I think Lady Gaga's rendition of " Shallow" was brilliant, breathtaking, electrifying and astounding in its power and beauty in A Star Is Born,  alas I have to say her Grammy performance of that song was at best a shadow of what she'd  put forth in the movie. AFAIK, she could have worn a kangaroo costume and that wouldn't have taken away a jot from the musical performance itself but it seemed she was making it a 'number' to be sung by rote at the Grammys rather than the angsty, soul- bearing plea she had done in the movie. 

 All the above said, nothing can take away from how fantastic that song is nor how well she sang it in the movie!

I guess this is my own UO, but I find "Shallow" to be a really boring song, & I don't understand all the love for it.

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On 2/13/2019 at 4:16 PM, GaT said:

I guess this is my own UO, but I find "Shallow" to be a really boring song, & I don't understand all the love for it.

I like the song just fine — nothing to write home about — but I think the success of that song, along with the success of the Greatest Showman soundtrack, is because people are starved for music that sounds like music. I don’t know how I feel about Gaga’s Countrypolitan makeover over the last few years, but I do think a lot of people are hip-hopped out. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adele comes out with another big ballad that does crazy numbers for the same reason.

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On 2/13/2019 at 4:16 PM, GaT said:

I guess this is my own UO, but I find "Shallow" to be a really boring song, & I don't understand all the love for it.

It's okay but highly overrated in my opinion. I actually prefer Always Remember Us This Way far more than Shallow from the soundtrack. 

2 hours ago, 27bored said:

I like the song just fine — nothing to write home about — but I think the success of that song, along with the success of the Greatest Showman soundtrack, is because people are starved for music that sounds like music. I don’t know how I feel about Gaga’s Countrypolitan makeover over the last few years, but I do think a lot of people are hip-hopped out. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adele comes out with another big ballad that does crazy numbers for the same reason.

Why is Hip Hop/Rap even brought up in a conversation about the success of Shallow? Frankly, in my opinion, I can think of many Hip Hop/Rap songs that lyrically destroy many of these "real music" songs. Also people do realize that many of these huge pop songs, even sometimes ballads are produced by some of these Hip Hop/Rap producers right?

People are starved for music that sounds like music..seriously? Because two movie songs/soundtracks did okay? And yet those not real music songs sure dominated the Billboard charts last year.  And when did Gaga have a countrypolitan makeover, considering she turned Shallow into a rock song for her Grammy performance.

And yes, no one would be surprised if Adele comes with another big ballad that does crazy numbers, not because again people are so starved for music that sounds like real music but because it's ADELE. It's what she does - release albums with ballads that sell like crazy. 

I always find the dismissive comments against Hip Hop/Rap not being "real music" interesting because that's what many said when they declared back in the early 80's, when it was really taking off, that it would go the way of Disco. Have a few years of dominance and die. Yeah how's that going?

Edited by truthaboutluv
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2 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

Why is Hip Hop/Rap even brought up in a conversation about the success of Shallow? Frankly, in my opinion, I can think of many Hip Hop/Rap songs that lyrically destroy many of these "real music" songs. Also people do realize that many of these huge pop songs, even sometimes ballads are produced by some of these Hip Hop/Rap producers right?

I brought up hip-hop/rap because it’s currently the dominant genre in popular music. It was more shorthand for current music that’s popular than hip-hop specifically.

2 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

People are starved for music that sounds like music..seriously? Because two movie songs/soundtracks did okay? And yet those not real music songs sure dominated the Billboard charts last year.  And when did Gaga have a countrypolitan makeover, considering she turned Shallow into a rock song for her Grammy performance.

Many songs and albums, especially these days, do numbers solely because of streaming. They talked about that on the NYT Popcast last year. If you take away streams, I believe both of those soundtracks were on the top selling albums list, and with streaming, they were high but not as much.

As far as Gaga, I was referring to her last album Joanne for the most part. She did a rock version at the Grammys...to somewhat mixed reviews.

2 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

And yes, no one would be surprised if Adele comes with another big ballad that does crazy numbers, not because again people are so starved for music that sounds like real music but because it's ADELE. It's what she does - release albums with ballads that sell like crazy.

Eh, not necessarily. She’s done that consistently, yes, but I’ve long theorized that Adele is as big as she is because of who her contemporaries are. Adele has a big voice and sings big songs that seem to use real instruments and dresses like a lady. Not all that special — I’ve often thought Adele could be kind of hoary and a bit, well, boring — but bookended up against current pop music, she stands out.

2 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

I always find the dismissive comments against Hip Hop/Rap not being "real music" interesting because that's what many said when they declared back in the early 80's, when it was really taking off, that it would go the way of Disco. Have a few years of dominance and die. Yeah how's that going?

Like I said, my comments were more shorthand than hip-hop specific. Those soundtracks are what they are, which is probably why they have done so well. Even your pop acts have to wind up making concessions to hip-hop to get a hit — and not just hip-hop, but trap in particular. Look no further than current number one song “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande where she’s rapping using Soulja Boy’s flow from 2010. Or the muted hip-hop beat of “Without Me” by Halsey that’s at number 3 (not to mention the remix of that song featuring JuceWrld). That’s not always the case, but it’s the unfortunate truth that most mainstream acts have to show some literacy in hip-hop/rap (both in sound and the common tropes) to have consistent chart success. Two mainstream projects they don’t seem belabored by that is refreshing. 

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Even if he were 110% innocent of all charges, I would find R. Kelly an average-at-best singer and a mostly awful lyricist. If he ends up rotting in jail, the music world would not lose much (not that I think "talent" should make you above reproach in the eyes of the law).

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Yeah I’ve never been crazy about R. Kelly, either. I think he’s one of those acts that was better than average in his prime and that’s all people remember. 

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John Legend's singing is vastly overrated.  Plus, he and his wife are annoying as hell.

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On 3/9/2019 at 2:07 PM, Wiendish Fitch said:

Even if he were 110% innocent of all charges, I would find R. Kelly an average-at-best singer and a mostly awful lyricist.

I never understood why the "In The Closet" songs were considered great, I think the lyrics are all stupid.

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