“Life’s what happens when you’re busy making other plans” – Ferris Bueller
“I weep for the future.” – Ratfaced maitre-d in Ferris Bueller
“The kids don’t stand a chance” – Ezra.
People are shaped by the popular music of their youth. For me it was the lip sync boy band era. N*Sync, Backstreet, Xtina, etc.
Today’s youth: Chainsmokers. Twenty One Peenlots. Duos who create compositions primarily via computer (I assume). This musical trend is so prevalent that you find yourself feeling satisfied at a snapchat story depicting Calvin Harris recording individual pieces of Slide on actual instruments. You’re so alone.
How I made Slide pic.twitter.com/dwu1NgVwFL
— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) March 19, 2017
During the boy band era, things were arguably more dire. But then we had the rock revival of the Strokes, White Stripes, the Hives (I guess), the Vines (jk, lol), etc. Bands that made it to MTV despite instruments. Will the youth have their own revival of popular bands? Gone are the days of needing the right musician play the right part. Will the current youth of the nation be stuck in a pod of not knowing the joy of seeing a band progress in the aptitude of their instruments? The World’s Best American Band is likely going to pass by the under-18 masses unnoticed. Sad.
Where’s the incentive to pick up a guitar and learn chords when anybody can make a shitty rap beat on their garageband app?
Not to say that instruments equal great music (Limp Bizdick, etc.) …
Anyway, Eleanor Rigby was written in a time of intense creativity for the world’s preeminent skiffle beat group. The ORCHESTRAL foundation of this track is obviously gorgeous and the story both gripping and, at times, abstract. An obviously significant artistic evolution for the Beetles. Not to say that Paul is down in the pit banging out violin licks, but the fact that they conceived this thing just 3 years after they were please pleasing everybody, and given the fact that Paul was 24 YEARS OLD when he wrote it. You were still staying in Paris to get away from your parents at 24.
Are the modern pop acts of today capable of such a shift? Adele just made the same album that she’s been making for the last decade, but with better songs. The only way for a modern pop act to make such a transition is to go backwards and incorporate traditional instruments into their songs. I remember finding it novel to hear Bieber sign over strictly an acoustic guitar on “Love Yourself.” Written by a solo artist (Sheeran) with who preforms with a bunch of pedals and drums machines and shit rather than cultivate an actual band like “Ed Sheeran and the Bedsheets Smell Like You Ensemble,” or something. Even the Monkees starting getting down with Porpoises eventually.
Which is not to say that orchestral arrangements require a band (see: Julia Holter), and bands can make this happen on a fairly popular scale (Vampire Weekend). But, groups like this aren’t coming up at the rate they used to. As noted by [REDACTED] in his recent White Reaper review, american bands are too expensive to propel to a global stage, and the computerized hits are easier to produce, distribute, and drill into your subconscious with laboratory-based infectiousness. Where’s the fun in watching that musician grow? Modern music is tame. Stagnant. Mosquitoes are breeding.
“Wow this new Benny Blanco track really shows his progression as an artist.”
It’s a sign of the times, baby.