I've spent the last hour or so listening to 30 second clips on iTunes.
It started with "Chicken Noodle Soup," the newest dance craze from
Harlem. I try to understand, but I don't. I guess there might be some
place for music to be used simply to provide a beat to move to, rather
than contain some melodic or lyrical idea that is profound or
beautiful or useful. I moved on from there to the Itunes Essentials,
going back through the late 90's and remembering all the old songs I
used to listen to. That was fun.
I caught some hint from my Grandma that she wasn't enjoying "Mmmbop"
and "Truly Madly Deeply," so I switched to "40's Pop." And here's the
point. Music back then was GOOD. It was catchy without losing much
depth, it was fun, it was masterfully played and sung, it was arranged
with thought and skill. I was listening to extremely tight harmonies
sung WITHOUT digital pitch correction. It was practically flawless.
Now, singers can't even harmonize to their own pre-recorded voices in
simple intervals without fixing the pitch. These guys were singing
complex harmonies and moving in unison in pitch. Makes me sick.
I love technology and the way it can help us make good records now,
but I would almost give it up to know that music can still be made
well by actual musicians who can play and sing. Maybe then there'd be
less crap out there like "Chicken Noodle Soup" and more actual music.
I dunno, maybe I'm just jealous I can't sing those harmonies or play
perfectly every time. But I'm also challenged to continue to strive to
play well, and not settle for "fixing it in the mix."