Originally Posted by startide
Couldn't disagree with you more. Music from "today" is no better or worse than the music from "yesterday", it's just... different.
If you're thinking I was saying it's any improvement on the 80's- that's not what I was suggesting at all. And being different is everyone else's excuse to dismiss it. (As well as now this conservative, women have to wear freaking berqas in order to be "allowed" in the presence of metalheads, backward, idiotic bullshit I hear a few people spewing here.) I very clearly outlined that it's an improvement over bland, tween-aimed bubblegum pop of the 90's. If you honestly believe "I Want it That Way" is better than, let's say, Kanye West's "All of the Lights," you're flat-out not paying attention (though I see you arguing that you are). (Ideally I'd have used another boy band as an example but they haven't really been as popular now as they were then, the best I could match it with in the last 10 years is Pussycat Dolls and based on what I've heard... yeah, Backstreet Boys were usually better than that. Snoop sings throughout literally 80+% of "Sexual Eruption," so would that be a better comparison?) For you to argue that pop is not doing better, I think you just might need to present a range of comparison. Because I've got my guns full. And my point is solid- there simply isn't the same tween music marketing now that there was in the 90's. Younger listeners have been mass-exposed to artists who don't take the same frigid attitudes of 98-02 Britney and Jessica and buy / download their music. And have just enough discernment to where a younger audience is now expected to lap up whatever Disney's hocking.
Originally Posted by startide
But I do love it when my brother says to me "Nat, the 80s suck", when he was a child of the 90s and a lot of the music of that era is cringe-worthy at best. (I have this dream of producing a multi label compilation series based on the radio hits of every year, the 80s are bursting at the seams with classics, but picking some of the early 90s "hits" that don't make me want to poke my eyeballs out is difficult.)
The 90's is all about hip-hop, electronica, indie rock / punk / pop, and I would defend grunge to a point as well as RnB. Hooray for the industry changing, though. It forces people to think broader. And the attitude you're demonstrating here is just as silly. "People need to Think Hits." Like being a hit proves a damn thing (or cements any kind of argument you're trying to make about 80's vs. New Millennium). If you think there weren't periods in the 60's and 70's and even the 80's that aren't pokable with a stick because they're absurd and flimsy and novelty-ready at best, you're not being realistic- in favor again of that "well... just look
at the two." I have. And I have complete and total respect for both, shy of trends which came pre-packaged to appeal to screaming tween girls (because some things can never happen again, and there is only one Monkees and I agree with people who say they were a damn fine band) instead of taking both genders seriously. As for the earlier years of the 90's... I'll take Nirvana and Pearl Jam over almost any and every single hair band of the 80's. Including Guns N Roses (because they had long hair too, they count). Thinking of a band I'd exclude from this list is a chore I'm not strong enough for. And, if you can name one metal or hard rock album from the 80's better than Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream
, I would be amazed (or stubbornly disagree until the day I die). And, again that riot-grrrl. I'll take every single one of L7's albums (even if they themselves would laugh at that subgenre label) over stuff like Winger, Motley Crue, and probably all Def Leppard (even though they probably deserve more respect than the scores of Poison and Whitesnake type bands).
In the early 90's, pop really split between coming up with a girly alternative to New Kids on the Block (Ace of Base- and I still like most of their stuff, especially anything from The Sign
) which of course brought in a wave of international dance outfits (C+C, Technotronic, Snap!, Crystal Waters, The Real McCoy, Culture Beat, La Bouche) and Janet trying to be more 'urban' (MC Lyte on the remix of "You Want This") - which gave us Brandy, Monica, Toni Braxton, etc. Pop became Eurodance and RnB became its' own thing, where in the 80's Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, and Janet were put in the same basic category as Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, and Taylor Dayne (before she went soul-ballad). Somewhere there, we get Boyz II Men (and subsequent clones- Soul 4 Real, Blackstreet, All for One) and Mariah (for the longest time a fascinating cross between Janet and Celine Dion- as I think "Vision of Love" begs to be seen / Janet's had her schmaltzy stuff too, "Let's Wait Awhile"; "Make It Happen" is the song that argued Mariah had remix duets with Sean "Puffy" Combs and Ol' Dirty Bastard in her sightline from the start). But the 90's proved that you can't judge popular music on the surface. If all you heard was "End of the Road" or TLC's "Baby-Baby-Baby," you were missing Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy
," or Portishead's "Glory Box
." I guess they weren't "hits" if you have to define popular music this way. But both bands are legends now. And, I don't believe for a second the mainstream was that clogged either. Or we wouldn't have seen singles like Prince's "7" or Janet's "If." And, if the first few years of the 90's weren't still producing killer returns from Pet Shop Boys ("Being Boring," "So Hard," "Jealousy," "Yesterday When I Was Mad," "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing"), I was born yesterday.
If the early 90's have to be seen as training bra years to pave the way for the likes of "Your Woman
," "Sugar Water
," "Lovely Head
," "Day for Night
," "6 Underground
," "Come On, Let's Go
," "Cotton Wool
," "Penguin Freud
," "Country Livin'
," "Is Jesus Your Pal
," sobeit. I'll take it.
Originally Posted by startide
BTW, Mariah Carey's "Honey" is still on my list of one of the most revolting songs ever. Def. makes the playlist of "Totally Inappropriate Love Songs". (And my brother was a huge Mariah fan, so I heard that song a lot!! Where's a vomit smiley when I need one?)
I like it.