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a feeling : no really new music can be recorded any more.
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Hunter T Wolfe
Hunter T Wolfe
1595 posts

Re: a feeling : no really new music can be recorded any more.
Aug 30, 2008, 14:10
A different angle on this is that even if the musical structure of a song isn't exactly revolutionary, the lyrics can still be saying something new, whether offering a uniquely personal perspective or commenting on something topical. Julian's recent songs are an excellent example- musically you could say they could have been recorded anytime in the last 40 years, but lyrically they definitely belong to the 21st Century.

I'm a big fan of The Song myself, although it seems that a lot of people here aren't particularly; preferring 'soundscapes' and wotnot, and that many prefer instrumental music or just blank out the words on the grounds that most rock n' rollers don't know what they're talking about and so should shut up/be ignored.

But for me a new song is worthwhile and new and worth hearing and even pushing things forward if it says something new, or even says something old in a new way, or has a particularly witty, pleasing or thought-provoking turn of phrase. For me a song is 50% music and 50% lyrics, and if it's well-written, but not hackneyed, then it's valid.

Folk music has survived for hundreds of years on the same basic tunes and just lyrics being updated and given a new twist; to a lesser extent, and over a shorter period of time, so has reggae, with set rhythms being recycled beneath new words.

Personally I think that more people are listening to, and getting deeply involved with, a wider range of music than ever before. But lyrics seem to have really been devalued. There are exceptions that prove there's a demand for new songs with something to say, though: Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys is pretty second-rate in my opinion, but it's encouraging that people have latched onto him as a lyricist and storyteller, because it shows they crave that element. Likewise the surge in mainstream popularity for the great Leonard Cohen. And of course rap music has always emphasised lyrical content, although depressingly it's the lazier writers who seem to gain the most popularity these days, while some dazzling lyricists with new things to say about contemporary life remain underground.
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