Music, and essentially lyrics, seem to have degraded heavily in the last decade or so to become a perfect point of comparison with the prole’s habitual activities in Orwell’s 1984.
On one side we have artists who are incapable of writing lyrics about anything that happens outside their mainstream lives, and on the other side we have we have record labels that bet on this shite because they know it sells, why? because of all the people who don’t care about anything else than what happens in their mainstream lives?
Have people grown dafter? Or have people just stopped caring? Or maybe it has always been like this. However, as far as I recall, in the 80’s there seemed to be quite a lot more complex lyrics floating around than what there is today. I know this is not always true for radio hits, but groups such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan would garner thousands, if not millions of fans, and often their lyrics were rather complex and thoughtfully creative. There seems to be a lack of this nowadays.
The thing about taking on the biggest giants is that most of the time (so often as to be all of the time if you’re willing to do some rounding) you fail. You don’t just fail at the end, you often fail long before the end.
Yet the dreamers persist. These are usually the garage entrepreneurs, people with little market success behind them, those working without a track record or significant resources. People forget that Google was backed with millions of dollars from the biggest VCs in the world when they took on Yahoo.
– from Will Marlow’s post “Don Quijote didn’t ship”
Today I went ten-pin bowling, and in the lane next to mine there was about 7 screaming teenage girls. Every time a “hit” song came on the loudspeakers they would all yell out loud (which seemed to be just about every song). Not surprisingly every single song was about love, relationships, break-ups, or being far away from a lover. Most of the time the chorus was a single line repeated one time too many, or even a single word sometimes.
Just about everything related to love has already been said through lyrics, in one way or another, using old words and using new ones, however love songs seem to occupy the vast majority of all music produced nowadays. With “love songs” I obviously mean anything related to relationships and break-ups. And it’s obvious that the reason is that people relate to these songs in one way or another.
I mean, just study the names and content in Justin Beiber’s latest album for example.
When every single song in an album is about the same general topic, it gets me thinking… Why? Why not talk about the city life? Why not talk about freedom? What about politics? Money? Drugs? (Oh well, that’s pretty much covered by Hip-hop anyway). I mean, it doesn’t even have to be a topic like these. It could even be a love song, but at least the quality of the lyrics could be superseded with a higher level of creativity. There is so much you can do with poetry and words, and we limit ourselves to the most basic of words in this kind of songs.
Now take this song for example, Ndakuvara by Oliver Mtukudzi:
It has nothing to do with mainstream lyrics, yet it is a beautiful song, and its lyrics can mean a million things, or they can mean one thing, but at the end of a day it is thoughtful, creative, and different. Now how hard is that? Not much if you dedicate a bit of time into it.
To end this, I believe that those who write lyrics should act sometimes like poets, and those who write poetry should act sometimes as lyricists. No harm in that.