A lot of people really discount newer artists for wearing their influences on their sleeve, especially in their label debut albums. This doesn't make too much sense to me. Yes, it's not too entertaining to hear the 400th metal band make near covers of Metallica, but people have to start somewhere. Without influences, there isn't any real way for innovation in music to happen.
No artistry happens in a vacuum. Everybody is swayed by someone else's attempts at art, and using those others as a vessel to communicate (or entertain in the case of music) your ideas is not bad, and is necessary to make sure you have some grip on musicality. I for one, would love to see underground and more extreme versions of hip hop flourish more than it is today, because that genre has a lot of potential to make an impact similar to the punk scene in the 80's in the digital age. Without young people taking ideas from contemporaries, that sub-genre may as well die off as quickly as it started. In essence, if you want people to advance music and genres, you gotta put up with some of the ridiculous debut albums that sounds like something you heard a year ago. Give them a chance on their sophomore record to really push that envelope and get to somewhere worthwhile.
Classical music holds an interesting role in modern life. To most people, it may seems a little too posh to be into classical music, or just boring, putting it simply. Classical music doesn't have the same flair or personality that more traditionally popular music does—and for good reason. The combination of all the different instruments, the fact that to see it live is much different from a regular concert, and the old nature of the genre definitely puts a lot of people off—myself included.
But that does not mean it is unimportant. People seem to forget how much classical music they actually hear on a weekly or daily basis. All of the music (for the most part) in movies all come from orchestras and composers. The famous movie soundtracks, such as the Imperial March in Star Wars, or the Indiana Jones theme, are classical pieces. Now, nobody is really going to listen to that type of music as much as more contemporary styles (except for the true, hardcore fans, but those are Fraiser-esque upper class people typically that don't do relatable things), yet everyone can appreciate a swelling score in a tense moment of a movie, or a quiet violin during a sweet moment. It can convey non-verbal emotion like not many other genres, and really proves there's more to music than electronics and guitars.
How many songs are we going to get, scratch that, how many albums, or even discographies, are we going to get about the same exact things that trap music discusses? Yes, we get it. You have all the girls. You have my girl. You have more money than me. You have more drugs than me. You are a better person than me. Let's get over it, shall we?
The charts have been permeated with these same subjects for a few years now, and frankly, I am just bored. Trap music has hit it's peak, and the music world seems to just be looking for the next big thing. Hip hop is not a bad genre, but the over saturation of it is making listeners tired. How about we try something new? We do have some artists doing that, talking about real life issues and socio-economic problems. Trap and rap music in general needs to evolve to keep listeners interested, and good flows and beats can only go so far. Remember Migos's Culture 2? Yeah, me neither.
Kanye West is an interesting character. On one hand, he represents great musical talent and is a gifted writer/producer. On the other hand, he represents blatant narcissism and the very worst of the shock-inducing behavior to draw attention. He is one of the most prominent figures in popular music, and he seems like he hates that position. The diluted rants he goes on, the meeting with controversial figures such as Donald Trump, and the new "I Love It" music video all show an interesting character study.
Now, obviously, "I Love It" is not an objectively good song. The hook is repetitive, the lyrics are predictable and the song overall can be a little boring. But there's something about that makes it so infatuating, and the country obviously agrees, with it's top 10 position on the charts. Maybe it's the music video, with the bizarre Roblox constuming, or the unlikely collaboration between Lil Pump and West. Nothing makes sense, and I love it. Kanye has carved himself into an interesting niche, and with all the mini albums he's had his hands in recently, his next full length album is sure to be quite the interesting release. Look out for Yahndi on Black Friday this year, you won't want to miss it.
The IDLES are a relatively new british post-punk band that released a new album on August 31st, called Joy as an Act of Resistance. This album is amazing and I've been listening to it since it was released. It combines deeply sarcastic and symbloic lyrics with positive punk messages and the grimiest, dirtiest vocals from frontman Joe Talbot you've ever heard. The IDLES are a quintet mostly from London, and bring amazing energy to their distorted guitars and bashing drums.
They give beautiful lyrics on left-wing subjects facing the world, such as with immigration, homosexuality, Islam, and even modern romance. Joe Talbot laments about society in a bitter and biting tone throughout, only giving breaks to absurdism a few times in the 46 minute run time. The instrumentation does it's job for the most part, and the drummer just goes for it the entire album which brought a big smile to my face. It's refreshing to hear such an authentic and musically gifted band produce high-quality tracks like on Joy, and I know it'll be one of my favorites of the year. I highly recommend you listen to it, and bask in the rawness produced by this lovely band.
The Chainsmokers represent a horrid trend in music that has been prevalent since The Beatles became the world's first super-band. They produce the same dreary and lifeless records, with tons of lyrics trying to play on teenager's emotions and experiences. They conduct awful song writing with hints of "oh no he hurt me," and let teens 'relate' to the false emotions conveyed.
The Chainsmokers represent everything wrong with EDM-infused pop that permeates the top charts in recent years. Having some 'drop' in the song that tries it's hardest to get you excited about the dull, vapid music you are listening to. Everything is predictable and nothing sticks out from the regular bunch.