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MONDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2008
As much as people credit Cher for 'reinventing' herself, she didn't reinvent her music-style nearly as much as her wardrobe.
I remember in Grade 2 I had the entire lyrics to Will Smith's "Parents Just Don't Understand" memorized as I'd rap it to my fellow suburbians during school hours. A few albums and eight years later I heard Will Smith was making a comeback with "Get Jiggy Get With It." For some reason I found it hard to rekindle my fandom for Smith's new song (It wasn't just because he dropped DJ Jazzy Jeff). It was because I found it hard to relate to someone who became a multi-millionaire at the age of 18 with a hit TV show and several notable movies under his belt. Who was he to tell me to be happy and to "get jiggy with it" ? (I'm not a multi-millionaire, if I were I would get jiggy too).

The same goes for rock bands. As they try to survive in the music industry they get rich, and gain a disillusioned capitalist ideal of how people should regard them. "Surviving in the music business" means becoming a business man/woman. To do that, bands start sticking to what they know will have the best success and their music begins to take on a formulaic nature.

In the case of Weezer, Rivers had a formula (one that was actually calculated by himself) that he applied to songs, which is why I give the Green Album some credence since it's actually original to create a mathematical formula for a rock album. However, I think he stuck to that formula for too long which made all his songs to eventually sound the same. With that said, major labels don't usually let bands stray too far from their "sound." On top of that, "rich angry rock stars"? Who can relate to an angry 37-year old multi-millionaire? Not me. Our Lady Peace use to be good (a long time ago), but Raine's a wealthy guy with a beautiful girl (Chantal Krevizuk) now so he can't sing about angst. Same with Rage Against the Machine, who wants to buy an album from a band who criticizes the same capital system which made them filthy rich? These people aren't emotionally driven anymore they're just angry-for-profit which comes off as fake. Bob Dylan, Sex Pistols..they're all included (Dylan sells his CDs with bottles of perfume now). The only way I see bands surviving is if they do a complete overhaul like Radiohead or the Beatles and change their entire musical style of play (which is a huge gamble that most bands don't take or try and fail). That's the benefit of other musical genres such as classic or opera where perfection is hard to attain but artists actually get better with time.
Comments

MimiP

MimiP

could not agree with you more! "rich angry rock stars" sing bitter lyrics about their hard-knock lives when they are living in palladian-esque mansions all over the world.
... when most musicians try to reinvent themselves, the word "hypocrisy" is not far behind.



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