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alldatndensum
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PostSubject: The Death Of Rock   Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:57 pm

Quote :
The Death of Rock…

As
I sit here and listen to another highly disappointing “rock” release
from a newly signed band, I wonder, “When did rock music die?” When did music become strictly about the business of selling records? Seriously? This trend is, and has been, occurring in both the Christian and secular music arenas for a while now. When I review an album that is mediocre at best, I almost feel that I need to rate it higher just make others happy. I try my best to stick to my guns and write what I truly think about the release, but it’s difficult sometimes. I
completely understand that I am not the ultimate authority on music and
I strictly represent one man’s opinion, but I am appalled by what some
folks consider to be a great release.



iTunes
and similar sites are a perfect example of why I feel I need to rate
albums higher than they should be; pretty much every album has a 4 to 5
star rating, no matter how poor the production, vocals, or musicianship
may be, they all have nearly perfect ratings and every band is someone’s
favorite. As you read reviews that you may agree or disagree with, keep in mind all of these factors.



I personally upset many people by my subpar rating of Jeremy Camp’s latest worship album, We Cry Out, and the average rating I gave to Christian rap heavyweight Tedashii’s newest release, Blacklight. Neither of these albums really fit into the rock arena, but I’m using them to make my point. Though
I have gotten emails and Facebook posts stating how far off base I am,
it is refreshing to get an email or two thanking me for not backing down
from my opinion. However, I digress.



This is another issue within the Christian market. It is not wrong to say that a band’s music is not good regardless of their message. This website is dedicated to Christian entertainment and music. While lyrical content is obviously important in Christian, as well as secular, music, it isn’t necessarily the end all be all. An artist can bring a very good and powerful message in a very poorly written and played song. Perhaps they are just better poets. In
addition, just because the lyrics are highly spiritual and praise God,
does not mean that they are well written; case in point with the album I
am reviewing now. Song writing is a particular craft and art. Some have it and some do not.


I
have no problem whatsoever with a band whose sound is influenced by
another, but I take serious issue with a band that sounds like a carbon
copy of someone else. In the world of literature, that is known as plagiarism. As
I recently stated on a Facebook post about an album, it drives me crazy
when I hear a song by one artist and can sing the lyrics from a
different artist’s song over the music; unless it’s a “Weird Al” song,
or on an extremely rare occasion, an Apologetix song, it is not a good
quality to find in music. Yet
it seems like every day the radio, both Christian and secular, keeps
pumping out so-called music that sounds exactly the same song after
song. The labels are after the
next band that sounds exactly like the previous band because the
previous band sold some records; originality is a thing of the past.



The
Beatles influenced hundreds, probably thousands, of bands, but there
isn't another band out there that sounds exactly like The Beatles. Music didn’t work that way near as much back then. Trust
me, I don’t believe that every band that comes out will be or should be
as groundbreaking or as trend setting as The Beatles. That would be entirely too much to ask for or expect, but shouldn’t being unique be something that a band strives for? Just as in our Christian walk, we will never be perfect like Christ, but we should strive for it on a daily basis. Bands should also strive to be the best versions of themselves, not the band that currently has the number one Billboard spot. A
few more bands to ponder on that I believe are/were more trendsetters
and less copycats are ZZ Top, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Family Force
5, Showbread, and A Hope For the Dying. What made these guys different?



The
fact that I can probably name 20 different bands that play modern rock
music that sounds exactly the same is discouraging, especially when most
of them are coming out of the Christian market. Seventh Day Slumber, Kutless, Red, Skillet, Ashes Remain, Since October, and on and on (I
won’t even go into the secular bands who not only sound the same
musically, but all seem to fight to see who can make their next song
more sexually explicit than the previous group’s song). Don’t
take it the wrong way; I enjoy some of these “same sounding” bands, but
how many drop-D guitar playing, post-grunge, hard rock bands can a
person stand before you just want something different?


Looking back on history, I guess I would say that rock ‘n’ roll took a huge step towards the grave with the birth of nu metal. While
it was fun and different on arrival, the barrage of bands labels signed
that sounded like one another was staggering and only a handful of them
made it on to second and third albums. Who would have thought that the explosion of bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Staind would have eventually led to this? These guys couldn’t even spell! (Ha!) Maybe I just missed the point of how cool it was to “purposely” misspell your band’s name.


This brings me to the final reason why I believe rock ‘n’ roll could be dying or already dead. What is up with band names today? I spend more time telling my computer that I actually spelled the misspelled word correctly, than I do typing the name in. Another issue I have is numbers. Take
for instance BEC Records new rock act 7eventh Time Down (I see
“Seveneventh Time Down”), or a band that I actually somewhat like,
Se7enth Seal. No matter how cool
you think it is, it’s not good to insert numbers in place of letters,
especially when the number doesn’t really resemble the letter. I
will let Deliriou5 have it without too much argument because there are
no five references in their name, and a 5 actually looks like an S. It
seems like bands spend more time trying to find a “creative” way to
spell their name and less time coming up with a more creative sound. Whatever happened to the days when all bands were “The insert any word here”? It is quite frankly just flat out discouraging.



Rock music, if you can hear me, I hope you survive. I hope that there is a great revival of music that comes in to save you. I hope there is a band on the horizon that can be the defibrillator that you need so desperately. The only bright spot in you heading in this downward spiral is that I will start saving a lot of money on buying music. If you are with me on this matter I recommend checking out The Choir’s Burning Like the Midnight Sun, Regie Hamm’s Set it On Fire, or if you like your music on the heavier side, A Hope For the Dying’s Dissimulation. These are just a couple of albums that made me smile and spent time in heavy rotation in my CD player this past year.



My final thought is to the readers and listeners. You do not have to be content with the same ole same ole. It
is perfectly ok and well within your rights to want something better
than “Check these guys out, they sound just like Kutless!” If Band B sounds just like Band A who has been around five years longer, why not just listen to Band A? Chances are Band A is going to offer a much more polished and better overall product.

-- Michael Weaver, JFH Writer



http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/jfhblog/template_permalink.asp?id=530

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:19 am

I know why you didn't add your own comment alldat, there's nothing left to say.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:50 am

Pretty much. You are getting a lot of cookie cutter music in both the secular and Christian markets. The Kutless reference was an obvious one. In that style, you have Kutless, Decyfer Down, Ashes Remain, and a few others who really do sound the same almost. No distinct guitarist or vocalist. On the female side, you have Flyleaf, Fireflight, and Icon For Hire. They all sound very similar nowadays.

You could point at the pop scene and come out with a host of names. CCM radio just seems almost like one long song from the same artist. Even if you get into the power metal side, it's hard to tell one from another.

We need a true musical revolution to shake things up. We need artists who would be willing to make the music they love and say "screw you" to the record companies even if they don't get instant fame. People are starting to get tired of the same thing every time they buy a new CD and they will begin to look for something that stands out.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:35 am

See thou I've always thought the whole "they sound the same" or "they should try something new or a different sound" is pointless in a sense. Most of these bands know who they are, they are hard rock/modern rock and thats that. They aren't going to change up anything and be something they are not. Sometimes, I hear that a band should try something different or make a different sounding album. So does that mean a band like Skillet should put out an album that sounds more like Jars of Clay, or Third Day or something along those veins?. Because unless Skillet does something like that,, you know what you are going to get. Or look at Demon Hunter, they have the metalcore thing going for them. Now granted they do have some more melodic stuff on their album, but they have yeat to release an album that completley ditches the metalcore vibe and is more "modern rock" sounding. To me, if Demon Hunter was to do that, then that is an example of a band that kind of did what this article says.



Even an old school band like Guardian changed styles, and while it was good, I think some fans were alienated by it. Personally, I've never been a huge Steve Taylor fan but his writing style was all over Bottle Rocket and it wasn't as good as their earlier stuff.



I don't know, I understand where the article is coming from and peoples opinion on it and they may be right. I just know for me, I don't mind the modern rock/hard rock/cookie cutter rock/radio rock, that is out there.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:39 pm

Quote :
We need a true musical revolution to shake things up. We need
artists who would be willing to make the music they love and say "screw
you" to the record companies even if they don't get instant fame.
People are starting to get tired of the same thing every time they buy a
new CD and they will begin to look for something that stands out.

You know, this sounds just like some of the same things people were saying in the late eighties and early nineties just right before the grunge scene took over.

I cannot help but agree that it is time for a change- but towards what musical direction? Melodic metal? Classic rock? Melodic rock? Power metal? Some combination and/or amalgamation of the above?

Needless to say, this makes for an interesting discusion...
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Staybrite

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:25 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
Quote :

Looking back on history, I guess I would say that rock ‘n’ roll took a huge step towards the grave with the birth of nu metal. While
it was fun and different on arrival, the barrage of bands labels signed
that sounded like one another was staggering and only a handful of them
made it on to second and third albums. Who would have thought that the explosion of bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Staind would have eventually led to this? These guys couldn’t even spell! (Ha!) Maybe I just missed the point of how cool it was to “purposely” misspell your band’s name.

I would say it actually started sooner than that....it started with the mass popularity of Hair/Pop-metal bands in the late 80's. The record companies started signing every band that sounded like Motley Crue or Poison (or Guns N Roses...etc). And the market was flooded with second rate hair/pop metal bands that just cluttered up the airwaves and record stores with their second rate copy-cat music.

Sadly it appears that the same thing is happening to the modern rock/metal core movement (and most certainly the CCM and modern praise and worship music as well).



Chosen One wrote:
See thou I've always thought the whole "they sound the same" or "they should try something new or a different sound" is pointless in a sense. Most of these bands know who they are, they are hard rock/modern rock and thats that. They aren't going to change up anything and be something they are not. Sometimes, I hear that a band should try something different or make a different sounding album. So does that mean a band like Skillet should put out an album that sounds more like Jars of Clay, or Third Day or something along those veins?. Because unless Skillet does something like that,, you know what you are going to get.



I think you might be missing what the author is trying to get at. I don't think he is saying that Kutless or Fireflight or Third Day or Sillet should change their sound. All those bands are great at what they do. What I think he is suggesting (and for the most part I agree) is that we don't need 47 other bands (all signed with record label deals), that sound like near carbon copies of those bands, just with less talent.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:28 pm

And I'm also really sick and tired of the "7, Seventh, 7th" nonesense in Christian rock band names over the last few years. It might have been clever 15 years ago, but now it is just silly. We have become a sad, tired cliche of ourselves...and unfortunately given the secular music world another reason to ridicule us.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:16 pm

Staybrite wrote:
And I'm also really sick and tired of the "7, Seventh, 7th" nonesense in Christian rock band names over the last few years. It might have been clever 15 years ago, but now it is just silly. We have become a sad, tired cliche of ourselves...and unfortunately given the secular music world another reason to ridicule us.



The problem isn't just within the Christian camp, though. If you talk to people who listen to a lot of secular music, they are seeing the same trend. So, the world isn't poking fun at Christian music. The whole music industry is just getting stagnant and cookie cutter.



Quote :
You know, this sounds just like some of the same
things people were saying in the late eighties and early nineties just
right before the grunge scene took over.

I cannot help but
agree that it is time for a change- but towards what musical direction?
Melodic metal? Classic rock? Melodic rock? Power metal? Some
combination and/or amalgamation of the above?



Maybe it will shift towards musical freedom to create what you want to create--not just what you know the labels are pushing at the time.

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:54 pm

This whole thread is just screaming for something new on the music scene... Unfortunately there's nothing new under the sun. Every "new" sound is just a slight variation of another sound.
It's typical when a product sells good to have several imitations. What musicians need to do is not copy the "latest" sound to please the masses (just to sell albums), they need to study great bands of the past and find out what made them "great bands".
What made Petra a household name ? What made Bride more popular than Mad Max ? What would you say makes a great band ? Musical talent, variety of sound, great solos, passionate vox, etc ??
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:03 pm

While the article is new, the issue is the same in general. I remember it in the 70's,80's,90's....and now the 21st Century. While I don't like the new "modern" rock sounds that paint the music spectrum these days in secular or Christian music, I tend to watch bands for longevity and maturity. I already know what I like and can play, and I am content with that. It's very juvenile to call a music style dated when a music critic can't find much else to harp about.



Just look at Europe and the plethera of power metal, power/prog, old school, and so on. Do you think the culture cares about what a critic thinks? ha! I'm of the opinion that most live rock bands from America for the most part, don't get it! Trying to force re-invention on tastes for a buck has it's consequences.



For myself, I don't plan on changing a thing about what "popular America" is interested in. If your band is good despite what pop culture says, that band will suceed and march to its own drum. I've seen it happen so many times!



Staybrite nailed it on the head about Christian rock bands! I couldn't agree more!
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:47 pm

Staybrite wrote:
And I'm also really sick and tired of the "7, Seventh, 7th" nonesense in Christian rock band names over the last few years.

Yeah ... and it's pretty obnoxious when people do it as part of their online "handle," too.

What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:27 am

ProgPariah77 wrote:
Staybrite wrote:
And I'm also really sick and tired of the "7, Seventh, 7th" nonesense in Christian rock band names over the last few years.

Yeah ... and it's pretty obnoxious when people do it as part of their online "handle," too.

What a Face



YEAH REALLY! (oh wait.....)lol!

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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:13 pm

Very interesting article. It does highlight the problem of too many copycats in the industry, and the fact that more often then not, the original artist is always better then the other artists/bands that come after and sound way too similar.



The same can be said indivual artists or bands that have basically one sound and just vary the tempo or rythem to make a new song. One original song and every other song based on the same template. A lot of so called great bands in both Christian and secular music is guilty of this. The article highlighted ZZ-Top as an original, and they were, but just about every hit they had, had the same sound.



I recall a comedy troupe doing their thing on stage at the "Just for Laughs" comedy festival in Montreal a while ago and they were doing a parady of Britney spears and the fact that she had multiple major hits on the same music track. Here is the link if you want to see. Its funny, but drives home the point, that music these days can still make you famous with no real originality.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvklkIVhmMw
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:59 pm

This is a good thread and good article. All the words have been said, I don't have much to add.

I'm looking to make a band with a different sound.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:44 am

It's interesting to read this all.
Bands with an original own sound were great to find.
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PostSubject: Re: The Death Of Rock   Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:33 pm

This whole 'cookie cutter' mentality in mainstream rock and metal is what chased me off into the symphonic/ prog metal camps, and that's where I'm finding musical satisfaction(for now at least). It is so true-there's nothing new under the sun.
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