Where Did The Good Music Go?


Dylan Donine, Staff Writer

Our generation’s music is completely different than the music of our elders. Besides the massive lack of effort, originality and passion in many of today’s top hits, the music of our generation practically exhorts us to partake in these crude acts and mindsets as well.

Nicki Manaj, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Drake, and countless other currently famous artists similar to these are the sort of “musicians” prefer to preach obscenities to our generation. Examples of their songs would be included in this article to contrast them to real and good music, but their lyrics are not allowed to be shared on school websites, as they are too indecent. That fact alone should prove that they are not the type of songs that you should waste your precious time listening to.

Not all rappers and pop artists produce bad music. For example, Aesop Rock’s song No Regrets has beautiful, incredibly inspiring lyrics: “You can dream a little dream or you can live a little dream. I’d rather live it, ‘cause dreamers always chase but never get it,” and “Look, I’ve never had a dream in my life because a dream is what you wanna do but still haven’t persued. I knew what I wanted, and did it ‘till it was done, so I’ve been the dream that I wanted to be since day one.”

There are many rap songs that are full of deep meaning and are great to give a listen, even by the same artists who produce the crude music.  However, it always seems that the music that gets the most attention are the songs that praise an extensive use of drugs and being promiscuous in a care free, overpaid lifestyle. Why do people choose to listen to the degrading music that makes unhealthy lifestyles seem glamorous, when they could be listening to music that was made by artists who are capable of writing inspiring lyrics AND are able to play instruments flawlessly while performing? Have people forgotten what true music is? It seems hardly fair that this generation thinks a technician sitting at a mixing table creating background music for some second-rate performer would ever classify as true music.  Musicians are role models to fans, and many current pop artists not only preach inappropriate behavior through their lyrics, but they also dress wildly inappropriately. How did those performers become acceptable to look up to and try to follow? Rock and metal can talk about drugs and other bad habits as much as rap and hip hop, that is true, but at least you never see their private parts all over your news feed and on magazine covers laid out to stain the view of acceptable behavior to our younger generations.

Rock ‘n roll, punk, and metal music are all genres people love to label negatively through every generation. Yes, some of it can be bad, but compared to the music that is always glamorized and made popular nowadays, most of it consists of better, more meaningful lyrics and music that is sadly unacknowledged. Some of the best lyrics seem to come from said genres. Not to mention members of real bands all know how to fluently play instruments and write their own music, which is more difficult than people tend to think it is. The true talent accumulated in many bands–heavy, old, or new–should not go as unnoticed and as unappreciated as it seems to be.

Take a look at the lyrics to “That’s The Way” by the popular rock group Led Zeppelin: “And yesterday I saw you standing by the river, and weren’t those tears that filled your eyes? And all the fish that lay in dirty water dying, had they got you hypnotized? And yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers, but all that lives is born to die. And so I say to you that nothing really matters, and all you do is stand and cry. I don’t know what to say about it, when all your ears have turned away. But now’s the time to look and look again at what you see, is that the way it ought to stay?” That’s truly poetic and meaningful music.

Besides the style and purpose of music changing over the years, the way we listen to it has changed drastically. Currently everyone uses their phones or iPod’s to listen to music, when not too many years ago we were using portable CD players, cassette tapes, and vinyls. Technology  has dramatically changed the way we experience music, and from personal experience, listening to vinyls makes the music better because the sound quality makes it feel like the music is alive in the room with you. When listening to a vinyl album, the music surrounds you entirely and you can feel it, whereas listening to it through tiny wires to block out the rest of the world you just don’t feel it in such an impactful way. It’s a shame that most of the new generation  and the future generations to come will never experience music in such a way.

It’s hard to understand how people prefer to listen to music that consists of the artists not being able to play any instruments, and always glorifying sex and the use of drugs in their lyrics. It’s not uncool to listen to older music. Everyone should listen to older music, because it’s just simply good for the soul. There is new music that is good and full of talent, but for some reason, it’s hardly ever the music you find on MTV’s Top 40. It seems safe to say that the majority of good music has died, and our generation needs to revive it.