Why Music Has Lost it’s Charms (Article)

I found this article while surfing the web tonight. If it’s already been posted I apologize.




Good music lasts.

Why are there so many "oldies" stations these days? Because the 60’s and 70’s were the golden age of popular music. It’s not nostalgia, it’s that the music was just that great.


Good music certainly does last.

People all over the world are still enjoying music written hundreds of years ago. Virtually all of the classical genre that has survived was written before we had any means of playing it back at home for ourselves.

That’s quite impressive, isn’t it?

Even from our own lifetimes, we can be fairly certain that some pieces of music will last as long as the human race does.

The 1960s in particular remains endlessly fascinating. That miraculous decade more or less featured everything that followed since.

On the other hand, if you take away the recency effect it’s hard to see which albums from the last 20 years will make the cut a century from now.

But then you could also argue the same for other art forms such as painting, sculpture, literature, television, film etc.


It would appear that human creativity has now moved on to other equally profitable areas of endeavour.

There’s already millions of attention seeking YouTube channels for example and new computer games coming out every week.

Then there’s the worlds of business, politics and finance...


That old Warhol comment about fame has never seemed more true and making money has never seemed so glamourous.

I personally find those that unapologetically produce lowest-common-denominator schlock with no pretense less offensive than those who do the same but endeavor to (and unfortunately succeed at) convincing the public they are “serious artists.”

I consider the likes of, say, Justin Bieber (music) and Michael Bay (film) less offensive than the likes of say, Jon Batiste or James Gunn.  
Bieber and Bay tell you what they are, and then show you they indeed are that thing.  At least they’re honest and unpretentious.  A wolf in wolf’s clothing.

Batiste makes insipid, formulaic music, delivered with his trademark smile and “joyfulness” that panders to the lowest-common-denominator music fan.  James Gunn makes movies based off of comic books (no further description needed).  Wolves in sheep’s clothing.

If they were honest, I wouldn’t really care either way.  But Baptiste loads his music and image with hollow and vapid signifiers like, “freedom,” somehow getting shoehorned into the arena of “socially conscious artists.”  James Gunn refuses to acknowledge that comic book movies, under no circumstances, can be considered “art” in the same way Bergman, Fellini, Scorsese etc. can. Instead, he publicly bristles at an innocuous, uncontroversial statement by Scorsese, tries to convince us that these comic book movies are, “cinema.”  If he wants to make comic book movies, it’s a free country.  I would hope then that such a person would have the self-awareness, maturity, and lack of pretension to accept this choice for what it is: profit-driven, not art-driven.  No more, no less.

Take this lyric from Batiste’s 2021 song “I NEED YOU, the 2nd single off his 2022 Album of the Year Grammy-winning album, “WE ARE:”

”In this world with a lot of problems/All we need is a little loving”

There you have it, folks.  All the moral courage, artistic bravery, poetic brilliance and subversive energy of an episode of “The Lawerence Welk Show.”

This is the one that gets me, from the same song:

”We working overtime / don’t need another million / you got that goldmine / I love the way you’re livin’ / ‘cause you’re so genuine”

How “genuine” was Mr. Batiste, how devoid of “need for another million” was he when he co-opted Billy Ocean to carry the water for Amazon Prime in his brand new commercial he just filmed?  A real social justice warrior.  Earning more millions to be a shill for one of the least just corporations in the world.


Small minded article from a small minded author.  Alas, there has never been a time with more musical creativity and new artists then the present. But if you don't know, you don't know.  Time to venture out away from confines of SiriusXM and FM radio.  

I recently saw a fantastic new singer/songwriter at the LA Times Book Faire and there's so many more to discover, but you have to look in new places new mediums and beyond international borders.  Its a big world full of wonderful things waiting to be discovered.

Now about that article; best thing about it is the volume of responses it triggered  


@cd318 - I wouldn't negate the nostalgia factor; there's still a lot of older people around, and most of them are not going to be listening to much of anything newer than the 70's or 80's. You can see that on a lot of forums.... 

Again, mahgister, sheet music was around way before Edison. Commercially available sheet music...hit songs of the time...