Originality and Credibility in Today's Music

Essay by starsnmixtapesCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Originality. Some say that popular musicians have lost it. If you were to turn the radio on today, it is doubtful that a new, exciting, original song would come through the frequency. A common saying is "imitation is the greatest form of flattery" and in music that must ring true. In all popular music today, rap, rock and even country, they are taking and reusing music, beats, ideas, and themes that have already been played out. The problem with the radio and popular music today, is that all it plays is top 40. Top 40 pop, top 40 rock, top 40 country. Every once in a while a classic rock station will come around but all that station will play are songs that everyone knows either because the songs are original songs that have covers floating around the airwaves or because the songs are all over the television on commercials.

Youth today are not familiar with blues, jazz, real country, or even real classic rock. As Camille Paglia stated in her article "Rock as Art", "White suburban youth, rocks main audience, is trapped in creature comforts, everything comes to them secondhand through TV...they no longer have direct contact with folk music and blues"(p.435). Granted every once in a while an artist that is just out of the mainstreams radar will fight its way in and blow people away with their originality. When Outkast broke through they were considered amazing because they brought funk back on the radio. When bands like Norah Jones and Nickel Creek broke through that was incredible because what once was labeled as adult contemporary and folk music was being plastered over the top 40 airwaves, VH1 as well as MTV. This leads me to believe that there is a need, a want, and a desire for...