I suppose this is more of an observation, than rant. It still signifies how far the music industry has fallen. Why does everything all of a sudden sound like Fragma Toca’s Miracle (which was a remix/mashup-combo of two songs in and of itself) and Faithless Insomnia (or We Come One) circa late 1990’s early 2000.
This song was copied so many times stylistically, the original almost got lost in the onslaught of copycats.
We Come One
I could have chosen Leftfield, Orbital, Underworld and a host of other acts and remixers. I usually don’t listen to terrestrial radio, but couldn’t help but notice the trends. Rihanna, NeYo, Flo Rida, Black Eyed Peas and Usher have all recently released very dance-oriented songs or collaborated with DJ/Producers. Kanye and Snoop Dog have been relegated to supplying the optional “hook” on Katy Perry songs. Awww shucks.
Is it the Lady GaGa-fication (yes I made that up) of the industry? No, I noticed this began a few years ago. Benny Benassi is now working with Chris Brown? Ewww! Dave Guetta regularly works with pop/rap artists. In a world where Tiesto earns an estimated $20M (not a typo folks) dance music, specifically of the progressive/trance variety is big business.
Now before the purists or trend-curators balk at the use of the “T” word, let’s just drop the pretense. We who are long-term music purveyors know full well what the core genres are. It ain’t house music that’s for sure! There was a brief merging of hip-hop and house music in the early ’90’s. Remember Hip-House? Jungle Brothers “I’ll House You”.
Kanye used the best parts of Daft Punk’s classic Harder, Better, Faster Stronger for his song. It was huge and although I wasn’t so thrilled about the collabo, I figured it exposed DP to a new audience for what was a ten year-old song.
The musical joining of Alphaville with Flo Rida using Forever Young had me reeling though. It’s a classic New Wave song! I know the argument would be centered around gaining a new audience, but my inner teen frowns at having a favorite song from my youth “ruined”. Would tampered with sound less damning? Should I provide a list of “hallowed” songs not to be touched haha?
Despite my high-brow tendencies would it surprise you to learn I kinda, sorta like Ke$ha? [ducks] Tik Tok anyway. Love that glitter jacket by the way! She’s a more radio-friendly Avenue D. Don’t believe me? Have a listen to the NSFW 2D2F. Or for a very naughty song let’s revisit Consolidated ft. Yeasty Girls circa 1992. I don’t have a problem with adult-themed songs in their appropriate time and place. Denigration and freedom of expression are not the same thing.
Some may also say there’s too much ‘borrowing’ of other people’s songs with little creativity or originality. Cue GAGA’s Born This Way (using the music from Madonna’s Express Yourself). I admit even I didn’t think it was note for note copy until I heard a mash-up that included both songs. Ooh…I’m telling Madonna! Hey, I’m sure she happily accepted a royalty check. I also couldn’t help but notice the near total media silence over that Malawi scandal. Which makes me wonder if bell hooks will write another Plantation Mistress essay any time soon.
In closing, I have to post La Bouche and Amber. Just because 1993-1999 had some of the best radio dance pop evah! What’s up with all the songs about sex though? Trust me these were staples in every gay club I went to at the time as well.