Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why The 80s Were Better

A recent debate on the merits of New Wave music brought up some comparisons to the current music scene. 80s inspired Rock seemed to be painted from a palette with more colors available than today's over-hyped, "cutting edge" acts can display.

From New Romanticism to Rockabilly to Ska to Punk, many diverse sounds and influences were represented, accompanied by a spectrum of subject matter and feelings. The spooky strangeness of Talking Heads, the politically charged, raw spirit of The Clash, even the tongue-in-cheek, debonair posings of Spandau Ballet all helped create a diversity that made radio fun to listen to.

By comparison, it seems that popular alternative music now is more one dimensional, mostly emo or thrash, Blink 182 clones or Nirvana wannabes. It's less about rebellion and more about being a whiny victim. Things are oh so serious now. The fun irreverence of bands like B-52s, Go-Go's and Sparks is completely missing. Along with irony and a sense of humor.

The emotional range in New Wave music is what sets it apart and continues to make it appealing. Sure, anger and lust were there as they always are. As were many other subtle and not so subtle tones of displacement, irreverence, kitsch, alienation, loneliness, love, heartbreak, romance, elegance, futurism and downright wackyness.

If MTV darlings My Chemical Romance is the best this generation has to offer, something has gone horribly wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment