State of Music

Alabama / Feb. 21, 2012 / by Chris
State of Music

Every so often, a picture like this makes its way around the inboxes and funny-captioned-picture sites of the internet:

(Source: Memebase)

Now, lest I sound one-sided, let me be clear: there are a surprising number of popular songs out there with pretty ridiculous lyrics.  Where I take issue is the implication of photos like these that music today is collectively worse than the music of previous generations.  To be sure, this is sometimes true on a song by song basis, but as a whole the songwriting craft is in as fine a shape as it's ever been.  The only difference is that we've had some time to sift through the older music to figure out what the really good stuff is.  To illustrate my point, I point you to the lyrics of one of 1969's chart toppers (the same year as 'Whole Lot of Love', 'Oh What a Night', and 'Sweet Caroline', among others):

Sugar, sugar

Ah, honey, honey

You are my candy girl

And you've got me wanting you

 

Sugar, sugar

Ah, honey, honey

You are my candy girl

And you've got me wanting you

 

Pour a little sugar on it, oh, yeah

Pour a little sugar on it, honey

Pour a little sugar on it, baby

I'm gonna make your life so sweet, yeah, yeah, yeah

Pour a little sugar on it, honey

These deep, meaningful lyrics (again, number one in the charts) come from 'Sugar, Sugar' by the Archies.  I promise I bear the group and its fans no disrespect; I merely bring it up to say that every generation needs its deep songwriters, but sometimes we also need a good solid dose of nonsensical, fun pop as well.  There's music of both sorts being created constantly (both sorts have been submitted to our Community Soundtrack), so if you find yourself bemoaning the state of modern music, do some sifting.  I promise, you won't be disappointed.