Thank You For The Music…or not?!

With what do we want our kids to associate “our music”?

This morning I was sitting in my kitchen thinking about what to write in my blog post today. While eating and staring out of the window I was listening to the radio. They just played this great song “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette and I started to think: Where are these power women left, trying to articulate serious problems and thoughts in their songs?

Now a day, we are used to listen to Britney Spears, Kate Perry or Lady Gaga who are singing about how toxic they are, how cool it is to party in California or even about what a poker face they have when hooking up with a guy. So, is that all what female artists’ care about today? Do they really want to be seen as “sexy chicks” as American R&B singer Akon would say?

The music business has become a huge industry over the last 50 years and many artists just try to earn their livings. We all know “sex sells” and no offense to all women using that fact. But by publishing all these songs about sex and partying, today’s artists are some how creating a totally apolitical image of this decade for the next generations. Do we really want to have this image?

So what happened to the good old times when even the background singers of the glorious Ray Charles where singing “Hit the road, Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more (…)” or when Aretha Franklin was only asking “for a little respect”? Just try to imaging Gloria Gaynor singing about some “Paparazzi” instead of “I will survive”. I think we all can remember these songs not just because they have great rhythm or lyrics. It is also about the strong person behind the microphone who stood up for their rights!

However, I personally cannot deny I am part of this generation and that I dislike today’s music. Maybe, we later have to deal with that image. But even the good old days weren’t always that good. At the very same time when people were listening to “You Oughta Know”, they were also listening to bands singing about their “Mama” or “Barbie Girls”…

5 Responses to “Thank You For The Music…or not?!”
  1. katjo2010 says:

    This is a very interesting article! It made me think as well because this question didn’t arise to me until now. But I totally agree.
    Music nowadays unfortunately is mostly about earning money and getting famous, not so much about the content. Thinking about it, I cannot think of one “new” artist, especially a woman, singing about something relevant.
    But I also think, that the role of music has changed in comparison to the time you are regarding to in your article. Today,I think, music is supposed to distract people from their busy and exhausting lives. Many people don’t want to think about problems and difficulties when listening to music, they simply want to be entertained…which is a pity in my eyes.

  2. diiasg says:

    VERY GOOD. I agree with this wholeheartedly. The “performers” for lack of a better word of past generations had a certain skill set requirement, they just had the luck that their looks and or “marketability” were higher than the guy on the corner with a banjo.

    Now a days, there is no skill set required. The media can make anyone a star if they really want to.

    It’s all a matter of perception.

  3. Mary says:

    Great post, thank you very much! I totally agree.

    Like Katrin already said – I cannot think about a woman comparable to Aretha Franklin or Diana Ross in contemporary pop music, too. Especially these two women had to go a long way from starting to sing to signing their record contracts (Aretha Franklin 1960 at Atlantic Records, Diana Ross and the Supremes 1961 at Motown) to becoming famous in the end. Both were forced to demonstrate their real talents at a time when (white) rock and roll hit the radio stations in the US and people didn’t really want to listen to ‘black gospel pop’.
    These women cleared the way for an acceptance of (black) women in pop culture.

    Now that we consider female artists as totally equal, they are going back in time and start undressing… A bit ironic, isn’t it?

    If you’re intersted in the history of all those great artists mentioned above, start to take a look here.

  4. hem says:

    May be I haven’ got it, but is the thesis not also true if we talk about man?

  5. martinjaja says:

    HEM, I totally agree with you on this point. Music made by men is not any better these days – especially in the hip hop industry. It is especially interesting to see hip hop music videos where you can mainly see half naked women. I guess this is also a clear message….

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