Music – evolution, revolution or pollution?

I’ve always enjoyed my music and my tastes in it are as varied as the next person. My Banshee library runs from Classical to metal, folk to pop and punk to electronic darkwave. I think most alternatives are covered in there.

Mark often said that it if our generations liked what was going in the charts then something wasn’t right. It’s the younger generation’s right to listen to stuff that their parents describe as ‘noise’ and screw their faces up at. I have to admit bewilderment when I read a charts listing and realise I’ve never heard of 80% of the artists. And find that if there’s a music channel on the TV playing stuff from the 1980s-1990s I tend to gravitate towards it. Not that there isn’t current music I like, but I find a lot of it no longer excites me. And yes, as of parental age, quite a bit of it sounds like ‘noise’ 🙂

Having been a long time Pet Shop Boys fan (since 1989!) I took delivery of their latest CD, Elysium this week. It’s pleasant enough but I listen to it wondering to whom it’s aimed at – presumably the long term fans, but it doesn’t light any fires with me.  Background music which is OK but something I’ll soon file into the bowels of Banshee I suspect.

I was gutted to read that Chumbawamba had decided to call it a day. Despite a 30 year career, I came into it pretty late (about 15 years ago) but I always enjoyed their twists and turns, letting the music take them with it, writing lyrics which were funny and serious at the same time and not aiming to please the marketeers – almost entirely the opposite. Social commentary is how I would describe it and their journey through punk to pop to bonefide folk band to me is a testament to good songwriting and talented musicians. I’ll miss them, I only wish I’d seen the electric band live.

On the positives I read today that Story of the Year have finally reunited. Their website is back up and running and they’re touring this year with a re-working of their first album and suggestion of new material in the near future. Again, their material is cerebal – no vacuous love songs, instead commentary about the world, the environment. All served in a recipe I enjoy 🙂

The other musical excitement for this 30-something is that OMD have released their latest album. Yet to obtain it although I’ve heard a few tracks and it sounds interesting – pretty left-field really. But in a world of homogeneous music, experimentalism can sometimes yield the most interesting stuff. True sometimes it falls flat, but it’s great that there are bands out there trying new stuff, rather than regurgitating the past in a mass-produced formula.

But then I’m sure there are many more people out there who want to know what they’re getting and that it’s the same as the last course. Perhaps it’s this evolution with the Pet Shop Boys that for me hasn’t worked. Perhaps I want more of their 1980s sound, totally contradicting everything I’ve said above!

It’s a funny old world.

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