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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Maybe there are two kinds of pop music

Maybe in pop there are two kinds of music: Find Yourself Music and Lose Yourself Music.
Here is a good Find Yourself song.
Here is a good Lose Yourself song.

Maybe Lose Yourself Music is designed to aid escapism, and is often rhythm-centric because rhythm speaks more to the body than to the mind. Maybe Find Yourself Music is designed to aid reflection, and is often melody-centric because melody speaks more to the mind than the body.

Maybe when a genre is born it adopts one or the other by reacting to its parent genres, like a human does.
Maybe as a genre ages, it transitions from one to the other, like a human does.

To do both in one career is hard. To do both in one live performance is dangerous.  To do both in one song is almost impossible. I've tried to do it a few times - sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't (don't freak out, I'm half kidding).

Maybe when there is an economic recession, we stress ourselves out with Find Yourself Music. Maybe when things clear up, we relax with Lose Yourself Music. Maybe we will abandon Find Yourself Music altogether as we reduce our interest in reality.

When performing in front of an audience that is not in love with you (yet), it is not wise to perform Lose Yourself Music for those who want to find themselves, or Find Yourself Music for those who want to get lost. When performing in front of an audience that is in love with you, it is possible to lead them from one to the other, but very risky. People like Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel can do it.

Maybe if you're making neither or doing a poor job of combining the two, you would be wise to look for your revenue streams outside of touring and album sales.






1 comment:

Maren B said...

Wow-seems true, and not just of pop music. I like.