Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Does it really have to be this way?

Music industry bosses formula of selling music wrapped in a sexy package. 
It is not a new thing that music is sold and marketed with an infallible strategy: sex. Music itself seems not to be enough and ever more the artist’s image gets more important and central in the music business.
Elvis Presley is considered one of the first sex symbols in the music and entertainment industry. His performance style and his looks played a huge role in the making of the so called “King of Rock and Roll”. Since then the music scene became more and more eroticized; but compared to today’s pop stars Elvis’ hip moves were quite innocents.
I am the kind of person that appreciates music in its essence: a good melody, with a nice beat, with smart lyrics. It does not take half naked (or almost fully naked) women for me to buy a cd, but unfortunately in these days it is almost impossible to find artists that are making purely music for the listeners. In instead they are competing in who makes the next scandal that will drive the horny teenagers crazy. Of course image is important and a good looking good singer is better than just a good singer, but the way things are offered are way too abusive. What we see in current pop music is a lot of talented artists that are not respecting their talents and artistry, in the name of buzz. 
Did this generation ever stop to think what message the music industry bosses are giving when almost all they offer us is booty songs with shallow purposes? Aren’t we more than sexually aroused brainless people? This system is among many things very disrespectful, first because it treats the consumers simply as horny monkeys, and the artists as a meat peace.
Light at the end of the tunnel?
Hopefully it seems like there is hope in the music industry. With her second album, 21 recently released, the british singer Adele is an exception. With a coy attitude and with a rusty but potent voice she is in all senses the anti-pop-diva.
The majority of the lyrics of Adele’s songs talk about failed relationships and of her difficulty in fitting in the society. The singer never denied that she deals with her personal life in the songs. In fact her ex-boyfriend wanted to sue her, claiming that he had a part on the royalties of the songs that he had inspired. But above all, 21 is a cd that puts Adele among the headliners of her generation.
Songs like Rolling in the Deep, Someone Like You, Set Fire to The Rain and Lovesong (a cover version of a song already recorded by the band The Cure) boosted the sells of her two albums, 19 and 21 (the numbers stand for the artist’s age on their release dates). From day to night, Adele changed from being the tearful chubby girl to, until now, the most selling phenomena of the year.
Since 1990, after Madonna released The Immaculate Collection, no other woman has stayed in the first place for ten consecutive weeks on the British top charts. Now Adele did it. In United States she overpassed the mark of 1 million sold discs and forced Lady Gaga to dispute a place on the charts, after her single Born This Way sells fell 84% from a week to another.
According to The New Yorker magazine’s music critique , Sasha-Frere Jones, Adele’s fans are mainly mid age white people, that don’t know how to download from the internet, and consequently buy the cd from the closest Starbucks shop. That justifies in part the explosion of sells.
With not much talent for dancing sexy choreographies, Adele can only do what she is really good at: sing. Produced by experienced names from the music industry such as Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and The Gossip) and Paul Epworth (Cee Lo Green), 21 reached the top charts as an underdog, surrounded by Rihannas, Shakiras and Britneys.
Let’s re-evaluate
Music has always been a powerful tool in humanity, it connects people with each other and with their own feelings. I believe a huge opportunity is being wasted and this generation has been privy to experience deeper feelings that music can generate in us.

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