The Joe Jackson/Adele thread prompted a sigh in me, and I thought that it warranted a separate thread because this issue is bigger and goes so much wider.
In brief: when are we going to let go of the ridiculous category errors made when discussing music? When will we grow up and ditch the adolescent posturing spawned by rock journalism?
In retrospect, the “golden era” of rock journalism was nothing more than over-inflated egos churning out over-inflated opinion pieces on over-inflated musicians. This branch of journalism is thankfully on its knees, at least the professional version, thus weeding out those who genuinely care as opposed to those have opinions for money. And yet it’s infantile spawn still infest most discussions about music, producing depressingly frequent myths like:
(a) Myth: Music is about the lyrics, eg you can judge Adele’s music by its subject matter.
Reality: No you can’t. Lyrics are there in the background, and never made a dull piece of music great (La Adele), nor did they ever drag down an excellent piece of music (New Order).
(b) Myth: It is sufficient to consider guitar-based bands, playing 4-5 minute long songs with choruses, guitar solos, and hummable tunes.
Reality: This is basically like saying that, if you watch football, you never need to consider any other sport. Or if you watch TV, then British sitcoms are more than enough to keep your interest. It’s so wrong on so many levels.
(c) Myth: Writing about music isn’t the same thing at all as dancing about architecture.
Reality: Yes it is. If you need someone’s written opinion to help you appreciate a piece of music, I think you’re in a sad place. Journalism and other musical writing is fandom at best, parasitic at worst.
So am I just in a bad mood? Does any of this ring bells with anybody out there? Am I on the wrong website?