Monday, March 5, 2012

Passing Judgement

The one thing that will never change about this business is opinions and EVERYONE has one. What we have to be careful about is passing judgement. We all have likes and dislikes as industry people and yet another set of likes and dislikes as artists and musicians. Any healthy or constructive criticism is always welcomed and needed for growth but criticizing out of jealously or just malcontent is not beneficial to the artist or our business. We all know that there is a vast difference between great music and commercial music. Now there is some commercial music that can be considered great but for the most part commercial music serves the moment. It serves a cultural and societal point of view. It is simply a snapshot and should be looked at as such. We should always keep the quality bar raised but that doesn't mean that we disregard anything new or outside our particular box. Marketing or not, if millions of people buy into a song or artist, there is something that connects and that is not always ONLY about music. It could be the subject matter, the delivery and it's always about timing. Certain songs and artists just work at a certain time based on their social relevance. The buying public is not buying music based on perfection, they buy music that relates to their lives. Just as I've heard Jazz purists talk down about smooth Jazz not realizing that smooth jazz sells a lot more than traditional jazz because of it relevance to the current culture. If looked at correctly, the Jazz purists would see that smooth Jazz can be used as a door to get people to discover traditional Jazz. Most people are more than willing to learn but they have to feel respected as listeners and not be made to feel unintelligent because they happen to like smooth Jazz. Most of the music is just instrumental R&B and the quality of the musicianship is high and, for the most part the recordings sound great and are easily accessible for the listener. The same can be said for other genres like the blues. Most blues purist will be quick to define what is REAL blues without realizing that the blues is more than just a certain beat or set of chord changes. The blues is truly the foundation of ALL forms of American popular music but it too has grown and continues to morph into new and exciting things. The problem is those that refuse to let it do so. Some think they are preserving something but they are only destroying it because if you don't get a younger generation to embrace the music, who will carry it forward? Yes, it is vital to always know the tradition and where the music came from but we must not ever be afraid to let it grow and we must never mock the the things we don't understand. Be careful passing judgement. Live, love and create freely while enjoying your journey.

The Truth

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