Putting Sound and Taste Into Context. What Makes A "Good" Song?
We have all seen the rants (especially as of late) about songs sounding the same, genres mixing or evolving, fans bitching about artist making a sound that is out of the norm for them. With the fast pace of technology and the fearlessness that Internet “trolls” display (and even so-called fans) the backlash and ridiculous comments that flood forums when a song is released, big or small, is out of control. These overly confident “music authorities” (aka trolls) sit safe in mom’s house behind the comforts of their keyboard as they await their microwaved meal, which no doubt provides a small break and little nourishment before jumping back on the Internet to watch countless cat videos and critique peoples music with the intensity of a Chihuahua barking at the mailman.
Let’s take a step back and really ask, “What is music anyway?” Music, regardless of the genre, is a form of expression, a creation from one person, or a group of people, to convey or evoke an emotion. Some music has a deep-routed meanings of life, love, politics, while other songs are literally about what you did on Friday…or how you're gunna get down this Friday or whatever.
Next, lets ask what makes a “good” song. If you ask that question to 10 different people and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. “It’s gotta have a good beat!” “Meaningful lyrics.” “Gnarly guitar solos.” “It’s all about the drop.” “Good music is all about the cowbell.” “More cowbell!”
That’s why there are so many types of music out there. Sound affects people in different ways, people relate to different things. Granted some ideas can be more universally identifiable, like “every body in the club getting tipsy” or “put your hands up!” Shit, I would love to put my hands up in da club! This song is great! You get my point…if all the songs in Beatport’s top 10 sound the same to you, than don't listen to them. Apparently there are enough people who like that sound to make it chart…but that doesn’t mean you must listen to what’s charting. A chart is just a measuring tool…there are other songs. Search out something new, listen to some of the lowest ranking tracks and you might just find some undiscovered gems in there. Bring back the art of digging.
So, “good” music is defined by the person listening; I read a quote somewhere from Madeon (which I can’t seem to find) that said, “Anyone hating any genre of music, simply doesn't know the context in which it was meant to be enjoyed.” The kid is not only musically brilliant but he is a Philosiphizer too.
As an artist you are creating something from a non-tangible emotion. Creativity is the expression of the shit we can’t say. You love a girl but don't have the balls to tell her…boom—you got a song. Shit, half the songs in history are about girls that will never know that song is about them.
You cannot expect and artist to paint the same picture over and over…what would be the point. So when an artist, musician, producer goes into another genre or mood it’s because it has influenced him or her…so if you don't like it then don't listen.
I recently saw a post from Protohype (dubstep producer) where he said that he started his career producing hip-hop and then was inspired by dubstep…and when he recently posted a trap song, he received a ton of backlash from fans saying, “Go back to the old Prototype,” as if he had done something wrong. If he were to listen to the trolls then he would be making hip-hop! If it wasn't for him being influenced by dubstep years ago then he wouldn't be where he is today in the EDM scene. Artists need to follow the voice in their head when it says to wander off into the forest blindly—that’s how something original is made. If not then we will be making watered-down interpretations of shit that has already been done.
As an artist you have to make music for yourself…if you do it to please the fans or just top the chart there will come a day when you want to make something different but you won’t be able to… because you have turned your art into a job and you are now expected to make music for someone else. There are days where I feel like making a straight 128 BPM club banger, and there are days I feel like making 80 BPM glitch downtempo…and I will do as I please. The people that want to hear it will and others wont. It’s simple, at the end of the day it’s my music and if a fan likes it, I am forever grateful and humbled.
So to the Internet trolls and people bitching about other peoples’ music…take a break from Facebook. Stop stalking the girl you will never talk to. Stop being a troll and bitching about things you don't understand, and go find music you like. Or better yet, go make your own. Shit…with all your knowledge from years of being an illustrious critique you should have the knowhow and skills to make the best music the world has ever heard!
Thanks for reading. I'll be one here from time to time with tips, topics and other music gibberish.