Monday, June 13, 2005

What Is The Problem?

I can't figure out what the deal is with music lately. Almost every new album that I've purchased recently is terribly disappointing. Even artists that I've always liked; they release a new album that I'm pretty excited about, I buy it, and I find it less than what I'd hoped for. It's not that the albums are bad (not always anyway) but they aren't what I hope for from artists I like.

Am I just getting too old to enjoy the same music? Or are bands just putting out sub-par albums now?

For instance, the following CDs were pretty disappointing from bands whose previous efforts I really liked:

The White Stipes - Get Behind Me Satan

Coldplay - X & Y

The Wallflowers - Rebel Sweetheart

Reel Big Fish - We're Not Happy 'til You're Not Happy (big disappointment here)

Weezer - Make Belive (ok I didn't buy this one. I heard it was so terrible that I didn't bother...but Weezer had two really great albums back in the day. What happened?)

The list really goes on and on.

This also ties in to another topic I've been fuming about as well. Back in 2002 I got a mail offer from Rolling Stone magazine to get a lifetime subscription for a really cheap price. At the time I was subscribing anyway, and I enjoyed reading it so I figured why the hell not?

Now I get a Rolling Stone every two weeks and it's complete crap. Absolute, complete crap. Every issue is either a new "Top 100 whatever of all time," or some crappy actor or politician on the cover. There is barely any coverage of rock bands and other musicians. At first I credited this to a change in the climate at Rolling Stone and a lack of creativity, but I'm beginning to think that maybe it's a result of how little is going on in the world of music, specifically rock music.

I know that people have said that "Rock is dead" for the last 30 years, and while at times it may be down, it has never been out. Something or someone comes along to give it a good boost and rock feels alive again, but in between those somethings and those someones it feels as empty and vapid, generic and boring as ever. It's as if throughout the history of rock and roll, the music has been riding on waves which are sometimes up on top of a crest and at times drowning in a trough.

I feel that we're in a particularly low trough right now and I can only hope that we'll be riding the crest again before much longer.