Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Teen music goes full circle - from long-haired louts to screamers

I confess to being somewhat amused.

Remembering back to my youth, the music of the day, with albums (the vinyl type) toted around school under arms, tended to be by the untidy long-haired, wailing a set of completely nonsensical lyrics loudly into a microphone, with a couple of interruptions by a seemingly endless guitar solo. Names such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Yes, Genesis, Blodwyn Pig, Blind Faith, Cream, Traffic, Spencer Davis with the 4-minute wonders provided by the Rolling Stones and Status Quo.

Strangely, these bands or their members are still going strong up to 50 years later!

And yes, they mostly wrote all their own material and played their own instruments. And my dad hated most of them, thinking they all sounded the same (although, as a man in his mid 80's before his passing away a couple of years ago, he enjoyed the Electric Light Orchestra, Ian Dury and Queen. And unashamedly, the album of cover songs by Ozzy Osborne).

Today, the wailing has now become a high-pitched, glass-breaking screech, bellowed out by female divas who, to me, all really do sound the same. Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Rhianna.

Clasping and unclasping their hand around the microphone they hold in one hand, screwing up their faces while passionately screeching out completely and utterly nonsensical lyrics about the mental breakdown their best friend had while driving a bread van the wrong way up the motorway. Or something like that.

Meanwhile, their free hand, with outstretched fingers, seems to be attempting to pat a large, invisible dog on the head, as they put their heart, soul and screeching into another verse of complete nonsensical rubbish.

All the while, their antics are bolstered by continual coverage in the tabloids and 'celebrity' press.

Personally, I wouldn't even illegally download their songs, let alone buy a CD or overpriced iTune.

Yes, there are some talented ones out there. Some even write their own songs. Adele, who I don't particularly like myself, is a talented songwriter and singer. Lady GaGa is one I cannot understand why she has to mess around with dresses made from sheep and shoes made from armaments, as her voice is one of the best around - her duet with Tony Bennett, "The Lady is a Tramp" is one of my all-time favourites, and her voice on the song is magnificent.

There is somewhat of a vacuum on the way as the old rockers retire - the 50 years of the Rolling Stones, Yes and the four-chord wondermen Status Quo defies belief. Half a century of music that they said "will never last".

I doubt if the current screeching divas, or the identically-sounding rappers (each with a capital "c" to accompany their caps on backwards, trousers with crotches at their knees and stupid, oversized trainers that they seem incapable of tying - and these are the ones who hated school uniform!) will be around for that long!

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