Singers that grow older and shallow

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  • TonyKuKo
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    #388901

    This
    is just an opinion article I wanted to share after finding out how some artists
    tend to write great songs while still young but as they grow older their music
    just turns meaningless for the sake of sales and radio airplay.

    The
    artist that moved me to write about this was Hayley Williams after I
    just
    happened to find out that she was only 24 years old.  Yes, she’s still young but what actually
    impresses me is that she was 16 when she wrote the songs for All We Know Is Falling. Most of the
    songs are about broken relationships and other youth-related issues. A teenage
    Williams will sing “Cause I’ve seen love die way too many times. when it
    deserved to be alive” (lyrics from “Emergency”). Those lyrics might not be as
    deep as those from Radiohead’s or Kurt Cobain but they are surely more mature
    than “I should be over all the butterflies But I’m into you (I’m in to you) And
    baby even on our worst nights I’m into you (I’m into you)” that’s the chorus
    from the latest Paramore’s single “Still Into You” that Hayley now sings as a
    woman.

    The other current “rock”
    band which only grew on age is Fall Out Boy. When their sophomore album “From
    Under the Cork Tree” the band members were all in their early 20s and were one
    of the leading bands in the pop punk scene of the early 2000s. About 10 years
    later, they are desperately relying on dubstep portions to be considered the “rock”
    band of the summer. If you actually believe they sing anything related to rock.
    The worst thing here is that they could probably get better sales this time
    than why they got in their good old early days.

    To cite other examples
    we can find Adam Levine who moved from the rock inspired Songs About Jane at
    the age of 23 to sing cheesy pop songs shirtless at the age of 34. Something
    similar happened to Nelly Furtado who would blend pop with bossa nova and folk
    music on her early 20s but would become a promiscuous girl upon releasing Loose
    at 28 which doesn’t differ much from her latest record T.S.I.

    However the saddest case
    is Shakira. Since you’re not Latin American, you probably never met the rebellious
    female rocker that Shakira was in the mid-1990s. Before shaking her hips and
    becoming a she wolf at 30. Shakira, at the age of 20, was a guitarist and
    singer-songwriter about female oppression and other social issues. She actually
    became everything she used to criticize. You can watch her first video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCna-hsmGUY
    (then 20) and one of her latest videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KewfYKJy8YU
    (at 33). You don’t really need to understand Spanish to get the message of her
    first video.

    What do you guys think?
    Do artists lose their commitments as they get older? Do we all do? Is that
    growing up?

    Do you have other
    examples?

    Reply
    Max 2.0
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    #388903

    The Shakira example is spot on. You should’ve used the Rabiosa video instead, and I know many people that don’t like Shakira precisely for the points you raised. I still adore her but she is certainly not the lyricist she used to be. “Fijacion Oral Vol. 1” is specially a gem to listen to. I used to consider her the best spanish songwritter; certainly not anymore (I would give the tittle to Calle 13). And to answer your question, I think the person behind the artist just changes; the evolve; their taste evolve. Maybe not in a good way, but they do. And I don’t blame them for it. You can always to their old stuff if you don’t like what they have become.

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    Ryan2012
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    #388904

    As much as I understand what you mean, I also disagree to an extent. People change, artists are no exception. Styles change, they get bored, they are no longer in a “dark” place, etc.  There are many considerations. One of my favorites, Liz Phair, was especially ripped on for “going pop”. A terrific album was looked over (her self titled) by music snobs and hipster wanna-bes who were pissed she didn’t release “Exile in Guyville, Part II”. She admitted she wanted to be a bigger star, she wanted to have FUN playing. She was no longer a teenage stoner in her dorm room. The thing I find most amusing is that all the people that think Pitchfork cares about music more than how they care about “writing cute” didn’t take the time to realize something….and that’s that Exile is about the poppiest album you can write. Simple rhythms and choruses abound – just peppered with cuss words and sex talk is all. People are fools in their attempt to look deep. And I laugh my ass off daily about that.

     

    BTW, none of that was about YOU.

     

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    Atypical
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    #388905

    I tire of the veteran artists who outgrow and distance themselves from their early output like they’re above it all. That’s really unfortunate considering that it’s the old music that got them to the coveted status that they’re at now, certainly not any of their current output. It’s such a dated way of thinking. You may be at a different place in your life both personally and professionally, but there’s still a place for the old to be embraced as well as the new, especially if what the fans want is the former and the old output trumps the new output by a mile.

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    Ryan2012
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    #388906

    You mean like Madonna? Who refuses to perform “Like a Virgin” anymore because she says she is too old for that, but continues to dress up as a cheerleader?

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    TonyKuKo
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    #388907

    You mean like Madonna? Who refuses to perform “Like a Virgin” anymore because she says she is too old for that, but continues to dress up as a cheerleader?

    I think you didn’t get my point as the rest did….

    I am not a big fan of Madonna at all but she sure have evolved… She’s always been a pop star… She began with synthpop of the early 80s moved towards 90s techno/house to the 2000s electronic dance music… She’s always kept the same line, if you know what I mean…

    I am criticizing here pop/rock singer-songwriters (specially female rockers like Liz Phair, Shakira, Hayley…) who are trying to become pop divas now as grown adults… I don’t think that’s evolution I think that’s just a desperate attempt to become famous thrashing your own music.

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    Ryan2012
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    #388908

    Oh I get what you mean (I don’t necessarily agree, but I get where you are going).

     

     But I was responding to Atypical.

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    Icky
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    #388909

    Liz Phair’s self-titled album was decent and had a few good songs. There’s nothing wrong with going pop. The problem with a lot of that album was the cliche production and lack of catchiness. If you’re gonna do pop you gotta know how to do pop.

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    Ryan2012
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    #388910

    I think she knows how to do pop. (see Exile comment) And Polyster Bride is probably one of the most perfectly constructed pop songs of the last 25 years. That said, I think if that cd would have been released anonymously with some young thang as it’s “face” it would have been huge. It had a bad taste in peoples mouths before it was even released. There were people foaming at the mouth how bad it was before they even heard it. Bionic Eyes, Its Sweet, Rock Me, Extraordinary were all genius top 40 gems. But, yea – I am kinda partial. Had the chance to meet her once after a show and she is as sweet as she is pretty.

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    Icky
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    #388911

    I’m a Liz Phair fan and her self-titled album is overall… cute. I think everything she’s done, while varying in quality, has had redeeming factors. “Bionic Eyes”, “Why Can’t I” and “Extraordinary” are good, big pop-rock songs. Everything else is either middle of the road or desperate. I do think if the album were a debut it would have been bigger. But that doesn’t mean it would have been better. It didn’t deserve the hate it received. It didn’t quite deserve to be a success either.

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    Morgan Henard
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    #388912

    You mean like Madonna? Who refuses to perform “Like a Virgin” anymore because she says she is too old for that, but continues to dress up as a cheerleader? [/quote]

    I saw Madonna this past October in Dallas on her MDNA Tour and she performed “Like a Virgin” as a ballad.   

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    JOSE
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    #388913

    I was a fan of Shakira when she started… but as her, i got old, i am one or two years older than her, and my tastes have changed as my life goes… you cant expect a person should be rest the same all their life.  I liked her song “Aqui estoy yo” and then I hated most of “Ciega, Sorda, Muda”, then i liked her rock ballads, and i like her big hits such “La Tortura” and “Waka,Waka”. I cant stand “Loba” or “Rabiosa” but there are other songs that i like from her in her latest album. 

    When i was on my 20s, i could not stand some artist that now i found i like them so much, and some songs or artist which were my favourite at that time, i dont like them anymore. It is truth that there are songs that i´ve always like and some sort of music that i keep loving…

    I think that we like a sort of style and we refuse sometimes that our artists evolve… but it is a whole circle… it will be songs we like and songs we dont… 

    One of my favourite singers is Olvido Gara, aka Alaska, aka Fangoria… she has performing since i was a kid, and i usually like her new songs, where i found her old hits a bit old-fashioned… 
     

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