All My Questions are Honest

Nope, this is not a political blog post.

Yesterday, I made plans to meet a friend as she discussed planning the food for an upcoming party with a caterer. I have been feeling a bit off lately (a lot off, actually) and my sleep schedule has been knocked out of whack.  I need 9 to 11 hours of sleep to feel remotely able to function, yet I refuse to go to bed at a decent hour. The meeting with the caterer was set for 10. Reasonable time for a meeting, yet I had to set an alarm for 9 to make sure I woke up.

The alarm is set to a local radio station that Sheryl and I have listened to for over two decades. Morning talk, lots of chatter and silliness, some crass crudeness and mocking meanness at times. Its comforting.

Yesterday, as I struggled to wake after a meager 7 hours of sleep (oh, the horror), I heard the distinct chalk board grating sound of pop music. In my morning haze, I did not recognize the “artist”, but did recognize all the words she was singing. Every phrase , every hook, each verse, chorus and verse was one cliche’ after another, lined up in meaningless babble. As I became more lucid, I gathered this was a song about a bad break-up and the recovery process, though my certainty on this issue would be below 50% at best. The song could have been about getting rejected by American Idol or The Bachelor.

I am a firm believer that there is a gem in every genre of music. My criticism is not so much about the style of the song as much as the lack of effort into making the song interesting. Cliche’ is easy, sloppy lyric writing. People use them because they think we all understand them when in truth, most of us ignore them.   Of course there are artists who try and flip cliche’, play with meaning, make them different and interesting. I love these kinds of songs and singers, but this song yesterday was not one of those moments.

Regardless of genre, lazy songwriting is a turn off. A metal band called Cephalic Carnage, a hardcore band with heavy, deep, guttural vocals wrote a song about their fans and being on the road. The lyrics were “the road is hard, our fans are great.” Yep. Insightful. The one song made the entire band too ridiculous for me and I gave the disc away.

While I do find some pop music interesting, too much of it falls into this category. So many great singers, fantastic, talented voices wasted on sloppy, stupid songs. What I don’t understand is why this has to be the case? I know many ‘artists’ are at the mercy of record labels and those labels hire song writers. The talent get very little say in what they sing, or even how they are presented.  That said, I know how these kids get into these situations in the first place-They want to be famous and if that means singing garbage for pre-teens, so be it.


This photo was shared by a friend of mine on Facebook. Not sure who originally posted or created it so I cant give credit, but I agree with Bruce Dickinson completely. It is never about making music, only ever about pop star fame.

Not all music has to be serious. Not all music has to be about art. For it to have any value, at least for me, it hast to have some integrity. Too much of what gets spoon fed is about money and fame. I like fame, we all like that sort of appreciation, I would love to be respected and admired for what I create, but there are things I wont do to gain that appreciation.

I guess I am wondering if there is an argument for this type of music that eludes me. I want someone to help me understand that argument, if there is one.




About Ryan Carty

There are some who call me, Tim?

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