The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


December 24, 2011

A return to actual music

It's no secret nowadays that the music industry has become a jumble of bass-thumping beats, extravagant choreography, questionable fashion choices, and heavily auto-tuned voices.

I have to be honest here, I am guilty of enjoying this type of music; how could I completely avoid from being swept up in such a generational phenomenon?

However, there is a fine line between artistry and pretentiousness.

It seems as if many of the musicians nowadays are defined by one type of style or genre of music, and cannot seem to diversify their sound.

A prime example of this sort of problem would be party-girl extraordinaire, Ke$ha. Ke$ha, pronounced "Kee-sha," not, "Kee-dollar sign-ha," has defined herself as a fun-loving, word-slurring, glitter-wearing, crazy person, and that seems to be the only thing she can do.

Yes, her music is fun and catchy; but only at a certain time and place.

Songs like "Tik Tok" or "We R Who We R," with their spelling errors and all, are not the type of music that I can just throw on when I'm hanging out or getting work done. It just won't happen.

Another singer who I feel consistently spews out the same type of song, just with a slightly different pace and overview, is the one and only Katy Perry. As bad as this sounds, because Perry debuted just about the same time as Lady Gaga, I feel as if the originality card she was hoping on playing off of was kind of invalidated.

Sure, her debut single, "I Kissed a Girl" was buzzed about all summer 2008 when it premiered for its risqué lyrics and message. But I think that despite the crazy unique image she attempts to portray, she has been completely overshadowed by the Gaga. Either that, or she's really not as original as she would like to think.

There's actually a weird connection between Ke$ha and Katy Perry. Ke$ha appears throughout the music video for "I Kissed a Girl" before she made her own break about a year later. Also, if you listen to Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" and "California Gurls" by Perry, you may realize that they are basically the same song.

Seriously. Same type of rhythm, same verse length, bridge, same catchy "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" singing throughout the chorus. Both are very original.

So, where does the headline of this column tie in to this rant?

Well, despite the points I've raised about music emitted by the industry to make money, I've found that there are still some out there that are making music and being artists because that's what they know and love.

The aforementioned Lady Gaga, who I've discussed in length before, is an artist in the truest sense of the word. Yes, she does go over-the-top, and she may come off as wacky, but she fully subscribes to the idea that showmanship is a key component of being an artist. And she does that very well.

Another musician who puts on a wonderful show is the beautiful Beyoncé Knowles. No matter what she does, Beyoncé puts all of her energy into it: be it her singing, dancing, wardrobe, acting … she is a true star.

It blows my mind that she is talented at whatever she does, and she is a perfect role model to young girls because she shows that with hard work, you can do anything.

Her music is fun and original, and she writes it too. She and her mother collaborate on her clothing for both day-to-day life as well as her tour outfits. And no one can argue that she is not a phenomenal dancer ("Single Ladies" is one of the fiercest videos of all time, as Kanye West can attest).

It's good to see a musician who can still spread herself into all of these different categories but still maintain the level of respect and admiration that Beyoncé does today.

Adele is another musician that I have found myself obsessing over lately. It may seem as if I am just jumping on the bandwagon, and you know, maybe I am. But does a band wagoner learn the words to all of her songs in a week due to excessive listening and singing in the shower? Maybe not.

Adele has without a doubt, one of the best, clearest, strongest voices in the music world right now. And she does not flaunt it or over use it like other talented songstresses tend to … cough, cough, Christina Aguilera. Adele understands that sometimes understatement is just as effective as something loud and in your face.

The lyrics that she also writes to the overall songs are just amazing and strike a chord in any listener, because they are not far-fetched scenarios about partying with your friends in some underground club. She is a real person, and that is where Adele's charm shines through.

Despite the many "artists" trying to make their name in the industry today, there are still a few rarities out there that make listening to the radio these days worth it.

Maggie McVey is a senior at Oneonta High School. 'Teen Talk' columns can be found at

Text Only

Around The Arts

Music Beat

Parenting Imperfect

Senior scene

Tech, GP

Teen Talk

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service

Is Israel justified to conduct its military campaign against the Hamas in Gaza?

Undecided/no opinion
     View Results