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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Difference of 10 Years

06/23/14 12:25:53 PM

Times have changed. For over the past ten years, we witnessed Beyonce's music, as well as the Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Nelly and other rhythm and blues (RNB) musicians emerged even more. In fact, BEP's “Where Is The Love” was the very popular song in 2003. It was the top ranked song for almost all of the Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) stations in the Metropolitan Manila area during the year.

Locally-wise speaking, the likes of Kitchie Nadal, Rivermaya (with Rico Blanco as their frontman), South Border (the post-Luke Mejares era), and even the reemerging Mojofly, were major household names in that type of dial.

Fast forward to 2014. The sound of Maroon 5 was never the same as they were before, specifically when they released the album Songs About Jane in circa 2002/2003. Who would've thought that after hearing the upbeat of This Love and the mellow She Will Be Loved, Adam Levine's crew's music nowadays has now have that experiment-liked mixed fusion of pop, soul and rock? Yours truly noticed that when they released Makes Me Wonder, their first single off the album “It Won't Be Soon Before Long” in 2007.

Same thing goes to other artists, from Alicia Keys, to Usher, to Beyonce, and even Eminem, Linkin Park, and Matchbox 20. But instead of throwing out criticism a la medieval way, some experts might have an answer for that: adaptation of change. As long as you make music, you experiment for other possible sounds, if they would blend in or not. Look at Paramore and Avril Lavigne, they were known for making punk rock music, like? Now, they sounded pop. And even if it sucks, it just shows how times have changed, especially when it comes on the audience's perception or so-called “taste buds.”

At least, in the world music scene, despite the super-country undergoing some kind of recession, they still made waves and make evident changes (minus the emerging pop stars who just got famous because of doing covers and auto-tuned beats).

How about here in the Republic of the Philippines? After hearing Rivermaya's “Liwanag Sa Dilim,”

That opinionated guy may be right, when he said this in 2012: OPM is dead. However, I digress either ('cause generalization , in my point of view, is one reason of us being “irresponsible” in using that freedom of speech). The problem here (music scene) in our country is the same way on how the media and government type we seemed to have right now–and it's not democratic, but instead, oligarchs. Meaning, overly-business-minded people who will just cashed in to their patrons in exchange for the air-headed programs which is more worst than being “nonsense” at all. Isn't that obvious nowadays, when actors became singers and those real singers turned out to have a busted showbiz careers.

I know, some may berate: that would just show their “versatility” in terms of talent. Alright, I understand. However, if we can only cashed in to these crappy ones instead of developing the “real deals,” it would just solidified the fact that “mainstream will always make us dumb.” Where are those real singers? Out there in the gigs. Yes, there's the real OPM music.

The problem though is that it in a shallow, mainstream POV, it remains to be seen whether our music, in general, have already grew to a different higher level, or the other way around.

And maybe the exception to this finding were Sarah Geronimo and Kyla, as the so-called Pop Princess, despite showcasing popular romantic ballads for over the years, seemed to have a different sound. Try comparing “Forever's Not Enough” to  “Ikot Ikot” (though, ugh. Parang nagkakabiyahilo ako sa pakikinig nito ah).

Kyla, for over a decade, after hearing her in her album Not your Ordinary Girl, came up with new record and still it clicked both niche and masa stations even if on a small-time recognition wise speaking.

With the sudden dip of rock music, the rapping counterpart emerged through the sky-rocketing recognition of rap battle leagues like FlipTop, which is good. Suddenly, new music labels came out of nowhere.

But even if both the rap and hip-hip tracks rose to the ranks, another genre suffered huge blow attack: rnb. Where's Thor, after having his own solo album in 2004/5, and even collaborating with fellow-but-then big time star Nina, and earning a four-year contract with a major recording label... anyare? Speaking of the angel, where's Nina, whose last seen as a cover girl in a men's magazine?

And the others too as well? Aside from being booked with gigs, the problem is that some of the outlets in the mainstream media tend to put up a different-yet-disrespectful flavor in these names.

One music writer was right when he said “kung banda (musician) lang magpe-perform, hayaan mo na. Wag mong haluan ng ibang mga artista.” I understand that some may berate that they just experiment if it will mix well. But the things is, it loses both the art's and the name's essence.

There's clearly a problem here: and it's not lack of experimentation (better leave it on the overall TV programming here in RP)—but the idea of shelling cash for worthless talents instead of paying the real ones.

And in a few years time, if things will get worse, I'm afraid... that guy may be right at all!

Author: slickmaster | ©2014 september twenty-eight productions

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