What the Hell Happened to Music?

I’m sure you’ve all seen the memes going around that ask that question. They’re usually put up by crotchety old people, like myself, to basically say what every generation says to the next…your music sucks. The big one I’ve seen compares lyrics from Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody with some Justin Bieber song. After watching the Grammys this past Sunday, I’m going to give my answer to that question. Nothing, nothing happened to music.

First off, comparing Bohemian Rhapsody to a generic pop song is like comparing apples to oranges. Now I’m a huge Queen fan, and what I may say could be considered sacrilege by other Queen fans, but I’m gonna say it. As much as I love We Are the Champions, it’s not the most lyrically full song. It’s one verse then we are the champions repeated over and over for five minutes. If you want to compare songs, use that one. I know I’ve ticked off some people, but I wanted to make to a point.

Let’s face it, every generation has their crappy generic pop singers that end up being forgotten. There have always been one hit wonders that you never hear from again. It’s the nature of the beast. Music is just like anything else and the cream will rise to the top and endure. Would my grandparent’s generation have thought the Beach Boys would last to today or the Beatles? I doubt my dad would’ve thought Michael Jackson’s music or Madonna would still be around. Who knows who will last from this generation of music?

As I said, I watched the Grammys. I saw Kelly Clarkson do an amazing rendition of Tennessee Waltz. I watched Maroon 5 and Alicia Keys do an incredible duet. I watched Fun. and thought once again how their musicality and production values really remind me of Queen. I saw the Lumineers and Bruno Mars perform as well. These weren’t just amazing performances, but the songs were good as well.

The Grammys proved to me that nothing has happened to music. There are still amazing performers out there. There are still amazing songs being written. The key is to keep listening, keep open to being wowed by what is coming out. Good music is still out there and there will be music that surpasses Queen, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Michael Jackson or Madonna. All you have to do is just open your ears.


Originally published February 12, 2013