Veteran rockcrit Dave Thompson has a bone to pick with
modern music – that it sucks large, basically. Created by bands enthralled to
corporate masters, gelded by focus-group research, and provided LCD production
to remove any semblance of nuance or brilliance, much of today’s rock music
stands up poorly when compared to its older siblings.
Thompson’s I Hate New
Music posits that much of the rock ‘n’ roll created after 1975, and
virtually everything recorded after 1978, is mindless dreck unworthy of our
adoration. To support his thesis, he takes down both sacred cows like U2 or the
White Stripes as well as pompous superstars like Phil Collins. He tackles the
aging of rock music, the corporate shenanigans that have robbed the music of
much of its soul, and the effect of the digital revolution on the music we all
love, among other subjects worthy of discussion.
Although I would personally disagree with my esteemed
colleague – the 1980s, for instance, produced at least one great “classic rock” band in the Replacements – as a
geezer, I understand his perspective. It really
was better “back in the day” as the decade 1965-75 produced a landslide
of trailblazing music while bands crossed genres and expanded the barriers of
rock ‘n’ roll beyond the blues and into uncharted territory. Many bands today
are more concerned with licensing deals and TV appearances than in the pure
joys of rocking out!
Although Thompson frets for the future, a generation of
young ‘uns is growing up in the shadow of video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero,
turning them onto bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Motorhead.
Methinks that this is a good thing, perhaps leading to better rock music in the
future. REV. KEITH A. GORDON