Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nickelback is the new Hootie, and critics should be eradicated! 

In this installment of "What Really Grinds My Gears": Snooty music critics!

I was reading an article about Nickelback a while ago. Apparently all critics hate them. I did not know this. Then I did some research, and man, is it true! I was just thinking at the time that I enjoy pretty much every single they come out with. Because they're catchy. Apparently I don't put enough thought into crafting my pop music diet.

The critics' beef with the Canadian rockers is nicely summed up here:
Many music critics have bashed the band for sounding too polished, writing songs too similar in sound to each other, being too formulaic and for selling out in general.
Ok, polished with similar-sounding, formulaic songs. Fair enough. But so are scores of other popular artists. Hardly enough to spark this sort of backlash. And hey, formulaic works when it's a formula people actually enjoy.

But "selling out?" I could do a Gear-Grinder on just this term alone. People either have no idea what "selling out" means, or the term has become so broad as to have no meaning whatsoever. Selling out from what, exactly? Did Nickelback formerly write songs that sounded like Norah Jones ditties? You can't sell out by being commercial. You can only sell out by being uncommercial, and then ...selling out!!

One could point to someone like Liz Phair, who, after 15 years of critical success with a solid fan base, got a makeover and released the radio-friendly "Why Can't I," just to get on the air. It worked. That's selling out. But you know, I don't give a shit about that either. It's a catchy tune, and she did something different. She's still a cool chick. Big f'in deal.

The author of the above article continues, however, and provides some good theories as to what the hell is up these critics' asses:
Perhaps it’s the snobbery of the musical media coming through or a hint of jealousy. Maybe it’s the mindset of many people to turn their backs on anything that is popular.
Yes. It is all that, and it proves their general uselessness. There will always be pop music that changes the sound of the genre or inspires other artists (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Kraftwerk, New Order, U2, etc). Then there will always be pop music that people just enjoy because it's there, and it's fun to listen to, and that's all. And I don't think this has gotten any worse over the years.

So, to sum up (like any of you are still reading this!): Stop your whining, and broaden your snooty horizons. Have a little fun. Or at least shut up and let me enjoy my U2 and my Depeche Mode and my Sarah McLachlan and my Beatles alongside my Nickelback and my Gwen Stefani and my Avril Lavigne. And, yes, also my Phil Vassar and Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood.

Oh yeah -- and my Hootie.

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