I won't pretend to know what your dinner colleagues concerns are or were with reference to our current pop culture. In sharing your experience that night you didn't dwell on specifics. At extreme risk of being presumptuous, let me dare to fill in the blanks. Songs like this among some others, are...within the context of past generations, especially the cultural awakenings of the sixties...true exceptions to the rule that expresses the utter lack of evolution and progress in pop music over the last twenty, and dare I say thirty years. Granted there are indeed some fascinating variances in what hip hop is today as compared to twenty years ago, but when one compares the amazing, literally breath-taking leap pop culture made from say, February 9, 1964, the night The Beatles sang, "She Loves You" to a record television audience of seventy-three million viewers, in essence the entire nation watched...and then, just three years later, we witnessed "Purple Haze" and the Beatles themselves composing and performing a Timeless Ballad every bit as different from "yeah, yeah, yeah" as a song can be with "A day in the Life" and leaving the listeners, many of whom watched them on black and white TV sets with mop tops shaking...with their jaws wide open, fumbling for the needle to hear the entire album yet again, not believing their own ears, and when one realizes the short length of time in this amazing evolution in pop culture its mind boggling, especially in reference to today's stagnation.. Three years.
By the way I was only four years old in 1964. It wasn't my time so I'm not waxing nostalgic here. In fact as I stumble over "YouTube" recordings of sixties iconic groups and pop culture performers, I see numerous anecdotal threads of young teenagers currently pining for wanting to have been born in 1950 rather than 2001 so that they could have lived through such an amazing era as adolescents.
Yet, as a nightclub Disc Jockey who helped bring Hip Hop to the world in the eighties, I don't see anything close to that kind of amazing journey. Again, I hear some fine variations on a theme, but I don;t see that kind of transference, that kind of innovation, literally reinventing composition, lyrically and in so many other ways.
I use that juxtaposition as but one of a myriad of examples that I think explains what your colleges were wringing their hands about. This song and, specifically, this rendition are "diamonds in the rough" ,yet even here I can easily imagine it being composed twenty years ago, or more convincingly ten years ago. I then would have you recall, my three year example of 1964 pop music compared to 1967 pop music.
You may say "apples and oranges" but I'm talking about the "fruit"...the pop culture...and its truly stagnant journey on a road that used to take young people on amazing new paths rather than a carousel that goes round and round, repainting the ponies pretending its going somewhere when it isn't.
I do love this latest "pained pony" and I await the young artist who steps off this thirty year merry-go-round" and finds another bright, dramatic new path.such as the new paths discovered over the first three quarters of the last century. Just my take anyway.
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