Commentary

The give and take of social media and technology on the music world

  • by , March 29, 2011

In my very first blog, I confessed my love for Pandora radio and the music it has introduced me to. For quite some time I would only listen to the Regina Spektor radio station. And I was beyond content with that. But that station hasn’t gotten much play from me lately.

Anyone that is a Facebook friend of mine is subjected to regular wall posts containing my favorite songs and artists. About two years ago I fell in love with a singer by the name of Adele. I fell in love with her for all the reasons I fell in love with soul music when I was a senior in high school: vocal talent.

To be fair, my love for Regina Spektor is due entirely to the fact that her voice is both unique and beautiful. But Adele has two things going for her that steal my attention. First, she recently released her second album. Second, she is much more like the soul singers I will probably always be obsessed with.

My love for soul music has three main explanations. First, the emotion behind the songs can be heard in the singers’ voices. Second, the lyrics are much less vulgar or outlandish than lyrics today. Third, their music isn’t overproduced. There isn’t an overuse of auto-tuning or editing. It’s much more of a “what you hear is what you get” kind of feel. The music isn’t showy or outlandish; it’s organic and raw and emotional.

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And, in my opinion, that’s what makes an artist the most talented: the ability to sound just as good, if not better both live and unedited. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the rest of the world agrees with me.

With artists like The Lonely Island or Britney Spears, or most rap artists, or the countless actors or random nobodies who think they can be musicians by adding way too many special effects to their music, it’s hard to believe we’ll get away from the overwhelming use of editing and special features technology has given to the music industry.

In this instance, I feel that technology is almost tarnishing the music world. I’m trying to be okay with that fact, however, because I’m very aware and thankful of social media (namely MySpace in this case) for bringing artists like Adele to the forefront of the music world.

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