What's up w/ some of today's pop music?

Kenny Goldin

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
469
Especially Britnney...why do all her songs (the ones I have heard) always have a part where it sounds like she is singing through a telephone? It is annoyoing, and IMHO detracts from the song. And yes...she is OK
, and some of her songs are nice ear candy, except for that "telephone" sound.

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Bruce Hedtke

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Jul 11, 1999
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Kenny,
I think that whole "telephone" trick is one used by "singers" who don't have a voice. In other words, she can't sing. I hear a cross between mumbling and low-talking when she sings. Real singers belt out the lyrics, give it life. She just is not capable of doing that. But, she looks good and appeals to alot of the teen market, so, her place is secure.
Bruce
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Jeff_A

Screenwriter
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Mar 6, 2001
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1,454
Bruce is right. Flash with no substance. Do you think we will ever see the day Britney Spears would risk exposing the fraud that is her so-called talent by doing something like Britney Spears - Unplugged? I think not!
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Peter McM

Screenwriter
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Nov 18, 1999
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The majority of today's best-selling pop, hip-hop and R&B albums should require a new kind of warning sticker:
"ARTISTIC ADVISORY: No genuine musical instruments were used in the production of this recording."
 

Dean DeMass

Screenwriter
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Jun 30, 1997
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Even though Britney is a true hotty (she'll pose nude soon, you watch) her voice is no good. Christina Agulliera (sp?) has a fantastic voice and is hot as hell. I don't care for either pop-stars music, but I will recognize someone who does have talent. Christina has it, Britney doesn't.
-Dean-
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Mark Pfeiffer

Screenwriter
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Jun 27, 1999
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That "telephone" thing is merely one of the hip effect of the moments. It will sounded dated years from now.
The voices in most pop music are so heavily manipulated. Britney's would definitely be in there. While Christina has a better voice, she also oversings badly. She is also guilty of trying to dress up her vocals with too many flashy tricks that, IMO, ruin the performance. (I also don't subscribe to the "belting" theory. Sing it, but please don't belt it, at least all the time.)
Keep in mind, I don't listen to this kind of music by choice but hear it often enough. These are an outsider's observations.

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Alex Johnson

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Jun 30, 1997
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84
peter, what the fuck defines a genuine musical instrument? i'm an electronic musician and producer and feel that the music i produce is genuine.
some of the best music out there does not use genuine instrumentation - john lennon of the beatles (no less) even experimented with music concrete and produced revolution 9, genuine enough music for me.
john cage is another that comes to mind, now considered one of the most important composer of the last century. he used water, matal, bottles, etc. to produce beautiful and intelligent music - back in the 30s and continuing until his death in the 90s.
or how about brian eno or roger fripp or even pink floyd (who were greatly influenced by neu! and the krautrock scene and used tapes and such because of them)? the list goes on and on.
music is everywhere and can be found in anything, my friend.
now, i'm no fan of britney, but making comments about the legitimacy of someone's music because it doesn't fall under the guitar/bass/drums formula or isn't orchestral instruments is bothersome to me.
and no, this is not an attack on you at all - i just don't buy the arguement that music needs to be produced on organic instruments only. pretty much anything you hear today has been produced with and/or in a computer.

a
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Kraig Lang

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May 28, 2000
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I have to agree with Alex on this one. As a Singer/Songwriter/Composer, The majority of what I do is done electronically and I've gotten a lot of accolades for it. And yes, I've been classically trained.
And yes, albeit unpopular to purists, Pop Music is an art form. If it weren't, it wouldn't be POPular. Everybody has their own tastes in music. Mine happens to fall into R&B and Jazz. But I admire good Pop and respect anyone who can get themselves to a point in their career that can influence and be heard by so many (They must have done something right).
Every gendre has shining examples of itself and some that really aren't so shiny.

Kraig
http://www.mp3.com/ascension
[Edited last by Kraig Lang on July 13, 2001 at 04:02 PM]
 

Bruce Hedtke

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Jul 11, 1999
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Mark,
To clarify...I meant that talented singer have the ability to belt out lyrics and verses. I don't mean for them to go full on the whole song.
Bruce
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andrew markworthy

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Sep 30, 1999
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I don't know what Peter was intending by his remark, but I certainly feel that a lot of recent pop music has used the same few ideas. It's as if it's a case of key in the chord changes, add the sequencers, one of about five drum and bass sounds, and away you go. You can produce 'music by the yard' with computerised techniques - it's just too easy. You can say that it's easy to produce bland unadventurous guitar pop, but at least in that case someone has had to learn to play the instruments to a reasonably demanding level first. Please don't take this as an attack on electronic music in general - I entirely agree that at its best it is superb and just as innovative as 'conventional' pop (think of e.g. Kraftwerk, IMHO the equal of the Beatles in terms of innovation).
 

Jeff

Supporting Actor
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Jun 30, 1997
Messages
948
Even worse, why do bands still put that record scratch sound in their music? I hear this all the time, mainly with rock/alternative music. It's like they're trying to be hip but that sound is so old and out dated.
Jeff
 

Alex Johnson

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Jun 30, 1997
Messages
84
andrew, whilst it may be considered easy to produce music with computers, it could also be said that a lot of guitar (or organic) based music is also made easier because of the computer as well.
a computer is a tool that is now used in every type of music being produced today.
pretty much anything you hear today was recorded with hard disc technology. this can now allow a player of any instrument to 'get it right' - get that one bar that's needed so that it can be isolated and then used in the song/track, looped and looped as needed. rhythm and drum tracks are ideal candidates for this kind of production.
a lot of producers are going to be using protools (or something like it) and will be setting their arrangements in that application. this allows a ton of poor playing to be cut out and only one bit (either played well, or corrected - this is also common) and then used for the final mix.
i also can play guitar and drums, i've played for years - but now i do my composing with synthesizers. i also took piano lessons for years. and went to music and film school. i appreciate all music, regardless of the means in which is being played.
sure, there is definitely some poor music out there, but i would consider it poor song writing first, rather than focus on the instruments used.
i also feel that it might take some skill to use some those computer programmes. some of the applications i use require c language programming - is this talentless or any less genuine?
not really - i think the line is blurring. i think sound palettes and textures can come from anywhere.
this also applies toward film production as well (and i mention this only because this is in the home theatre forum for music). every aspect of modern film making today is computer assisted - it does not reduce the legitimacy of film in my opinion. it's a tool and it helps greatly the finished product.
also, kraftwerk, whom you sited, is indeed incredible. i did have the opportunity to see them play once. they are definitely innovators - if you like them and want to hear some music from two members who split off in the beginning (to pursue organic sounds), check out the new remastered releases of the first three seminal neu! albums, just released by astralwerks. michael rother and klaus dinger were a part of kraftwerk when they were still largely organic instrument based.
art is subjective by definition - i just simply won't consider something not played with 'traditional' instruments any less 'real' than those played without. they are all real instruments to me now.
sorry to ramble on..
cheers,
a
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Vince Maskeeper

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Speaking of all this, is there a Direct X or VST plugin for this effect (Vince?)?
Yep, although you don't need one.
Try an EQ plug in with graphic controls;
Roll off everything below 250hz, roll it off hard.
Create a dip at 4k, cut it all the way too.
This will get you close to a Telephone sound- add a smidgen of distortion- or just dynamic control (Sound Forge has a dynamic effect built in) and there you have it...
If you have an EQ plug in (I like the Waves Paragraphic one for basic editing myself)- check the prestes, most have a telephone EQ preset.
-Vince
PS: I think the big disqualifying element of modern pop music is that the performers do not write any of the music. I have never respected any genre where the performer and songwriter were two different people; call me crazy.
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Rob Gillespie

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Aug 17, 1998
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I really hate that tuneless wailing crap they call singing nowadays. They can't hold a note. They have to wail and wander all over the place, making it sound like a cat having it's bollocks ripped off.
I heard some effort by Mariah Carey recently, I think the song was called Loverboy. Anyway, the bit I heard consisted of endless bits of her doing 'ooh ahh' voices in between little bits of wailing. Bloody awful.
If you can sing, just hold the damn note.
 

MartyD

Grip
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Feb 9, 1999
Messages
15
Rob,
What you call wailing crap is just a style that is used a lot in R&B music. It is not that much different from what is done in some Opera arias. That you don't like it is fine but it is not a problem with the ability of the singer. It is more a matter of how well it is done.
 

Philip Hamm

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Jan 23, 1999
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quote: I have never respected any genre where the performer and songwriter were two different people; call me crazy.[/quote]OK, you're crazy.
So you don't respect Jazz when someone plays their interpretation of a standard?
You don't respect classical music either.
Personally I've never understood the arbitrary disrespect often shown to performers who have great musical talent in areas other than songwriting.
There's a hell of a lot more to musical talent than just songwriting.
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[Edited last by Philip Hamm on July 24, 2001 at 08:41 AM]
 

John Torrez

Second Unit
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Aug 30, 2000
Messages
311
I agree Philip, if a person isn't any good at writing songs should that mean that they can't have a career in singing because of it? It's fine if you prefer artists who both sing and write their own songs but that doesn't mean you should disrespect those who don't. As for me, if the music sounds good to my ears that's enough.
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Carlo Medina

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Oct 31, 1997
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12,004
Damn, I thought everyone watched Britney and Christina videos with the volume off!
Works best for me...

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