Friday, December 17, 2010

Digital Music

Listening to Katie Perry's Teenage Dream on the way into work this morning made me think a lot about the evolution of music, especially in terms of what going digital has done to music in general. First I have to mention how absolutely dirty the lyrics and suggestions are in Teenage Dream, and I would imagine that multiple teens have had sex for the first time because of lyrics like ...

Let's go all the way tonight
No regrets, just love
We can dance until we die
You and I
We'll be young forever...
We drove to Cali
And got drunk on the beach
Got a motel and
Built a fort out of sheets
I finally found you
My missing puzzle piece
I'm complete...

Let you put your hands on me
In my skin-tight jeans
Be your teenage dream tonight...

Yikes. And then there's the music video to complete the appeal for teens to engage in very risky behavior. Now I'm no prude but I can feel myself falling further away from trends in popular music, I suppose like our parents' parents did with Elvis and the Beatles. Part of what scares me about music like Teenage Dream is that I enjoy singing along and it makes me want to - well - dance. So how many teens are guzzling So Co and getting wild to it? I shudder. Being a mom of a teenage boy will definitely change your perspective on music and its influences.

Also. What's up with how digitized vocals are these days?? You hear the song on the radio and think "wow great voice" but you hear them perform live and if they aren't lip-syncing you think "wow they stink". That's because of Auto-Tune which is essentially for audio what Photoshop is for images. There's an article about this plug-in at Time that does an excellent job of explaining the evolution of this phenomenon beginning with Cher in 1998.

Music is a foreign language to me, but I do listen and it does make me feel. And think.

~ Katie ...

~ If Smells Like Teen Spirit was released today (never mind the typos)...

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