The state of modern music in the U.S. and the world has been a continued source of consideration and concern in the garden of my life in recent days, weeks and months. It seems that every time I turn on the radio (or at least every other time) I am reminded of the paucity of originality and thought in popular music of the 21st century.
Now, it's not that I think music is totally going down the tube in recent history. It does seem to me, however, that there is a plethora of semi-talented groups and individuals in the U.S. who have gained popularity in America and the world but have very little musical ability and even less originality. We have been deluged with pop-star-wannabes who all sound the same and whose lyrics have 1.)absolutely no sensible meaning, 2.)a fluffy semi-sensible one, or 3.) an extremely worldly and unhealthy one.
Fortunately or unfortunately, music is truly a universal language and it spreads from country to country rapidly, especially through the internet. It's also one of the media that people around the world use to develop their image or perception of different countries and cultures. I have found myself wondering lately about the accuracy of the images that we are portraying to the rest of the world through our music. If you listen to the popular music from your home country, is it really presenting to the rest of the world the image of your country and people that you want others to have? If so, that's good for you. If not, what are you going to do about it?
Recently, I was chatting with a Romanian friend and student about all things Romanian and the topic turned to music. Both of us are quite familiar with a wide range of contemporary Romanian music groups. Some of them have, unfortunately, succumbed to the craze for empty, nonsensical, or fluffy lyrics. My friend recommended to me several Romanian musicians and groups and I decided to go online and try them out. I was VERY pleasantly surprised. I'm not going to mention all of them here, but you may see them pop up in future posts. One that I found very noteworthy is Adi Gliga. Even if you don't understand Romanian, I'd recommend that you give him a listen on YouTube. His songs are very interesting from both a music and lyrics standpoint. Some have English translations, too! Even if you don't understand Romanian, give him a shot. I'm sure glad that I did!