THE REBUTTAL

 

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Last week, a person purporting to be me launched what amounted to nothing short of a marathon blitzkrieg aimed at belittling and tearing strips off modern music.

The kicks and punches came flying in wild succession amid a barely disguised all-out assault on young millenials and their alleged lack of taste and discernment in ‘tunes’.

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The bombastic beat-up ended up going longer than the Bishop’s speech at Prince Harry’s wedding and included such slights as labelling modern music, and specifically the Nova playlist as –

  • soulless drivel 
  • the musical equivalent of eating mushy cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • personality-stripped ditties that barely show a pulse
  • composed by songwriters who couldn’t be bothered writing a recognisable chorus
  • numbing for anyone under the age of dead
  • ‘easy-listening’ soup for seniors
  • limp-wristed, insipid, chill-out sludge
  • woeful excuses for songs that amount to waterboading torture for the ears
  • lame, gimpy and downright unbearable to listen to
  • as safe and easily digestible as baby food
  • sounds for all the world like something conceived from a corporate focus group
  • uninspiring and dull 4th-rate tripe that doesn’t even get your fingers tapping on top of a car steering wheel.

I think you get the idea.

30 examples of this ‘soulless drivel’ were cited including –

CALL OUT MY NAME (released 2018) by The Weeknd (Judge for yourself HERE)

BETTER NOW (released 2018) by Post Malone (Judge for yourself HERE)

SOLO (released 2018) by Clean Bandit (Judge for yourself HERE)

An attempt was then made to tighter the noose further with reference to a selection of songs from the 80’s & 90’s – all reputed to showcase the sort of bounce, energy and dash ‘real’ music has in spades.

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  1. POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME by Def Leppard ((HERE)
  2. I WANT YOUR LOVE by Transvision Vamp (HERE)
  3. THE LOOK by Roxette (HERE)

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4. HERE WE GO by C & C Music Factory (HERE)

5. ROCKIN’ FOR MYSELF by Motiv8 (HERE)

6. BITTER SWEET SYMPHONY by The Verve (HERE)

The whole critical shebang sent mini-shockwaves of controversy across the internet (ok, it received one reblog from JaeDee (HERE) who went so far as to call it a “hilarious self-described rant so entertaining (but also thoughtful) I think I need to give it a reblog just to keep up with it” but I’m still gonna label that a mini-shockwave).

With the critical blowtorch set on high throughout, the unrelenting vitriol was all a bit much.

A beating like that cannot go unavenged however, and so today comes the fight-back in the form of a letter addressed to the one-eyed perennial who penned last week’s milleniall’s-music-taste-bashing-manifesto –

Dear Glen,

Life got you down a little has it?

Someone not feeling as significant as maybe they used to?

Worry not, for salvation lies within the misguided wisdom of your own words from last week.

Don’t worry – it’s safe to read on. We’ll be gentle, and as you’re the first to admit, our kind already come naturally ‘chilled’.

You’ll recall you listed 30 songs from Nova’s current playlist and bravely admitted three of them – 

THE MIDDLE by Zedd & Maren Morris

NERVOUS by Shaun Mendez  

THIS IS ME by Keala Settle 

were sufficiently good enough to be exempted from your flame vortex of critical opinion.

Rejoice then young-at-heart kind sir, for this means there is hope that your mind is not yet wired shut to the possibility that good music may originate not just from your… how do we put this… ‘heyday’?

In fact, pausing for a moment for some inner accounting, we may see things are not as bleak as you may have first convinced yourself they are. Liking three songs out of 30 gives you a bullseye ratio of 10% hit – 90% miss.

Now think back to your glory days of the 70’s 80’s & 90’s (if you can remember that far back  Ooops! We promised this rebuttal would be delivered in a respectful manner and so it shall!) and honestly tell us if listening to the radio back then would have delivered any greater number of ‘keepers’ than the 10% hit – 90% miss ratio that you believe is at the center of your current unhappiness.

Fact is, it so often turns out you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet your prince or queen, whether it be back in the day or now. Sorry to raise the touchy subject of selective memory but we may as well expose the elephant in the room right now – you had more than two decades to accumulate the hundreds of ‘classic songs’ coming from that past era working on an identical 10% hit – 90% miss ratio to what would still apply today.

How long did you listen to Nova radio for? A few short weeks? Even in that time you were able to unearth three songs you like. Imagine if you spent the next 20 years with your ear glued to current radio like you did when you were growing up. Then these current times would become your classic era.

Beginning to see a little more clearly now?

Once you’ve had one of those ‘ol skool vanilla slices we’ve heard you’re partial to and calmed down a tad, we’re confident you’ll agree it’s all a matter of how a person sees things. Some lads and lasses call that ‘perspective’ and apparently you oldies more experienced folk are supposed to have developed thimbles full of it by a certain age.

No hard feelings Yoda.

Chilled regards,

Young Millenials for Truth

Ps. Cheeky young rascals – calling me ‘Yoda’ and all. What were they implying – I’m old and full of my own self-perceived wisdom? Crash the internet! Surely not?

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Pss. Alright, maybe it is time to admit the era in which one grew up in will always hold a special place in that person’s heart, and really from all decades emerge ‘classic’ songs that live on in people’s memories.

Does that sound old and wise enough for the young whippersnappers?

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Psss. In a confounding update I can scarcely believe myself, I’m obliged to report that of the original Nova playlist of 30 songs I so brutally lambasted last week – of which I conceded three were surprisingly listenable –

THE MIDDLE by Zedd & Maren Morris

NERVOUS by Shaun Mendez  

THIS IS ME by Keala Settle 

in the intervening week an additional six songs have – how to put this – grown on me?

HEALING HANDS by Conrad Sewell

SHOTGUN by George Ezra

SOLO by Clean Bandit

BETTER NOW by Post Malone

NEVER BE THE SAME by Camila Cabello

SOLO DANCE by Martin Jensen

Is it shocking? Roger that!

I’m surprised as anyone and have to pinch myself to know I’m not dreaming.

Liking 9 out of 30 songs (I’m fairly certain given another few days I could easily have found another song to add to the right side of the Heath ledger) brings the hit miss ratio up to more like 30% vs 70%.  

Even back in my heyday, with selective memory factored in, I’m pretty certain the like proportion was never that high.

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And one more thing…

Adding the final touch of finesse to the perfectly executed circus acrobat’s backflip I’ve now performed from last week’s over-confidently stated insistence that music from the 80’s & 90’s is somehow innately superior to today’s songs is this –

Unable to sleep one night this week I switched on the radio and listened to MMM GREATEST – a digital music station that plays ‘classic rock’ chiefly from my ‘golden era’ of the 1980’s & 90’s. In close to 90 minutes of listening, not a SINGLE song appealed. If that type of reality check isn’t enough to help me get over myself, nothing will.

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11 thoughts on “THE REBUTTAL

  1. Glen Glen Glen, Let’s have less about disputed /divisive music lists and more titillating tales of your trials with aggressive McDonald’s gals and Bogan joggers. Cheers, Uncle Bryan

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My past battles with McDonalds (2017) and ParkRun (2018) did indeed make for readable drama-filled fodder, so thank you Uncle Bryan for acknowledging that. However this current stoush involving humble me vs the entitled millenials I believe is also a just cause worth flying the SWS flag for.

    And I’ve got news for you.
    There’s a sizzling Part 3 coming next week…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you know Cathy that of late, at home, I have had my digital radio in my study tuned to 4MBS CLASSIC (103.7 FM – they play classical music and jazz).
    I kid you not!

    I find that every other radio station – even the ones I used to like – now just irritates me like sand in a bed. All the songs played on 4MBS have no words/lyrics so to some degree the human element is removed and the experience is elevated to simply the pure musical vibration realm.

    It does me for days on end and then, like a malnourished soul who’s been forced to survive on nothing but lettuce leaves, pumpkin seeds and diced carrots for a month and then suddenly must seize with all the urgency of a drowning person taking their next breath, a hunger-busting, gut-busting peperoni supreme pizza with extra – extra grease, I have to break out some of my old Van Halen and Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch cd’s to rebalance my mature years yin with my younger days yang.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Savage though the rebuttal was, it was a fair comment about the 10% hit rate. I remember hours of labouring through Countdown, always in the hope of hearing just one song I liked when perhaps 90% was trash, and Meldrum kept insisting it was all gold. The things we’d endure for just one tidbit of a song we liked back then when technology had so much further to advance to where we are now.

    Nowadays I can even indulge in videos of the old Thin Lizzy concert outside the Sydney Opera House way back in about 1975. Yes, I was in that crowd, and inspired to get my own copy of Live And Dangerous, where fortunately something over 90% was songs I did actually like.

    Suffice to say Glen in that rebuttal, you met a match, but rather than feel slighted, consider it a moment when one has become the richer for the exchange of thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With every comment posted my riches soar skyward Rog.

    One day I’m hoping to make it up there with the Warren Buffett’s, Gill Gates’s and Scrooge McDuck’s of this world. (Ok, I know I’ve left the world’s richest man Jeff Bezos off that list, but hey, as everyone mostly knows by now, I’m proudly old school).

    Your reply had me at ‘Savage’.

    I was laughing out loud out of all corners of my mouth, which I consider the ultimate compliment.
    The little word stunt that got me the most was the surname only reference to ‘Meldrum’ and the description of him as a person who kept on insisting everything was gold. I’m still laughing about that now as I type these words ’cause it was so bloody true!

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  6. Hi, Glen 🙂
    I have not yet watched any of your selected videos (I’m sorry for being so tired), but I have felt a deeply embarrassing feel of being unable to understand half of your post… Not today ://

    Of course, I’m not a native English-speaking person, but I usually understand 95 % or more of written English — Should I cry when I do not reach 50 %, after so many years of effort ? — (I’m kidding a little, but not much). You are cryptic !!
    Kissss 💋

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  7. Filling out my yearly Tax return is usually about as cryptic as I like to get Lixie.
    Some of the losses in translation could be put down to me using Aussie (Australian) slang and cultural references so don’t worry too much if any of those go over your head.

    It’s an Aussie thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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