Thursday, January 22, 2009

New music from old guys

Here's the fundamental problem with getting older as it relates to music. What was once a fresh and exciting sound over time dulls as more and more music is released. It becomes harder to get excited about records by older artists because A) it's easier to listen to the songs I liked by them in the first place and B) new material tends to sound derivative of their more popular work. This is why bands break up and change line ups and record with oddball producers on far flung locations. They, like us, get bored with their sound and need to change. But that change is not always met with open arms which then causes the artist to retreat into their familiar cushion of the familiar sound they cultivated in the first place.

Which brings me to two immensely influential and talented artists releasing new singles; U2 and MORRISSEY. Let's deal with the Irish lads first. Their new single, "Get On Your Boots" has been met with some guarded praise from many popular media outlets. I will admit I was left unimpressed the first time I heard it, but as I digest further I find it has a unique appeal unlike other lead singles from the band's most recent work. Where "Beautiful Day" announced the sonic return of Classic U2 and "Vertigo" gave us punk rock U2, "Boots" has no real natural tie to their other work. It's a cross between blues, rockabilly and industrial music that still sounds like the biggest stadium band in the universe. If the rest of the record holds true to form, it would seem the natural progression from ACHTUNG BABY and ZOOROPA that should have happened instead of POP (which was just a misguided project altogether...but that's for another time)


Where U2 seems to be trying out some new musical muscles, Morrissey is firmly grounded in what he knows. "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" could be an outtake of the VAUXHALL AND I sessions. It certainly is mellower than anything on his last record (clearly Morrissey was very angry when he recorded RINGLEADER OF THE TORMENTORS) and has that happy/sad dynamic that he has patented since leaving The Smiths. There is always one good song on a Moz release and this is probably it. At that seems to be the problem. Lately it feels as if his albums are just placeholders for his poetry rather than coherent pop songs. Maybe he should just write a book instead of record an album. But I will certainly entertain him for one more go around. I guess old habits die hard.



I would post the other track but I have a sneaky suspicion it would lead to a deleted post, but I'm sure a quick search will secure you a copy to listen to. Ah, the joys of the blog police.

1 comment:

JC said...

"Lately it feels as if his albums are just placeholders for his poetry rather than coherent pop songs. Maybe he should just write a book instead of record an album. But I will certainly entertain him for one more go around. I guess old habits die hard."

That's a perfect sumation of how I feel.....