I always thought that, as I aged, I'd hear current music and react by complaining how extreme it is or that it lacks any kind of melody. The reality is that modern music, with few exceptions, bores me. The contestants on X Factor, technically competent, though not exciting or especially talented performers, are guilty of this. Actually, some of them enter with a spark of individuality, which is then extinguished by the production team. I see the music industry collapsing into a mass of mediocrity and banality.
I grew up in a time when, every so often, the major record labels would get a wake up call, because some musical genre emerged right under their noses and shook everything up. Now, the majors have bought most of the small independent labels, so what we have is music that is safe, commercial, sanitised.
I don't expect everyone to share my musical taste, but it amazes me that I can download sample tracks from 3hive or Fingertips for free, and they blow away what I hear on the radio. Thankfully, I also know artists like Jennie Vee, Catherine AD and Paul Draper who are still producing music that is anything but boring.
Paul Draper illustrates the point perfectly. In the late 1990's and into the new millennium, he fronted a band called Mansun. As is always the case with great bands, it didn't last. I can still listen to them today, though, and I love their music just as much now as I did when it was first released, if not more. It doesn't bore me. Rather tellingly, the Mansun album which most successfully splits opinion amongst fans, Little Kix, is largely the result of unwanted interference from the record label.
The industry needs to be shaken up again; it needs another seismic shift; it needs to stop playing it safe.