Style vs substance in the 2000's

Finally made it to the current millennia! This will be the last blog in this series seeing as how we are barely into the second decade of the 2000’s now. We have examined famous and notable artists from the 1950’s all the way through the 1990’s and seen a lot of shifting in this idea of style versus substance in artistry.

From Nat King Cole to Elvis, The Beatles to Donna Summer, David Bowie to N’SYNC…I think it is safe to say that the face of music has changed A LOT in 60 years. So what about the 2000’s?

Let’s start out with a few who I personally feel strike a strong balance between style and substance. Take Coldplay for example. I’ve seen them in concert and they sure put on a big show. But the creativity truly supports the music. The live show feels like a story being told of the music. The experience is mesmerizing in a way that made me appreciate the songs in a fresh way. You don’t have to love Coldplay. But I definitely love their use of instrumentation, and rock ballad vocals.

I’ll also throw in Gwen Stefani into a positive category. I don’t own all her records but I’ve always respected her as an artist. Formerly of the famous 90’s pop rock band, No Doubt, Gwen Stefani branched out on her own in the 2000’s in a similar style that really showcased her more as a solo artist and vocalist. One thing I’ve always said about her is that she has ALWAYS stayed true to her original style. I mean this in every facet…fashion, vocal styling, musical genre, even her hair and makeup. Not that she hasn’t grown as an artist but I love the fact that she clearly knew who she was as an artist from the beginning and stayed the course. I love a confident artist!

An artist I’ve struggled with is Lady Gaga. Don’t get me wrong, I know she is a fantastic musician. Classically trained in piano- she is sort of musically brilliant. I think that’s actually why I take an issue. Her music is so pedestrian to capitalize on the simple pop candy multi-million dollar industry I just can’t respect it. Knowing how talented of a musician she is drives me crazy when in place of creative chord structures I see the most bizarre outfits or music videos that just seem to be weird for the sake of being weird. Maybe she prefers to exercise her creative juices in a way I can’t understand, but in the arena of style vs substance…she is known for style all the way…

There are plenty of other artists I could dive into here, but I’ll refrain. I think the last 10 years have shown quite an amalgamation of artistry and evolution thereof. While the music industry has changed in so many ways, I do truly hope to see more Whitney Houston’s and Michael Jackson’s rise up to continue to challenge the status quo, find new sounds, and progressively take music to another level in my lifetime. May we all support quality over consumption and thought provoking intelligent sound over passive easy garbage that probably makes us dumber.

Cheers to the future holding more SUBSTANCE in our style!!!

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