Don't dismiss new musical talent

We need to stop putting music of the past on a pedestal.

This is an ongoing debate I’ve had with my father since I was a little kid. He’s always argued that music and artists from his generation are superior to the ones heard on the radio today. 

Growing up with a music-obsessed parent meant I’d often fall asleep listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” at full volume. I won’t deny the greatness of music that was created before my time. However, I think it’s important to recognize and value the music of today.

In almost every generation, ‘new’ music experiences a pushback before it’s widely appreciated.

During their rise to fame, The Beatles faced criticism because their music presented society with a new sound. One critic even went as far to say they were “so unbelievably horrible, so appallingly unmusical … that they qualify as the crowned heads of anti-music.”

Today, The Beatles are accredited by many as being the greatest band of all time. 

In the case of older generations, the reason why they’re nostalgic is because they desire to revisit their youth. Younger generations tend to romanticize the past — specifically, the entertainment industry — as a form of escapism. Typically, people want to remove themselves from the uncertainty of today to escape to a time they see as being much simpler.

Embracing change in the music industry doesn’t make the past irrelevant. We should recognize the value and impact artists and bands from past generations have had on the music industry.

Holding onto the past too tightly means you’re denying the future, and in the case of music, it often means you reject the changes found within the art form of music.  

However, it’s important to embrace the music of today as it evolves with the changes in society in order to reflect the current social, political and cultural climate. 

Just like music of the past did, the music of today speaks to important contemporary topics and issues. 

For example, Kesha’s hit song “Praying” marked her return to the music scene. In her own words, the song “is all about triumphing through adversity, and finding peace in forgiving those who have hurt you.” “Praying” musically encompasses the purpose of the #MeToo movement, which works to raise awareness and demonstrate the prominence of sexual harassment and assault, especially in the workplace.   

Embracing new music is supporting progression and is one small step towards creating a better future. However, that doesn’t mean that “Love Is All You Need” can’t make an appearance on your playlist for creating a better world.

Nicole is The Journal’s Assistant Photos Editor. She’s a third-year politics major.

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