Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Alabama Shakes: Postscript
It wasn't exactly a deluge, but what comments were left seem to agree that The Alabama Shakes just don't cut it. Here's what Whattawino had to say:
I liked the first track and got mentally prepped for an experience that never manifested. The vocals are a big part of that disappointment for me. There is a strident quality that just bugs me. Sorry to say, the songs don't seem to go anywhere either. Too many "easy pickins" as to the influences attributed to the band and I disagree with all of them.
But maybe William Repsher nailed it.
I seriously think a lot of the hype has to do with writers who either have no precedents in their (relatively short, compared to ours) musical history/development, or writers who are just generally dishonest and feel the need to hype along to keep their jobs. Besides which, it spares them a few capsule reviews of pretending they like hiphop, so it must be a relief to rave about something up their alley in some sense.
Hype, for the most part, ruins most experiences for me. There is the rare occasion, like Michael Kiwanuka most recently, where something truly lives up to my expectations, or more precisely, what was said about it. I'm sure though, there are many who prefer the Shakes over Kiwanuka.
But is hype necessary? Would a simple, positive review do the trick? Was hype as prevalent "back in the day?" I'm feeling no, but that could be another example of how things always seemed better before. Rodney Crowell found this written on a truckstop bathroom wall:
"Just because the past doesn't seem fucked up in the present, doesn't mean the present wasn't fucked up in the past."
That applies to everything, I guess.
I cherised my Circus and Creem magazines, and even with their rating systems--hearts, or lips to indicate "savory, but for special tastes"--I can't recall anything being forced down our throats.
William Repsher also pointed out how there is a lot of good music floating around these days. I don't disagree. But is it my romantic picture of the past that makes me feel that there was a lot more "great" music floating around then? Maybe this is why we need the hype today.