When I say "dark," I'm not referring to the not-so-friendly debate at the center of "Good And Bad Hair." What I'm referring to is popular music's infatuation with emo-goth-vampirism so much that it has seeped into almost everything labeled as avant garde these days. I'm not suggesting that everything revert back to a day-glo, Cross Colours-type of manic urgency. I'm just a more-than-a-little-bit ready for pounding, repetitive, dark synth-Pop sound to take a back seat.
Now, don't get me wrong. I was listening to, writing about, and loving the reincarnation of '80s synths...a year ago. Now, I'm just tired of it all. To echo a recent DJ Brainchild tweet "they really need to stop trying to make Rihanna into some dark, mysterious pop singer. She ain't touchin' Aaliyah." Well said. Mainly because when Aaliyah wanted to be dark and mysterious, she (a) was mostly clothed and (b) seemed to legitimately be taking a foray into a sound that she was listening to. And before the stans take offense with my taking up Rihanna as the poster child for post-Dead Or Alive emo-ness, I can rattle off many artists who I love, but whose music I must now distance myself from. Want to know who they are? Go throw a rock and see how many hipsters clutching Casios to their chest you find.
A large reason for this dark path may have to do with a belief amongst angst-ridden celebrities that saying what you're listening to is as important as what you sound like. For example, I kind of sort of like Radiohead, and, given my mood, Bjork is the lick. But I know damn well that there are not that many Negroes listening to that much Thom Yorke as they claim. My theory: Kanye's Europop listening self told one person, and that person put it on a blog, and then legions of real and faux tight-jeans-wearing hipsters are now ALL listening to Alphaville's "Forever Young". Jay-Z I'm looking at you.
I'm sorry for this rant if you feel that I'm sounding old and ornery and not in touch with what the kids like. This is less a plea for a return to the "good old days" and more of a plea for experimentation. Preferably, experimentation that has not been done before, obviously. I'm all for new sounds. Hell, I'm even down for sounds that sound reminiscent of the familiar. But when everyone gets on the same bandwagon, it just starts to feel as though no one cares about the music. It does, however, start to feel as though the main thing anyone cares about it are notoriety and controversy. Hopefully, one day soon there will be a return to more Soul and less synth. And when that glorious day arrives, I will be at the ready, waiting with baited breath, frothing with excitement to listen to legitimate sounds once again.