Artists that just don’t make the mark
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
I listen to a lot of classic rock. I appreciate a variety of genres, but the 1960s–1990s era will forever be the best time in music for me. I grew up on a lot of the essential groups, and on rock radio. A lot of great bands filled my ears from a young age. Today, I continue to appreciate these groups, but there are some that really do not deserve the amount of attention they get. Every time they come on the radio, I die a little on the inside.
Let’s be honest, guys: All of their songs sound pretty much the same. Bon Scott’s legacy and untimely death can be remembered, but it’s been 35 years of unfiltered noise since then. I can appreciate dirty deeds being done dirt cheap, but if I have to listen to angry screechy vocals from Brian Johnson (or as of recently, Axl Rose, of all people) for more than five minutes… well, I thought torture was illegal.
If they didn’t have the makeup, they would’ve faded out 40 years ago. KISS’ live shows and entire band image focus on them being the kings of glam (now that Bowie is gone, at least). The makeup is pretty cool, but it doesn’t make up for cookie-cutter vocals and forgettable tracks. Not to mention their egos based on being the makeup guys—their live shows introduce them as “the best band in the world.” You used to drive us wild in the ’70s, but now you just drive us crazy.
Somehow these guys have remained youthful activists being pretty much worshipped for three decades. They’ve got a few lovely songs, but they’re really not cutting-edge or innovative anymore. They’re playing the same poppy, oversaturated rhythm they played 30 years ago, but continue to have bigger egos than the massive stadiums they somehow sell out. But hey, Bono, you can’t be a charity and environmental activist unless you’re worth hundreds of millions and set a major carbon footprint through international tours every year, right?
They had one or two good albums 25 years ago, but how they remain relevant is beyond me. Their new music consistently fails, even to diehard fans, and their off-stage behaviour (such as suing fans for downloading their music) doesn’t help. They were recently named ambassadors for Record Store Day—because today’s vinyl-playing youth just love spinning Metallica. They might be light metal pioneers, but they don’t have a place in metal today.
She has a beautiful singing voice. That’s about it. Literally all of her songs sound the same and don’t take any risks whatsoever. On one of her three nearly identical albums, she could’ve had a jazz band or something slightly upbeat playing behind her. Adele squanders her singing voice on 50 songs all about some kind of breakup. She’s talented, but she’s not some sort of game changer.
OK, I actually dig Queen a lot. A Night at the Opera is one of the greatest albums of the era, ever. But I’m putting them on the list solely for the fact that “Bohemian Rhapsody” is overplayed as hell. When you start hearing it in things like Suicide Squad, maybe it’s time to reign the wheels in a bit. It is a great song. Let’s not ruin it by putting it literally everywhere. I heard it at a club on a Friday night. I don’t think it’s what Freddie would’ve wanted.