Daily Archives: March 27, 2010

What Talent Means in a Musical Sea of Mediocrity

Earlier today, while I was late rushing to an appointment, after scraping ice off my car in one of those bizarre freak wintry weather incidents, I turned on my car radio, and lo and behold, the DJs were interviewing Justin Bieber and acting so star-struck it was ridiculous.  Clueless lil ol’ me: I had no idea we were in the midst of a “Bieber Fever” pandemic.  

To my astonishment, Justin “Baby” Bieber spoke in street slang (seriously?) and liberally used a bunch of ebonics in his speaking voice (he’s from Canada, right? I mean, unless he grew up in one of Toronto’s slums, who is he kidding?).  

Sometime after that fiasco, Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s “Telephone” played, and then I decided to turn the station (after finally watching that hideous, utterly trashy music video of theirs, I didn’t want any memories flooding back).  

So, it’s official.  I’m getting old.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it, and that’s pretty depressing. 

And to think I fancied myself getting younger, which was how I felt when I was being energized as an ODD David fan last year.  Which is why it still makes no sense to me when others make fun of David’s “older” fans because we happen to love him and his VOICE.  They act as if we’re “inappropriate” in our admiration of his musicality.  But, the fact that I don’t get what all the fuss is about concerning Justin Bieber or what it was about for the Jonas Brothers, back when they were the “trending” topics, or what tweens see in Twilight stars or High School Musical, etc. should mean that David is someone to take seriously for the mere fact that his “older” fans feel absolutely nothing for the “teen/tween stars” but who go absolutely gaga for David.  

Maybe David really is cheesy.  I mean, is there anything more “uncool” than having fans over 30?  heh.

But, that’s okay b/c David has embraced his cheesy self, and we’re right there with him! 😛

Of course, it helps that, now that everyone else is slowly realizing that today’s music scene is officially in the sewer, more and more folks are appreciating the rare gems that artists like David represent.  I mean, who ever expected that EW’s Michael Sleazak would defend David’s vocal talents from the likes of AI’s unfair comparisons to Aaron Kelly this week?

At the same time, it does make me wonder: how on earth could David possibly fit into the current music scene?  He can SANG, he needs no autotune (in fact, he “hates” it), and he has tremendous musical and personal depth.  Does his level of talent even mean anything, now that the musical landscape has lowered the bar to new levels of mediocrity? I mean, if you’ve got talent, you might actually stand out like a sore thumb (or show up other “sensations” for the crap they really are).

It is with this realization that I look forward to David’s new album.  I have no grand expectations like I used to when he made his debut back in ’08.  I won’t even read into anything or between the lines – whether he tops the charts or barely makes a mark.  It would have absolutely no bearing on what his potential will be. 

The bottom line is: the music industry sucks hard, and perhaps it’s for the best if David stays just below the radar, appealing to those who love him and slowly awakening those who have yet to discover him.  Slowly but surely an audience is out there waiting to be delivered from this cultural armageddon called “pop music.”  Maybe David can be its musical savior.