Mediocre lyrics and mushy love songs litter the current music scene
By Fareeha Qayoom
grew up with the sound of music (no, not the movie!). My elder siblings were all crazy about music while we were growing up – Abba, Boney M, Carpenters, Simon and Garfunkel, Sony and Cher, Donny and Marie Osmond, Bee Gees, Neil Diamond, etc. There was no internet or cable TV in my childhood so the only electronic entertainment was PTV or your basic cassette player (or your mom’s or aunts’ and uncles’ LP collection!)
Photo by v i p e z By the time I entered my teens, my elder sisters and brother had graduated to the 80s music. My eldest sister liked country music, Top of the Pops, chart runners, the mushiest love songs; the second eldest introduced me to Rock, hard rock, and alternative rock, even classical music like Ravel, and Phantom of the Opera, my eldest brother liked soft rock, country music and God knows what.
I was never into genres. I basically listen to all kinds of music…be it local classic folk or Sufi music like Reshma, Abida Perveen, Tufail Niazi, Patany Khan or Great Ghazal singers like Ghulam Ali, Amanat Ali Khan, Farida Khanum or Qawali greats like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or Aziz Mian or pop like Nazia Hussan to Strings, Ali Azmat (to filmy music local and Indian, though I don’t collect it) to International bands like U2, Queen, Pink Floyd to Sting, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan to Sinead O’ Connor to Beatles, Elvis Presley etc., I like music. I actually don’t worry about the category of music…sometimes I don’t even know if it’s jazz, or rock or pop or alternative or heavy metal or reggae (or classical music or opera or just instrumental stuff like OST of The lord of the Rings!). My only criteria for liking any particular song are the words (lyrics) or the tune in case of instrumental; if the singer (or musician/composer/song writer) has anything meaningful to say, I will listen. As a rule, I don’t like mushy songs all that much but it don’t mean I won’t listen to a love song if it’s well written. No, I can tolerate Celine Dion’s brand of love songs too if someone else is listening to her but I don’t collect her.
Yes, currently I gravitate to the 90s (and 80s) music more and more because it was the music I listened to when I was growing up, however, it doesn’t mean I am not receptive to new works, it’s just that there is no longer great music being produced just right now…unfortunately, the local cable TV runs music channels that are airing Indian filmy music which is mostly mushy stuff that I might tolerate but I won’t listen to again and again. Yes, I listen to local Rock and pop music. In fact I like it a lot. Pakistan is doing well as far as music scene is concerned. The only problem, in my opinion – The local bands and pop acts take too long between albums. As far as international music is concerned, somehow, I am not in love with their song writing skills anymore– take the top ten songs of 2009 as example – they might be catchy, you might love dancing to the beat but will you listen to them ten years from now and be able to relate except as a walk down memory lane?
Great music is universal and ageless. I wish somebody would write some great music for today. Otherwise, I might get stuck listening to old music and feel like “stuck in a moment that I can’t get out of.” It would be pity to be suffering from generation gap! 🙂
Unfortunately, I might be able to listen to music from 30s, 40s, 50s, 60’s, 70, 80s, and 90s but it’s tough listening to some newer music acts – maybe because their issues are not mine? What do you think?