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Tuesday
Apr102012

'Black Radio'+

Y'know, as much as I adore the Robert Glasper Experiment album - it is fantastic, isn't it? - there is one little nagging issue I have with it that tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

On the album, there is an interlude following the Ledisi-assisted song, 'Gonna Be Alright', where, presumably, Robert Glasper and members of the band are casually discussing the 'state of the music industry'.  There are a few choice statements made here, namely:

"I don't think people know what's good and not good anymore"

"Anything popular, even if it's whack, is what sets the pace nowadays... like 'this is hot' but it's whack"

"There's no bar anymore - the bar used to be so high, people had a greater appreciation for music"

"It's up to [the record labels] because they're the ones that do the programming, because people don't really think anymore, not much"

Firstly, I don't really think that interlude has any place on that album, but ultimately, to me, it's a null and void argument - what constitutes 'whack'/bad music? Subsequently, what's good music? Someone once told me, there's no such thing as 'good or bad music' only music you like and music you don't.  I don't think there's a more apt statement made about music - it totally hits the nail on the head.  I'd be hard-pressed to find someone whose opinion matters more than someone else's.

What if Nirvana fans, or Dave Grohl himself, turned around and lambasted the Experiment's jazz-laden interpretation of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - who's right in that argument?  Surely, it comes down to you either like it or you don't.  Summing everything you don't like up as 'whack' is surely short-sighted and a little pompous?

The most arrogant part of the of this interlude comes at the end when I imagine Glasper himself says, "We gotta do something", almost perpetuating himself as something of a musical saviour.  It's the kind of comment I'd love to lay into but when the album is so frickin good, it's hard to say anything at all really.  

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