Positive Rock

Out with pity and self loathing, in with positivity and love. Yes, that’s my prediction for the future of rock music, and popular music as a whole. Over the past few years there has been such an influx of negativity seeping into our radio waves that we are becoming overwhelmed with hatred, and forgetting what music is all about. Fueled by the misplaced angst of misguided youth, propelled by a nation of test tube babies and working mothers, and made concrete by insecure people making others insecure by securing their own insecurities, rock music has endured a downward spiral, and desperately needs someone to put a stick in between it’s spokes. We need to get rid of the “Disturbed” attitude, and replace it with something more worthwhile.

Looking at the history of rock and roll, I notice a gaping hole in the quality of artists over the past two decades. Where have artists like Elvis, the Beatles, and the Stones gone? Artists that spanned decades of greatness, enduring battles with drugs, making classic movies, selling millions of albums, while still finding the time to pump out a few #1 hits here and there. These artists put the classic in classic rock. They are the reason why classic rock will always be classic rock. They are the reason why classic rock stations will always have listeners. I can’t imagine my children growing up and asking me what I listened to as a youth, and telling them Eminem, or Staind, or Linkin Park, or any of the other artists I have grown to love and lament at the same time. I enjoy the music put forth by these artists, but I can’t help but question their longevity. Will they be around for the next three decades like the bands of the 60’s and 70’s?

I guess only time will tell, but I don’t think that is where we are heading. The 80’s showed promise for rock dynasties, headed mainly by Metallica, but even they eventually had to taint their good name, and ultimately fell off the face of the earth. The closest thing to a rock dynasty to come out of the 80’s would be U2, headed by the biggest egomaniac of all time, Jesus, oops, Bono. I credit U2 for their longevity, perserverence and inventivness, but I do not like what they have become. They have gone from humble musicians to pop-rock primadonnas, and seem to have forgotten what they once stood for. But at least they sing about generally positive things, and this separates them from much of the other rock music to come out in the 90’s.

The only rock icons we developed over the 90’s are either broken up, dead, or both. Many people credit Nirvana with the revolution into grunge and alternative rock, I credit them with this as well as starting the decline of positive rock into a mess of pity and self loathing. Alice in Chains also fits this mold. Rather than using their gift to help people deal with their problems, their music propelled these problems to the point where kids could not deal with reality anymore. This perplexes me, because I love the music of these bands, yet I can see the negativity it injects into our society. Realizing this contradiction only makes me more angry. The mid to late 90’s wasn’t much better as far as rock and roll goes. Music still is fueled by hate, and is getting even worse.

My point is that this all needs to change, and I think it will change. I think there are enough artists out there that sing positive messages, and people will soon move on to something with substance. Rock fans have been trying to find some meaning in this genre ever since stupid hair bands of the 80’s, the grunge bands of the early 90’s, and the rap-rockers of the late 90’s. I think that the band that will propel us into this change is none other than Incubus. This band has it all, appealing lead singer with a good voice, extraordinary musicians, style, mass appeal to people in all genres, songwriting talent, diversity, intelligence, showmanship, longevity, originality and a dash of pizzazz.

About Jeff Sauer

I started blogging in the year 2000, and go in spurts of inspiration followed by long dormancy. I love writing, and your comments keep me going, so comment!

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