Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias
I don't like to say I like this style or I hate that style. There are a few styles I don't like to listen to, but basically I love well (or very well :) ) played music, and I don't care for badly played stuff. I also like some well programmed (and thought through) music.
There are some exceptions, meaning not very brilliantly played, but nonetheless beautiful or attractive for any reason pieces of music.
If a group of classy musicians play a relatively simple piece of pop music, it will have groove, it will have subtlety, it will have dynamics, it will have feel (meaning the musicians know what they're "saying") etc. Of course the song must be good, or at least appeal to me too, but while bad musicians can ruin everything, good ones will make many things worth listening to.
Matthias, I don't like to say I like or don't like a whole style either. I never wanted to become musically close-minded like my father, and I was determined to keep up with new music and appreciate it for what it was. However, hard core versions of metal, rap and techno have defeated my ideals of hip old-fartdom. My ears outvoted my ideals.
Generally, I try not to dis any musicians or style but I've noticed that while I've remained polite and positive others have had no qualms about getting stuck into Meg (Hi JP!). So I thought I'd pass on a bit of negative straight shooting from my end :) It's not my usual style because I believe there's something out there for everybody, including the cloth-eared unwashed masses :)
And no, WS is not typical "catchy pop" - they are a one-off, there's no one like them. I'm more of an indie, prog, jazz, fusion and blues gal than a pop gal as a rule although I'm a sucker for an appealing melody and/or harmony.
I don't care how skilled musicians are (or not). I was into over-the-top virtuosity when I was young but not any more, apart from special cases like Mahavishnu, who aimed to create music that was so out there that it was transcendent and succeeded spectacularly. John McL's One Truth Band, which could be loosely thought of as Mahivishnu Lite, was one of the most glorious live acts I've ever seen. You had to be there to believe it; the album didn't capture half of it. And if you get a chance to see the remarkable Art Ensemble of Chicago, do it. I'm talking about music that takes you to another place. On the other hand, my favourite gig ever was Queen in the mid-70s.
Some music touches me for no particular reason - like the White Stripes. As Jeff said, Jack's artistic vision is great. I would never have imagined such a pure ostinato approach to drumming could be so effective, but somehow it does. I've tried to think of more "interesting" ways of drumming to Seven Nation Army
but not one of the extra things I've thought of would have made the song any more effective and most likely the changes I've thought of would dilute its effect.
JT, if Meg's a puppet, bear in mind that a lot of drummers, even "good" ones, wouldn't be capable of helping Jack realise his musical ideas so well. Meg needs openness, discipline, solidity, flexibility, selflessness and the intelligence to understand his ideas to do what she does. It's harder than it looks.
As for the Ayreon track, it was very well done but I felt that, for such an ambitious work, there was nothing new and the male singer's mannered delivery was irritating. If I was going to listen to a heavy opus I'd probably go for something that took itself less seriously and had less of an AOR angle like Todd Rundgren's Singring and the Glass Guitar
or Uncle Frank's Joe's Garage
(was that the Central Scrutiniser I heard on Pt 3 of the Ayreon track? :)
Not knocking it. If I was on a desert island with only Ayreon that would be ok with me; it's cool music. But I'm not about to become an Ayreon fan or a metalhead because there's so much other music I'd rather listen to. Having said that, BassDriver recently posted a link to Tool's Reflection
and it blew my mind. I dunno, there's no accounting for taste.