Originally Posted by Pollyanna
"Pretentious" is a work bandied around a lot by critics. I never quite worked out what pretentious music was.
The dictionary tells me that pretentious means:
characterized by assumption of dignity or importance or
making an exaggerated outward show; ostentatious.
Thing is, there's a lot of music that has "an exaggerated outward show" that might be called a lot of things but not usually "pretentious" - fusion, gospel and metal music are the most obvious examples. Prog rock is the usual the victim.
An "assumption of dignity or importance"? You can sometimes see it in a band's demeanour ... but the music?? I mean, all the musos are doing is writing music they think will sound good and then they tweak it until everyone's happy.
So the music isn't three chords or straight fours - that just means the musicians like to carry on a bit and get bored with the usual humdrum. I can't see the pretence, myself.
Am I missing something?
I think when applied to music, the definition of pretentious leans more towards "assumption of importance". In other words, presenting the music in a cocky or presumptious manner with the artist believing he's/she's better than he/she actually is. Perhaps KG might fall into that catagory, whereas Elvis would not. I think it's more of a self hype observation. Something that has the outward appearance of substance, skill & gravity but underneath, lacks the sincerity & depth portrayed with such confidence on the surface.
Agree with Larry, it's all bollocks anyhow.