Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Talent Who?

Beyonce, Jazmine Sullivan, Rihanna, Jordin Sparks, Mary J. Blige. Just a few female artists I’m sure everyone is all too familiar with. Club-infused instrumentation along with catchy lyrics proves to be what’s “happening”. Show a little skin and you’ve hit the jackpot. So with that said, what ever happened to talent? Yes I’m fully aware that the Whitney’s and Chaka Khan’s are long gone, but does that mean that music has to give up full hope of finding true to life talent, neglecting it for a few commercial radio hits and a myriad of “I look better than I can sing” annotations. Now everyone knows that the music industry is not at all what it once was. The ever so evolving money grubbing monster has been constantly repackaging the same concepts and ideology for years, but with a twist. Money is the sole purpose of the industry execs and because of this, the art form we once held on a pedestal and admired so dearly, has demolished. There are a chosen few who stick out from the bunch and their longevity in the industry has proven so.

Upon hitting the scene in 2005 with her debut album, Music of the Sun, no one knew who Rihanna was or how long her name would even remain a memory. A few years later, the world was reintroduced to a new, much edgier rock star, with the intent to sell, sell, sell. And sell she has done. Her album Good Girl Gone Bad has sold over 7 million copies worldwide, leading her to go double platinum. But does the amount of commercial success determine your artistic ability? And yes her style is crazy hot...but.....does that solidify her talent in the industry? While I am reluctant to admit it, yes I did buy her latest album, I am disappointed to say, however, that the answer is no. Granted this youngster has the right gimmick for success by changing up the image, while finding time to actually produce a cross-over record, but is she talented? Can she sing?

Beyonce, in her own right, has managed to stay around for quite a bit. From her days in the popular group Destiny’s Child to her success as a solo artist, Beyonce has proven that she has a spot in the music industry, and it is very much near the top. The self-proclaimed “Diva”, has received numerous awards for her albums “Dangerously In Love” and “BDay”, and continues to make the transition into the acting world. And while I am a fan of her previous work, I must say the recently released “I Am…Sasha Fierce” was a disappointment. It was unsettling for me to see a maturing Beyonce doing songs my 12 year old niece sings word for word. Beyonce decided to release the alter-ego themed album to showcase the feisty Sasha Fierce, while staying true to herself by adding the more toned down ballads. Okay concept, bad execution. Beyonce has taken a much publicized journey from young teen pop star to a phenomenal female entertainer, and her music should serve as a reflection. Her faithful and loyal fans have grown with her and it’s important she remain truthful to her fans, perpetuating that relationship, which can be an intimate one in some cases. Listeners not only want to hear about the same way you used the club as your weekly stomping grounds, grabbing the attention of onlookers with your contagious swagger.

Growing up to the sounds and infectious lyrics of Mary J. Blige, I was inspired by her music more so than her looks and style. Her voice captivated me and gave a new, rich and much deep meaning to music for me. When she first stepped on the scene, Mary’s songs were filled with saddened ballads of her proclaiming “no I’m not gon’ cry/I’m not gon’ cry/I’m not gon’ shed no tears.” But as time progressed, so did her music. Today Mary sings proudly about finding happiness and anxiously trying to put a choke-hold on it, which proves as a testament that music must grow and evolve, as does the artist.

In my opinion, the older you grow and mature as an artist, your music should be a reflection of some sort, keeping in mind that the listening audience has grown with you.


Yves said...

MJB has changed a lot over the years, I dont really like it.

Beyonce is just annoying

>=[ & Don't be hatin on my boo Rihanna!

krys. said...

Ain't nobody hatin' on Rih Rih, but from a musical standpoint, I just don't know...

Ms. P said...

You are correct about how the music industry is a popularity contest nowadays rather than caring about REAL talent. Although I have "Good Girl Gone Bad" and I like the album- but ole girl cannot sing! That is her accent that makes her voice sound unique...am I the only one who remembers how horrible she executed that dreadful song "Unfaithful". She sounds like a cat being tortured...SMH :(

I am one of the biggest Beyonce stans out there, but I call things like I see it. I LOATHE the new CD...she did not grow as an artist at all. I dont want to sing about being a "Diva" nor am I telling some guy to "Put a Ring on It"...all of it sounds lame.

And MJB...I always loved her and I always will. Some people aren't feeling her last album "Growing Pains" but I play it at least once a week! So what if she isnt sad anymore?!?! I am HAPPY that she is happy....and some of these hating critics need more people.

Just my two cents...