Lets be honest. I am getting older and the music tastes of the times have changed. Each aging generation tells the new one how horrible and untalented the new artists sound. Those who grew up in the 60s lamented the overuse of electronics, those in the 80s wondered where upbeat lyrics and dancing tunes went, and the 90s generation seemed to scream until in the end they went silent. Almost everyone was glad the 70s was a flash in the pan. Without giving my age, almost all of this was experienced for myself. I would like to think I am a good judge of good music from any generation.
That isn’t to say I am a musical person. Piano lessons were a chore that lasted long enough to have learned chopsticks. One year of band with a musical instrument that didn’t inspire came and went. My voice has been described as more than passable, but singing in church makes me bored. No one has offered me a lead vocal in a band that would be the only way to change my tune. I have always daydreamed of joining one and writing the lyrics to some rockin’ jams. So far there hasn’t been any offers.
With all of the above in mind, the turn of the century had me in a musical slump. For the first time in my life I felt popular music had gone down the drain. Never before had I *not* found something to like on the radio. Even the 70s had heart and talent if rather shallow and forgettable. My only hope was nostalgia bands that carried over from the previous decade.
When all was lost and Britney Spears or Kid Rock represented the future, a band with an unlikely singer came out of nowhere. That isn’t completely true. They came out of the UK. Well, that isn’t completely true either. What is true for me is the internet talk filled with stories of this Mormon singer leading a famous band. Curiosity peaked my interest, but listening to a few songs made me a fan.
The Killers, with Brandon Flowers, had me hooked to some new music again. Part of it is my taste starts with those who can prove they actually know how to play instruments and sing with a natural voice. I thought this band and lead was the one and only discovery I would have to enjoy.
How thankfully wrong I was and it took another Mormon to break the wall of blindness. Judge her books and movies any way you like, but the Stephenie Meyer “Twilight” series of movies opened my ears to bands partly ignored. Some of the bands and songs she picked herself. With them I learned about “Paramour” that happens to be one of my favorites of the past decade. I can’t say that I care for Muse or Vampire Weekend, but at least a few songs are more than tolerable.
Another movie based on a Stephanie Meyer book helped with my most recent discovery. The Host hasn’t come out yet, but it does have a Mormon led band in the trailer. The music of Imagine Dragons has been compared to the Killers, but actually has a more pop beat sound to it while the former sounds more new wave. Of course, there is also Neon Trees, Fictionists, and even The Piano Guys.
Full disclosure, I liked one of my favorites of the decade Evanescence (and no they are not Mormon at all) before discovering the Killers. Other than that, its ironic that a bunch of Mormons are saving pop-rock from complete destruction. Without them there would be nothing for me besides gangnam, Beiber, Gaga, Niki Manaj and Katy Perry. A bunch of talentless over-hyped dirty freaks. Then again, as I was told, “You clearly need better radio where you live. Or to download Spotify.”