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Subject: "I'll tell you what the problem with R&B is" Previous topic | Next topic
OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
34401 posts
Wed Feb-15-12 11:27 AM

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"I'll tell you what the problem with R&B is"
Wed Feb-15-12 11:30 AM by OldPro

  

          

I've been thinking about addressing this for a while now and since this is my farewell week I guess it's now or never

The problem..... our best singers have shitty writers and producers.

Think about some of the greats and who they worked with

MJ - Q, Rod Temperton, Teddy Riley
Luther - Marcus Miller
Whitney - Kashif, Narada, Babyface, etc
Jeffery Osborne - George Duke
Diana Ross - Nile Rodgers, Ashford & Simpson
Teena Marie - Rick
Deniece Williams - Maurice White, Ray Parker Jr, George Duke

Now look at the best voices out there today and who they are working with... are you really surprised R&B has become a second class genre? We have some great voices out there today that just don't have the material to hit that next level. It's almost like the better the singer the more pedestrian the material. The genre has been pigeon holed... you're either making records for the top 40 set or urban contemporary/quiet storm crowd.

Most of the time we get the bad/mediocre singers on the stuff that actually bumps & sleepy time music from those that can actually blow. About the only two real "sangers" I can think of right now that have mixed it up are Beyonce & Mariah... two of the most successful acts going. Well R Kelly too but he's a self contained act. But we've just fallen into this trap where if you have a great voice you're expected to be a great writer too... or be able to elevate mediocre material to classic level. It just don't work that way 99% of the time.

So the next time you say R&B today sucks.... look a little deeper at who's actually making the music.

_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
*pause for my agenda*
Feb 15th 2012
1
How funny this is post #1
Feb 15th 2012
3
it's my agenda. lol
Feb 15th 2012
5
      I credit Rod almost as much as I do Q
Feb 15th 2012
14
           *throws hands in the air*
Feb 15th 2012
15
           you're describing how 'clear' and 'slick' the "thriller" album sounds.
Feb 15th 2012
25
                i do not understand the origin of the Cult of Temperton
Feb 15th 2012
26
                Are you serious? His legacy is incredible.
Feb 15th 2012
35
                sure, but his importance in MJ's material is overstated.
Feb 15th 2012
40
                     No I think your throwing the baby and the bathwater out....
Feb 15th 2012
48
                          this isn't the post to argue this.
Feb 15th 2012
51
                I do, but not as it relates to Michael Jackson
Feb 15th 2012
36
                     i gave up trying long ago.
Feb 15th 2012
42
                          As I said i don't wan to get bogged down on this but
Feb 15th 2012
47
                               it's all good.
Feb 15th 2012
53
                Right I'm talking about the sound
Feb 15th 2012
34
                     as does
Feb 15th 2012
38
correct
Feb 15th 2012
4
Can we have an honest and objective discussion about this?
Feb 15th 2012
2
IT'S OVER!!! SOUL, R&B, HIP-HOP, ALL THINGS OF THE PAST!!
Feb 15th 2012
13
      ^^^
Feb 15th 2012
16
      ...done by bedroom ''composers'' fumbling around on their laptops...
Feb 15th 2012
19
      there's a feedback loop between bedroomers and those with other means
Feb 15th 2012
23
           Ha!!!
Feb 15th 2012
28
      yeah.
Feb 15th 2012
31
what happened between that era and now?
Feb 15th 2012
6
I see we're on the same track
Feb 15th 2012
8
it's also telling that a lot of the better artists out there
Feb 15th 2012
11
      I've always been drawn to self contained acts for this very reason
Feb 15th 2012
17
The Hip-Hop ethos infected R&B.
Feb 15th 2012
12
      I think it's because it's not easy to pull off
Feb 15th 2012
20
Full Disclosure
Feb 15th 2012
7
I've been arguing this for years, though.
Feb 15th 2012
9
last line - dead.
Feb 15th 2012
22
Yeah I've said this about neo-soul too
Feb 15th 2012
24
yeah, your neosoul post deeply affected my thinking
Feb 15th 2012
29
      Damn you brought it wit this -
Feb 15th 2012
33
      The thing about those 90s joints...
Feb 15th 2012
37
           Excellent point - I blame Jermaine Dupree haha.
Feb 15th 2012
41
           Don't even get me started wth that dude
Feb 15th 2012
55
                hahahaha... dead. EXACTLY. EXACTLY.
Feb 15th 2012
65
           in the '80s that would have meant
Feb 15th 2012
45
                The Prince "clones" were doomed from the start
Feb 15th 2012
59
                     true
Feb 15th 2012
64
                          I like a few things from Survivin' in the 80's
Feb 15th 2012
67
                               Yeah... I was just kind of shocked @ the abrupt change
Feb 15th 2012
69
I don't think good songwriting (tm) would change a thing...
Feb 15th 2012
43
      lost in the sauce...
Feb 15th 2012
56
      They want good songs.... they just may not know it
Feb 15th 2012
58
      i think this is it. people just want crap.
Feb 16th 2012
83
           That could be true, but one thing I have noticed since the 90s
Feb 16th 2012
84
           isnt that just people wanting to appear superior
Feb 16th 2012
85
                hmm... that's an interesting way of looking at it.
Feb 16th 2012
86
                     i def think that with youtube etc
Feb 16th 2012
88
           I think (relative) sophistication is just a ''gimmick'' too though...
Feb 16th 2012
87
I agree, most of the A-list guys these days would be C-list
Feb 15th 2012
10
Wait - farewell? I blame Pop music.
Feb 15th 2012
18
Yeah man I have to step away
Feb 15th 2012
30
      Aw man. Damn, I'm gonna miss your posts and insight bro.
Feb 15th 2012
32
i agree with everything you wrote.*
Feb 15th 2012
21
agree wholeheartedly - re: the importance of songwriting (my rant)
Feb 15th 2012
27
yeah... we need some better marriages between
Feb 15th 2012
39
Good singers used to make fun music too
Feb 15th 2012
44
THAT SONG SUCKED ASS!!!!
Feb 15th 2012
46
      I'm not ashamed to say I like the song too
Feb 15th 2012
49
      incidentally thoughts on this "Green Light"
Feb 17th 2012
98
      :(
Feb 15th 2012
52
           This is exactly why "serious" acts are afraid to let their hair down lik...
Feb 15th 2012
57
           This isn't about choice of direction it's about the actual song
Feb 15th 2012
60
           But see you're showing what the real problem is
Feb 15th 2012
62
                Truth. Raw truth.
Feb 15th 2012
66
                I didn't put my stick in this thread you did, OG post
Feb 15th 2012
71
                     First off all pop isn't created equal
Feb 15th 2012
73
                          you're missing my point
Feb 15th 2012
74
                               Really man you off in left field somewhere
Feb 15th 2012
75
                                    Green Light is the mad note. i love that song
Feb 15th 2012
78
                                    bbbut lemme finish first
Feb 15th 2012
79
                                         I can say this about 100s of classic songs
Feb 16th 2012
90
                                              Mostly by my own doing
Feb 16th 2012
91
           RE: This is exactly why "serious" acts are afraid to let their hair down...
Feb 15th 2012
61
                i liked it too
Feb 16th 2012
82
           yup...it definitely does NOT suck ass lol
Feb 15th 2012
63
well its simple the industry and R&B went more toward
Feb 15th 2012
50
I think the producer is every bit as important as the song writer
Feb 15th 2012
54
      well then that hurts your argument because it is the writer
Feb 15th 2012
80
I agree about the writing but I also say that...
Feb 15th 2012
68
"and they don't have any joy in their voices" (c) my mom.
Feb 15th 2012
70
      Man this is more than a mouthful - I concur in every way.
Feb 15th 2012
72
i think its just too pop
Feb 15th 2012
76
edit
Feb 15th 2012
77
if you got a Brenda Russell or a Leon Ware composing
Feb 15th 2012
81
the problem is URBAN RADIO!
Feb 16th 2012
89
agree..
Feb 16th 2012
92
funnily enough, the new usher song is almost a modern classic
Feb 17th 2012
93
Usher is an empty vessel
Feb 17th 2012
94
      lol
Feb 17th 2012
95
      Amen OP Amen. He's been a gimmick his whole career but
Feb 17th 2012
97
      Usher has talent and yet it never went to match the hype
Feb 17th 2012
99
yes and NO
Feb 17th 2012
96
I don't dislike all mainstream R&B now
Feb 17th 2012
100
Chris Rock nailed it on "Champagne" back in '97
Feb 17th 2012
101
Wow and I thought it had to do with these soulless fucks like Dr. Luke
Feb 17th 2012
102

SoWhat
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1. "*pause for my agenda*"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Rod Temperton wrote SIX songs for MJ. SIX!! MJ wrote most of his most famous/most loved songs. himself.

/rant.

fuck you.

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:33 AM

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3. "How funny this is post #1"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

because i almost left him off because I thought someone would come in and sidetrack the topic arguing this very thing lol

In the end I left him because he is someone who Q& MJ worked with... and his influence on both of them went much deeper than 6 songs.
_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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SoWhat
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:35 AM

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5. "it's my agenda. lol"
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

i noticed it before MJ died, even. that ppl around here tend to give Rod more credit than he deserves for MJ's success.

i'm glad you're hip to the truth.

good post.

fuck you.

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
34401 posts
Wed Feb-15-12 11:46 AM

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14. "I credit Rod almost as much as I do Q"
In response to Reply # 5
Wed Feb-15-12 11:47 AM by OldPro

  

          

I firmly believe Q lifted a lot of his classic R&B sound from Rod. I've gone over Q stuff before and after Rod left Heatwave and there is a big shift in the way Q records sounded. Just listen to the Brothers Johnson on Blam! then Light Up the Night... far different sound. Q's Dude album is basically refining that style for Thriller.
_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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SoWhat
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15. "*throws hands in the air*"
In response to Reply # 14


  

          

AWWWWWWWWWWWW...DAMN.

ugh.

fuck you.

  

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Joe Corn Mo
Member since Aug 29th 2010
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:01 PM

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25. "you're describing how 'clear' and 'slick' the "thriller" album sounds."
In response to Reply # 14
Wed Feb-15-12 12:02 PM by Joe Corn Mo

  

          

but the SONGS on thriller
really don't sound like anything from heatwave.

nor do they sound like anything else quincy jones ever had his hands on... including those "brother's johnson" albums,
quincy's solo records, and the record he produced for rufus in 79.

  

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SoWhat
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26. "i do not understand the origin of the Cult of Temperton"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

that exists in this forum!!!

i even watched the Heatwave Unsung episode and i still don't get it.

ugh.

fuck you.

  

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Artful Dodger
Member since Nov 20th 2009
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:18 PM

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35. "Are you serious? His legacy is incredible."
In response to Reply # 26


          

  

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Joe Corn Mo
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:28 PM

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40. "sure, but his importance in MJ's material is overstated."
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

when is the last time you've seen a music publication
that talked about the fact that MJ was a great songwriter?

is it ever discused that MJ came up with the monster
rhythm arrangement on "don't stop till you get enough?"



folks make it sound like MJ had no idea what to sing,
so Q and rod got in the studio and guided his ever note
the way the folks at motown guided diana ross.


that's just not the case.


  

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Artful Dodger
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:51 PM

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48. "No I think your throwing the baby and the bathwater out.... "
In response to Reply # 40


          

Mj knew how to collaborate and yes he himself was a good composer.

Why that challenges your take on Rod Temperton's contribution is a bit much.

I mean the same could be said for most musicians who worked with Mj but what really is the point?

Mj making a few great songs doesn't mean he didn't need the inspiration and direction from others like Rod and Stevie Wonder.

If you trust Mj's decisions as a writer, songwriter, why not trust all his decisions in the process of making an album?

I think ya'll are searching.

  

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Joe Corn Mo
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51. "this isn't the post to argue this."
In response to Reply # 48
Wed Feb-15-12 12:59 PM by Joe Corn Mo

  

          

________________

  

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Dr Claw
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36. "I do, but not as it relates to Michael Jackson"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

I've heard his compositions outside of Michael Jackson albums and there are some hallmarks that should rate him in an elite class of songwriter (even if the popularity/appeal of those songs are very much confined to one specific era).

I do think he does get excessive credit for his contributions to the Thriller and Off The Wall albums, as a lot of the key songs of both are Michael Jackson contributions (some even reach that "credit" backwards on albums neither Quincy and Rod had anything to do with), however.

Working with Michael Jackson only raised their stock IMO... he was the rare kind of vocalist that could meet the demands of some of those songs.

  

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SoWhat
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42. "i gave up trying long ago."
In response to Reply # 36


  

          

Heatwave's Unsung ep was my final attempt. i've decided to just write off the cult worship as "*edited in consideration of ppl's feelings*". but as related to MJ i haven't yet been able to leave it alone. LOL

fuck you.

  

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OldPro
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:49 PM

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47. "As I said i don't wan to get bogged down on this but"
In response to Reply # 42


  

          

unless you're ready to get upset at people from giving Q some credit then you really can't begrudge them doing the same with Rod. I'm not calling Q fraud or anything but I'd be lying if I said Q didn't use Rod to become the iconic producer known for OTW & Thriller. No doubt MJ was influenced by him too... these records aren't created in a vacuum.

You don't have to agree but at least understand why some of us make this connect with Rod & MJ. It goes way beyond him just writing a few songs.
_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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SoWhat
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53. "it's all good."
In response to Reply # 47


  

          

fuck you.

  

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OldPro
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34. "Right I'm talking about the sound"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

The origins of which I hear on songs like Boogie Nights & Groove Line

>but the SONGS on thriller
>really don't sound like anything from heatwave.

Lady In My Life & Thriller do.... but of course Rod wrote those

>nor do they sound like anything else quincy jones ever had his
>hands on... including those "brother's johnson" albums,
>quincy's solo records, and the record he produced for rufus in
>79.

Disagree... Light Up The Night & The Dude both have a Thriller sound to me *shrugs* Of course it won't be a carbon copy because you have another major talent like MJ in the mix.

But as far as what Q was bringing to the table... that was very much linked to Rod.


_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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Dr Claw
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38. "as does"
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

>Disagree... Light Up The Night & The Dude both have a Thriller
>sound to me *shrugs* Of course it won't be a carbon copy
>because you have another major talent like MJ in the mix.

Herbie Hancock's LITE ME UP (you knew I was going to mention it) ... people call that his "Thriller" album because so many of those songs bring Michael Jackson to mind (they were the kind of songs he would write for an album produced by Q)...

those sounds are forever going to be associated with MJ and Thriller even though if you think about it, they really might be thinking about Off The Wall (of the three songs that Rod contributed for "Thriller", only one, "Baby Be Mine" sounds like the kind of song most associated with the Quincy Jones/Rod Temperton duo)

  

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Dr Claw
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4. "correct"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

>Rod Temperton wrote SIX songs for MJ. SIX!! MJ wrote most
>of his most famous/most loved songs. himself.

Michael Jackson still deserves to be in that list because he himself is a great songwriter (it isn't just that he "made" Thriller, he -wrote- "Billie Jean"!), though.

he wrote a lot of those songs for the Jacksons (w/Randy) when CBS finally let the Jacksons do their own music.

he's written HITS for other people.

Mike doesn't get a lot of credit beyond the stage and the studio.

  

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imcvspl
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:31 AM

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2. "Can we have an honest and objective discussion about this?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Dude... man yall trying to get me started this morning!!!
________
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█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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imcvspl
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13. "IT'S OVER!!! SOUL, R&B, HIP-HOP, ALL THINGS OF THE PAST!!"
In response to Reply # 2


  

          

Never coming back. Get over it. You've got a treasure trove of old stuff, and a bunch of throwback artists to enjoy. New music is still very new, still evolving to form. You don't like it now, cool. Comparing it with the past is dumb though. It's like comparing blues to R&B, why bother. Yeah they are connected but they are not one and the same and never will be.
________
Big PEMFin H & z's
█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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SoWhat
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16. "^^^"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

like, really.

fuck you.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:54 AM

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19. "...done by bedroom ''composers'' fumbling around on their laptops..."
In response to Reply # 13


          

No thanks...

j/k (sort of). I think you are right in a way even if I don't like it...

  

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imcvspl
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23. "there's a feedback loop between bedroomers and those with other means"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

http://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=5&topic_id=2662430&mesg_id=2662430&page=

And it's always been the way.

"Fuck them garage rock dudes!!"
________
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█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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Jakob Hellberg
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:04 PM

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28. "Ha!!!"
In response to Reply # 23


          

Sorry but I like the idea about bands. And I love the sound of guitars. That has nothing to do with this thread though...

  

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Joe Corn Mo
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:11 PM

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31. "yeah. "
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

FTR, i agree with OldPro's post.
but seriously, it really is over.

finished.
dead.
kaput.
stick a fork in it.

black music has been defeated.
if and when it comes back, it won't look or sound the way we remembered it.

it will be different.



i've accepted that.
i just listen to my old records and call it day.

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:35 AM

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6. "what happened between that era and now?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>Most of the time we get the bad/mediocre singers on the stuff
>that actually bumps & sleepy time music from those that can
>actually blow. About the only two real "sangers" I can think
>of right now that have mixed it up are Beyonce & Mariah... two
>of the most successful acts going. Well R Kelly too but he's a
>self contained act. But we've just fallen into this trap where
>if you have a great voice you're expected to be a great writer
>too... or be able to elevate mediocre material to classic
>level. It just don't work that way 99% of the time.
>
>So the next time you say R&B today sucks.... look a little
>deeper at who's actually making the music.

Q himself asked the question, "who will the future artists sample?" in some article.

Yes, I'm mad. Let's move on.

Jays | Cavs | Eagles | Sabres | Tarheels

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OldPro
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8. "I see we're on the same track"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

it all seems to come back the same shit doesn't it?
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Dr Claw
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11. "it's also telling that a lot of the better artists out there"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

are self-contained

take a look at Usher
everyone was ready to crown his ass back in 2004

  

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OldPro
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17. "I've always been drawn to self contained acts for this very reason"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

Like I would scouring the back of albums in the store looking to see who did what... if an act was doing a lot of their own shit I would be more inclined to take a chance on them. This blew up in my face a lot too but when you found a good self contained act you knew you would get some consistency album to album.
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Teknontheou
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12. "The Hip-Hop ethos infected R&B."
In response to Reply # 6
Wed Feb-15-12 11:44 AM by Teknontheou

  

          

To me, it's a lot like G-Funk - when it's done well it's amazing, but it's too easy to be done horribly wrong.

The beats, the rhythms, and the grooves are all too herky-jerky and boom-bapish.

Edit - And the melodies don't work. They don't flow, or show much flow with the cadence with the rhythms. I think getting melodies back in line will be a major first step.

Actually, I think it's the Kirk Franklin problem. Writers who are not Hip-Hop to their core, trying to do music with a hip-hop flavor and largely getting it wrong.

And now there's a whole young generation of writers who cam up with the Hip-Hop flavored R&B (NJS doesn't count in that, to me).

  

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OldPro
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20. "I think it's because it's not easy to pull off"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

>And the melodies don't work. They don't flow, or show
>much flow with the cadence with the rhythms. I think getting
>melodies back in line will be a major first step.

I'm not sure if it's song writers just ignoring melody and flow... or the fact it takes real talent to pull off.
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OldPro
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7. "Full Disclosure "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

That Kelly Price album is what finally brought this home for me. I listened to it last night... and while she is sangin her ass off on that joint the songs are average at best. And that shit got a grammy nod. I just remember a time when voices like that were actually given something to work with.
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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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9. "I've been arguing this for years, though."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Back in the golden age of neosoul when people were acting like live instrumentation was gonna be the savior, I kept saying it don't matter what kind of tools you use to make your music if the material sucks.

(Actually, that was the root of Coolidge's long-held assertion that I have no respect for musicianship and want to see live instrumentation obliterated from Black music)

It's all about songwriting. I've always said this... you have good songs, it wouldn't make a difference if you were making the musical accompaniment by farting into a Coke bottle.

_____________________

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Artful Dodger
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22. "last line - dead."
In response to Reply # 9


          

  

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OldPro
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24. "Yeah I've said this about neo-soul too"
In response to Reply # 9
Wed Feb-15-12 11:59 AM by OldPro

  

          

>Back in the golden age of neosoul when people were acting
>like live instrumentation was gonna be the savior, I kept
>saying it don't matter what kind of tools you use to make your
>music if the material sucks.

I remember making a post about it some years back (something about it's lack of hooks)

But maybe you're on to something here... is this post neo-soul fallout?


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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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29. "yeah, your neosoul post deeply affected my thinking"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

about a lot of things...

>But maybe you're on to something here... is this post neo-soul
>fallout?

Not really... I think it actually started with the second wave of New Jack Swing--Jodeci, Mary J., etc. Even though there was a strain of good writing that persisted through the 1990s, it was slowly overshadowed by the school of thinking that held that flashy "sangin" made up for anemic songs.

Then neosoul came about hoping to right the wrongs and restore depth to Black pop music but I feel that they too missed the boat by subscribing to the idea that if you're Black and you are playing an instrument, then whatever material you are performing is automatically "deep."

Add to that the creeping epidemic of rapper-envy among singers and Beyonce-inspired "tinging" (c) fireOK (which was itself inspired in some ways by Timbaland's mid-90s R&B beats) you have R&B songwriting dying a slow, undignified death over the past 20 years.

_____________________

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Artful Dodger
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33. "Damn you brought it wit this - "
In response to Reply # 29


          

"Then neosoul came about hoping to right the wrongs and restore depth to Black pop music but I feel that they too missed the boat by subscribing to the idea that if you're Black and you are playing an instrument, then whatever material you are performing is automatically "deep."

Add to that the creeping epidemic of rapper-envy among singers and Beyonce-inspired "tinging" (c) fireOK (which was itself inspired in some ways by Timbaland's mid-90s R&B beats) you have R&B songwriting dying a slow, undignified death over the past 20 years."

Yep.

  

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OldPro
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37. "The thing about those 90s joints..."
In response to Reply # 29
Wed Feb-15-12 01:04 PM by OldPro

  

          

is i hated the production more than the actual songs... i think song writing was still decent for the most part throughout that decade but shit got bogged down with those clunky beats. that was what made Maxwell's debut so refreshing to me... dude had real songs, more full sounding production and the voice to bring it all home. most of the stuff that came after (neo-soul) just wasn't that complete.

now we're on the backside of that movement and dealing with the fallout. the idea musicianship and a good voice = good music was never accepted before neo-soul... didn't matter if it was Luther, Whitney, MJ or whoever... if the songs weren't there people wouldn't listen.
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Artful Dodger
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:31 PM

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41. "Excellent point - I blame Jermaine Dupree haha."
In response to Reply # 37


          

Yep, the production sucked.

Add clunky beats with unnecessary gospel chords and boom.

  

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OldPro
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55. "Don't even get me started wth that dude"
In response to Reply # 41


  

          

and the whole "name check over the song" bullshit
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Artful Dodger
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65. "hahahaha... dead. EXACTLY. EXACTLY. "
In response to Reply # 55


          

You nailed every part of why that sucked.

The name check, poor production, clunky beats.

  

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Dr Claw
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:43 PM

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45. "in the '80s that would have meant"
In response to Reply # 37


  

          

>now we're on the backside of that movement and dealing with
>the fallout. the idea musicianship and a good voice = good
>music was never accepted before neo-soul... didn't matter if
>it was Luther, Whitney, MJ or whoever... if the songs weren't
>there people wouldn't listen.

you would have been Andre Cymone (his first album is a near-classic).

hearing his first album I thought that he would have at least had a "Jesse" career. He had songs that were good-to-great, a surprisingly good voice, and the instrumentation was there.

then that second album came along and it was some bullshit in comparison to the first.

the third was a return to form, but guess who came along for the ride...

  

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OldPro
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59. "The Prince "clones" were doomed from the start"
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

When you come into the game as a follower you will never be able to be a leader. His best move was focusing on the production side... if he really wanted to sustain a solo career he should have stayed away from the Prince look and sound.
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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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64. "true"
In response to Reply # 59


  

          

>When you come into the game as a follower you will never be
>able to be a leader. His best move was focusing on the
>production side... if he really wanted to sustain a solo
>career he should have stayed away from the Prince look and
>sound.

that's part of the reason I liked that first album.

It didn't really sound (or look) like Prince at all to me.
Prince when that album dropped had taken to finally settling on his classic "Purple Bourgeoisie" look, and gotten off the whole "Rude Boy" look (the trench + underwear... LOL). He had actually started to sing in his real voice, too.

Andre was wearing regular clothes (a T-shirt and some jeans), playing some more "electro-funk" ("Get 'Em Girl"), some more straight head punk rock ("Ritz Club"), and pop music that was a little different from where Prince was going (he went underground, Andre went a little closer to what the mainstream was doing ala Jesse).

It could have come from the same place Prince did, but w/o all the pomp. Since it was a little scatterbrained stylistically without a really strong songwriting to tie it all together, it didn't hit like The Time did. Yet the first thing Prince did was make fun of the look on the low ("get out of those Blue Jeans, and those New Wave clothes...").

If he had stayed on that path he would have probably had a different take on his career...but NOPE!

- second album he looked like he went to Japan and saw some Super Sentai (read: Power Rangers) and came back to Minneapolis after recording Knight Rider background music

- third album, he basically gave in to Prince-isms full bore. Of course by 1985, the takeover of the R&B sound was complete, so no one really blinked. Didn't hurt that the lead single was a Prince song too.

...at least he found another run in the background, as a producer.

Yes, I'm mad. Let's move on.

Jays | Cavs | Eagles | Sabres | Tarheels

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OldPro
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67. "I like a few things from Survivin' in the 80's"
In response to Reply # 64
Wed Feb-15-12 02:23 PM by OldPro

  

          

>- second album he looked like he went to Japan and saw some
>Super Sentai (read: Power Rangers) and came back to
>Minneapolis after recording Knight Rider background music

Body Thang & M.O.T.F are my shit.... but yeah you could tell they sent him to the marketing department who dressed him up like a new wave ken doll

and that band they had behind him on the cover *smh*

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Dr Claw
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69. "Yeah... I was just kind of shocked @ the abrupt change"
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

>Body Thang & M.O.T.F are my shit.... but yeah you could tell
>they sent him to the marketing department who dressed him up
>like a new wave ken doll
>
>and that band they had behind him on the cover *smh*

I think those were the two songs I were OK with
the title track was like a time capsule.

and that album cover... LOL

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:38 PM

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43. "I don't think good songwriting (tm) would change a thing..."
In response to Reply # 9


          

The problem is that people belie4ve that songwriting is something static and timeless. However, there are numerous professional songwriters who once upon a time could write good songs (tm). Did they all lose that ability overnight or could it be that that definition of good songwriting isn't what people want anymore? In the context of pop, look at Max Martin; the songs he wrote about a decade or so ago are, I think safe to say, stronger than the shit he writes now when he's part of a big team that just cranks out crap. Did he lose the ability? I don't think so-dude is not an artiste but rather a professional songwriter who give the recordlabels and audiences what they want and right now, that isn't classically good songs.

  

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Dr Claw
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56. "lost in the sauce..."
In response to Reply # 43


  

          

>Did they all lose that ability overnight or could
>it be that that definition of good songwriting isn't what
>people want anymore? In the context of pop, look at Max
>Martin; the songs he wrote about a decade or so ago are, I
>think safe to say, stronger than the shit he writes now when
>he's part of a big team that just cranks out crap. Did he lose
>the ability? I don't think so-dude is not an artiste but
>rather a professional songwriter who give the recordlabels and
>audiences what they want and right now, that isn't classically
>good songs.

that may just be true.

for some reason it felt like a bit of a constant across eras, but maybe it is just the audience.

  

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OldPro
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58. "They want good songs.... they just may not know it"
In response to Reply # 43


  

          

or even think about it

That's where the producer comes in
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GumDrops
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83. "i think this is it. people just want crap."
In response to Reply # 43


  

          

dude is not an artiste but
>rather a professional songwriter who give the recordlabels and
>audiences what they want and right now, that isn't classically
>good songs.

it will come back around, when people want something more, but right now they are getting what they want.

each generation gets what it deserves, in other words.

  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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84. "That could be true, but one thing I have noticed since the 90s"
In response to Reply # 83


  

          

is that people seem to actively hate the music they "like"... or at least they look down upon it in some way.

I think my generation was the first to do this... The whole early onset nostalgia thing where you jam to contemporary music, yet continuously talk about how much it sucks and how you wish you were born 20 years earlier when they had "real"music.

(These days, that sentiment is largely conveyed in YouTube comment sections)

_____________________

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The man who thinks at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life - Muhammed Ali

  

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GumDrops
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Thu Feb-16-12 08:03 AM

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85. "isnt that just people wanting to appear superior"
In response to Reply # 84


  

          

like how people watch hollywood but say its just trash in case anyone think theyre stupid, but deep down, they actually love it in their heart of hearts

i think thats an outgrowth/awareness of irony/post-ironic more than people actually thinking what theyre listening to these days is worthless

im sure most people know that modern popular music is possibly more generic than its ever been but the people who go in their thousands to see britney, BEP, or gaga live, they def dont think its crappy (i really doubt this!), theyre just aware that it could be seen that way


  

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AFKAP_of_Darkness
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Thu Feb-16-12 08:19 AM

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86. "hmm... that's an interesting way of looking at it."
In response to Reply # 85


  

          

I'mma chew on that.

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GumDrops
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88. "i def think that with youtube etc"
In response to Reply # 86
Thu Feb-16-12 08:38 AM by GumDrops

  

          

there is much more nostalgia for eras people were never alive for cos we can see so much more of what it was like, so there is that to measure it against and to get wistful about.

but for most teenagers, i bet they love gucci mane, currency, and whoever else just as much as i loved nas, mobb deep etc.

for neo soul, thats prob different, cos it invites comparisons with the past...

but with music that sounds so totally of the now (even if it recalls the 80s/90s in various ways too), eg rihanna, ne-yo, pitbull (lol), drake or whoever, i think people get a lot of enjoyment out of that stuff. lil wayne fans arent sitting there thinking, damn i wish kool keith was on cash money.

(well apart from me lol)

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
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Thu Feb-16-12 08:35 AM

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87. "I think (relative) sophistication is just a ''gimmick'' too though..."
In response to Reply # 83


          

I don't think the people who dug Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan or EW&F in the 70's were necessarily smarter than todays pop-crowd-it's just that relatively more sophisticated chords, progressions, melodies, arrangements etc. were cool at the time and since those guys had the talent to pull it off, they went platinum. I don't know really...

I know some people have argued that jazz was still a memory to people then which is why even the pop-crowd could accept these things but if you look at the rock'n'roll/R&B from the mid-late 50's, it was very simplistic from a songwriting standpoint; maybe then the simplicity was a rebellion and a breath of fresh air against the sophistication of not just jazz but also Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and even Platters and acts like that... Sort of like punk-rock or Hip-Hop would become later...

Maybe more well-written songs will become a fresh thing but if all those guys like the Weeknd and Frank Ocean and that new Usher-song are indeed the sound of the future (I don't know but that's what people say... or maybe it's already over-hard to know today, LOL), it sort of feels that the next thing will be soundscapes and moods which can of course be sophisticated too but it feels more like a return of 90's Trip-Hop/IDM aesthetics than songwriting (tm)...

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:40 AM

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10. "I agree, most of the A-list guys these days would be C-list"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

in earlier eras, but there are still some people I like. They're just stretched so thin it's rare when they come up with a song that has a real edge to it.



~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee
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Artful Dodger
Member since Nov 20th 2009
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:53 AM

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18. "Wait - farewell? I blame Pop music."
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Feb-15-12 11:54 AM by Artful Dodger

          

First if you leave I'm leaving. Straight up. I was gonna make a post about how lucky we are to have You, Maxx, Warren, and AFKAP around. Jewels no matter if folks always hit the mark or not.

Ya'll brothers are crucial to these boards in the era of "Nas lost" foolishness.

It was always chic to 'cross over' and abandon your roots ala Lionel Richie. Add the success of the 80's, madonna, Mj, Lionel - all the biggest stars had to find a way to accomodate both crowds.

This success became the Amway of the music industry and executives lost sight on good music for that all mighty dollar and success story.

You see that with Whitney - as she may be the first, prepped, primed, detailed black pop star - out the gate.

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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30. "Yeah man I have to step away"
In response to Reply # 18
Wed Feb-15-12 12:08 PM by OldPro

  

          

My job is about to get a little more demanding and what free time I do get during the day needs to be focused on some things that are more important to me long term... I'm getting up there and retirement isn't all that far away lol

I've come to grip with the fact I'm pretty much addicted to this place so for me to try and just post from time to time is like an alcoholic trying to have an occasional beer... it won't just stop there lol

So I'm going to step back for a while... I'm putting at least a year moratorium on posting. I'm sure I'll be peaking in from time to time though... just think of me as the lesson's friendly ghost lol
_________________________________
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Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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Artful Dodger
Member since Nov 20th 2009
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:11 PM

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32. "Aw man. Damn, I'm gonna miss your posts and insight bro. "
In response to Reply # 30


          

It's truly a gem for cats like me. Salute man.

I definitely understand and wish you the best brother, I hear you.

Life is calling. I may have to do the same.

  

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Joe Corn Mo
Member since Aug 29th 2010
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Wed Feb-15-12 11:55 AM

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21. "i agree with everything you wrote.*"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i don't know how the fuck it happened.

the situation is so dire
that i halfway believe there is some kind of conspiracy.
because i just can't believe black music just got this bad accidently.


*of course, the asterick is there b/c MJ was an exceptional (although not necessarily prolfic) songwriter.

  

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Selah
Member since Jun 05th 2002
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:03 PM

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27. "agree wholeheartedly - re: the importance of songwriting (my rant)"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Feb-15-12 12:09 PM by Selah

          

the issue isn't lack of talent (chrsitina aguilera is the example - she can sing but keeps churning out album after album of really bad songs), it's lack of good material

why?
because "the machine" is more interested in creating *product* than creating art

nobody is thinking: I wanna make a song that will still be played 50 years from now, they think "I wanna sell a zillion copies before the next quarter's releases" (hence the stressing of charting and 1st week sales numbers)

it doesn't matter as much if it's good, instead what matters is if it sells

the same issue that exists with songwriting exists with "musicianship" (re: the ability to play instruments, or even really *KNOW* music beyond "this is what's hot")

  

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Warren Coolidge
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39. "yeah... we need some better marriages between "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

songwriters/producers and artists....

there's a lot of really good soul/r&b/jazz/funk type of music being made in the US and in other parts of the world...but some of it doesn't have the really good vocalists along with it.... yet we have super talented singers...who are known ..successful as far as sales....yet who make some pretty bland music to fit into a certain acceptable category..

some of these particularly well known artist need to link up with some of these talented producers and songwriters and make some complete albums...use their noteriety not to just fit in, but to expand the quality of what is going on... Some of these people could work with whomever they want and they'd get all the backing in the world, but they continue to work with the same boring producers..or do things themselves.

  

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OldPro
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44. "Good singers used to make fun music too"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Now if a record is fun it's some nicki minaj type bullshit

One of the things that I really liked about John Legend's Green Light video is it played on this... I had hoped that would kick-start more "serious" singers to lighten up a little and "step out from behind the piano"... we have gotten some to do it here and there but it's still way too rare.
_________________________________
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Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:44 PM

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46. "THAT SONG SUCKED ASS!!!!"
In response to Reply # 44


  

          

>One of the things that I really liked about John Legend's
>Green Light video is it played on this... I had hoped that
>would kick-start more "serious" singers to lighten up a little
>and "step out from behind the piano"... we have gotten some to
>do it here and there but it's still way too rare.

Whatever the image or light message around it the song sucked ass. that's what you want more songs like that. And I noticed you said video not the song... but to even bring up that horrid song as an example of anything....

________
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█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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OldPro
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49. "I'm not ashamed to say I like the song too"
In response to Reply # 46
Wed Feb-15-12 12:58 PM by OldPro

  

          

I'm never one to cower at the thought my opinion is going to clash with some elitist idea of what quality music is.

I could really give two shits about John Legend before that album (I like a few other tracks off that joint as well) Dude just bored the shit out of me... his voice and his songs. I love that 3000 lit a fire under that ass and took him outside his comfort zone.

You feel it sucks... well play on player. Some of us just want to get down sometimes.

You probably hate this too http://youtu.be/6XZVPLNgMuI
_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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imcvspl
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98. "incidentally thoughts on this "Green Light""
In response to Reply # 49


  

          

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZnT8boMQos

came out around the same time.
________
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"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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Nodima
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52. ":("
In response to Reply # 46


  

          

I'm gonna give that song a plus one or two on its last.fm stats just because of this.

that song is catchy as hell. I haven't heard it in a long minute.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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OldPro
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57. "This is exactly why "serious" acts are afraid to let their hair down lik..."
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

when you move into different territory you become a target... legend could have released a dozen more sleepy songs that sucked and nobody would say a thing.
_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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imcvspl
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60. "This isn't about choice of direction it's about the actual song"
In response to Reply # 57


  

          

... in a post complaining about songwriting and production. It's such a MOR song and hardly the mark of good R&B. That's my only point. Yall dig it cool. But don't bring it up as an example of good R&B unless you can qualify that based on the shit you pt up in the og post.
________
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"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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OldPro
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62. "But see you're showing what the real problem is"
In response to Reply # 60


  

          

this idea of dismissing a fun poppy track as a bad song just because it doesn't fit you're artistic measuring stick, is the mindset that caused a good part of this shit.

This thinking has lead to some really great singers making some of the most boring music known to man.

Do I really need to start running down the list of 80s classics with equal and less artistic merit?




_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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Artful Dodger
Member since Nov 20th 2009
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66. "Truth. Raw truth."
In response to Reply # 62


          

  

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imcvspl
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71. "I didn't put my stick in this thread you did, OG post"
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

why are you avoiding your own topic. look here

>this idea of dismissing a fun poppy track

you didn't even call it R&B or soul. Isn't that what this thread is about. Why are we using pop examples? And sure R&B artists can make pop, fun pop to I don't mind. But making 'good pop' is what led it down this road you're complaining about. Good pop in 2012 in oontz. So if I say R&B singer X has a great oontz song, is that a good thing for R&B, even if you don't like oontz? See this is the logical problem I have with raising this song in the context of this discussion, my opinion of the song aside.

________
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█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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73. "First off all pop isn't created equal"
In response to Reply # 71
Wed Feb-15-12 04:17 PM by OldPro

  

          

>you didn't even call it R&B or soul. Isn't that what this
>thread is about. Why are we using pop examples? And sure R&B
>artists can make pop, fun pop to I don't mind. But making
>'good pop' is what led it down this road you're complaining
>about.

it's a pretty big umbrella that covers a lot of sounds and styles. some of the best R&B songs ever get called pop simply because they had mass appeal.

>Good pop in 2012 in oontz. So if I say R&B singer X
>has a great oontz song, is that a good thing for R&B, even if
>you don't like oontz?

if it's a good or great song then yeah... but see I'm not as opposed to the "oontz" sound as some... most of the ones I heard (by R&B artists) just aren't very well written songs.

> See this is the logical problem I have
>with raising this song in the context of this discussion, my
>opinion of the song aside.

No it's all about your opinion... you came though screaming about how the song SUCKS ASS. Not that you just didn't care for it or it wasn't your thing... but you ripped the shit out of the song itself. I'm all for people having their own opinions but honestly if that's an example of a god awful song to you then I flat out have to question your ear for this kind of music.


_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
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Wed Feb-15-12 05:37 PM

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74. "you're missing my point"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

>it's a pretty big umbrella that covers a lot of sounds and
>styles. some of the best R&B songs ever get called pop simply
>because they had mass appeal.

But if we are talking about the problems facing R&B let's focus on the R&B part, not the crossover part. I'll say it again the crossover part is what has led to this road. You want to complain about what's happened to R&B - it went pop. Can there be great songs in that lane, absolutely. Are those songs at the core of what R&B is though - no.

The problem with the pop thing is that it changes like the whether so if R&B is constantly chasing it, it's not going to go back to the bread and butter which is what you seem to want from the OG post.

The song you used is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. You didn't talk about the songwriting or the production. You talked about the video, 3K and having fun... shit gotta jet... lemme finish first.

>>Good pop in 2012 in oontz. So if I say R&B singer X
>>has a great oontz song, is that a good thing for R&B, even
>if
>>you don't like oontz?
>
>if it's a good or great song then yeah... but see I'm not as
>opposed to the "oontz" sound as some... most of the ones I
>heard (by R&B artists) just aren't very well written songs.
>
>> See this is the logical problem I have
>>with raising this song in the context of this discussion, my
>>opinion of the song aside.
>
>No it's all about your opinion... you came though screaming
>about how the song SUCKS ASS. Not that you just didn't care
>for it or it wasn't your thing... but you ripped the shit out
>of the song itself. I'm all for people having their own
>opinions but honestly if that's an example of a god awful song
>to you then I flat out have to question your ear for this kind
>of music.
>
>
>_________________________________
>Reunion Radio Podcasts
>Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance
>
>http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/


________
Big PEMFin H & z's
█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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Wed Feb-15-12 06:00 PM

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75. "Really man you off in left field somewhere"
In response to Reply # 74


  

          

>But if we are talking about the problems facing R&B let's
>focus on the R&B part, not the crossover part. I'll say it
>again the crossover part is what has led to this road. You
>want to complain about what's happened to R&B - it went pop.
>Can there be great songs in that lane, absolutely. Are those
>songs at the core of what R&B is though - no.

At it's best the R&B has always had pop sensibilities. A lot of what you're trying to pigeon hole as the sole property of pop came from the black music world to begin with. Green Light isn't the least bit "beige"... it's black pop/R&B. Just like 90% of the shit we dug in the 80s.

>The problem with the pop thing is that it changes like the
>whether so if R&B is constantly chasing it, it's not going to
>go back to the bread and butter which is what you seem to want
>from the OG post.

What is the bread and butter of R&B though? Trying to wedge the pop elements out is what gave us neo-soul.... no thanks.

>The song you used is a perfect example of what I'm talking
>about. You didn't talk about the songwriting or the
>production. You talked about the video, 3K and having fun...
>shit gotta jet... lemme finish first.

Just so you know i ain't running from shit... The video worked because it fit the song and what it was all about. The song in and of itself is perfect for what it wants to be... and the production is outstanding. Not one goddamn thing wrong with that song imo


_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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araQual
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Wed Feb-15-12 09:52 PM

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78. "Green Light is the mad note. i love that song"
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

V.

---
http://confessionsofacurlymind.com
https://soundcloud.com/confessionsofacurlymindredux
https://soundcloud.com/generic80sbadguy
https://soundcloud.com/miles_matheson

DROkayplayerâ„¢

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
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Wed Feb-15-12 10:33 PM

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79. "bbbut lemme finish first"
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

fuck it can't pick up where i left off.

that song is just a rehash of about twenty different cliche's both in the production and the songwriting. and sure there's a repeat effect in R&B, but I'm not talking about R&B rehash, I'm talking pop rehash, which in essence is what pop is, piecemeal formula. catchy turn on a phrase title and hook, stock lavish sounds, bland arrangement, autotuned vocals, highlighting an otherwise average vocal performance, name rapper for collab spotlight. this formula of rehashing formulas works for pop music, but it doesn't keep R&B alive.

That's my point.

Actually my point is it ain't never going back. Only way is forward, hopefully with due respect and homage to the past (which is where I think everyone gets caught up), but forward motion. Yeah I think the lack of connection to the past is the hard part for some of yall, because it's slipping away and you don't think the kids respect it, therefore put no trust in their being able to do that legacy justice. Hard to argue against that with what we have today. But I still got the faith. I see enough signs of forward motion. It's gonna be alright it just ain't gonna look like the past.

________
Big PEMFin H & z's
█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
http://concretesoundsystem.com
Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
34401 posts
Thu Feb-16-12 11:18 AM

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90. "I can say this about 100s of classic songs"
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

>that song is just a rehash of about twenty different cliche's
>both in the production and the songwriting. and sure there's
>a repeat effect in R&B, but I'm not talking about R&B rehash,
>I'm talking pop rehash, which in essence is what pop is,
>piecemeal formula. catchy turn on a phrase title and hook,
>stock lavish sounds, bland arrangement, autotuned vocals,
>highlighting an otherwise average vocal performance, name
>rapper for collab spotlight. this formula of rehashing
>formulas works for pop music, but it doesn't keep R&B alive.

well not the autotuned part... bottom line is none of that makes the song any better or worse. most cakes have the same ingredients too... doesn't mean they all taste the same.

>Actually my point is it ain't never going back. Only way is
>forward, hopefully with due respect and homage to the past
>(which is where I think everyone gets caught up), but forward
>motion. Yeah I think the lack of connection to the past is
>the hard part for some of yall, because it's slipping away and
>you don't think the kids respect it, therefore put no trust in
>their being able to do that legacy justice. Hard to argue
>against that with what we have today. But I still got the
>faith. I see enough signs of forward motion. It's gonna be
>alright it just ain't gonna look like the past.

what's funny about this is it is going back... thats not what i really want... at least not in the by the numbers way i hear some people doing it... but the first couple years of this decade have been very retro. i'd just like to see these acts pay a little more attention to the songs themselves instead of getting caught up in a sound. but i'm all for pushing things forward... in fact ive had numerous running battles on this board with my peers for co-signing shit they weren't feeling.

i appreciate you take but respectfully say you're barking up the wrong tree.

_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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imcvspl
Member since Mar 07th 2005
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Thu Feb-16-12 11:30 AM

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91. "Mostly by my own doing"
In response to Reply # 90


  

          

You've zoned in on my opinion of the song rather than the point of it being used as an example in the strengthening of R&B. I barked my opinion loud but my bite is focused on the non strengthening of R&B part.
________
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█▆▇▅▇█▇▆▄▁▃
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Mo'Nium - http://monium.tumblr.com/

"When the music stops he falls back into this abyss."

  

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murph71
Member since Sep 15th 2005
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Wed Feb-15-12 01:26 PM

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61. "RE: This is exactly why "serious" acts are afraid to let their hair down..."
In response to Reply # 57


          

>when you move into different territory you become a target...
>legend could have released a dozen more sleepy songs that
>sucked and nobody would say a thing.


I agree...

I was among in the minority on this site that said "Green Light" was a good, left field song for Legend...Think about it...It all starts off with the fact that it's uptempo, which Legend was not known for...Throw in the fact that it's like the long lost kissing cousin to Joe Jackson's "Steppin Out" (listen to both songs back to back...they are not the SAME...But their cadence and mood are giving a nod...)and a "cool" verse from 3 Stacks and a bit of humor and you got a roll of the dice that actually worked...

GOAT of his era......long live Prince.....God is alive....

  

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GumDrops
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Thu Feb-16-12 04:19 AM

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82. "i liked it too"
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

it wasnt legend trying to sound like chris brown or whoever, he still sounded 'mature', but he was doing something a bit more danceable/pop/electronic, which is not what hes known for, but it worked.

  

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DolphinTeef
Member since Oct 25th 2009
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Wed Feb-15-12 01:30 PM

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63. "yup...it definitely does NOT suck ass lol"
In response to Reply # 52


  

          

  

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mistermaxxx08
Member since Dec 31st 2010
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Wed Feb-15-12 12:57 PM

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50. "well its simple the industry and R&B went more toward "
In response to Reply # 0


          

Beats, grooves and Vamps as to actual songwriting.

Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Norman Whitfield,Lionel Richie, Gamble and Huff, wrote great things. i'm talking mount rushmore R&B based songwriting here and some others belong there.

problem is acts following what is hot and then being suduced by these labels and having to follow in that pursuit for a hit and not being able to grow as a artists.


subject matter and depth are lacking period IMO.

a few of the folks you mentioned are what I'd call great songwriters, but most of the names you mentioned i'd say were better Producers.

being self contained is Great if you can pull it off, however everybody needs another pair of ears to add that extra something, that can be missed.


R&B is always going to be alright because a new talent is born and it still is the ultimate pass in terms of your natural talent.


it will come back in full one day,i truly beleive that, however i have always said you gotta be able to write.

Beyonce, alicia Keys, ain't made one Money track.

i'm talking about what Whitney Houston did with the Greatest love of all, i'll always love you, saving all my love for you.

Whitney got songs heard all around the world that says I'm a Superstar,etc..

it doesn't matter if its original or covers, just make a Statement with a song period. alot of these acts can't even fathom that concept because having a bunch of hits and sales is important, but what happens when nobody feels that mess in a few years and these record companys go and get a Broke clone of you??



mistermaxxx R.Kelly, Michael Jackson,Stevie wonder,Rick James,Marvin Gaye,El Debarge, Barry WHite Lionel RIchie,Isleys EWF,Lady T.,Kid creole and coconuts,the crusaders,kc sunshine band,bee gees,jW,sd,NE,JB

Miami Heat, New York Yankees,buffalo bills

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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54. "I think the producer is every bit as important as the song writer"
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

I've heard songs that didn't move me until they were remade

of course a bad producer can bury a good song too
_________________________________
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Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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mistermaxxx08
Member since Dec 31st 2010
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80. "well then that hurts your argument because it is the writer "
In response to Reply # 54


          

who has to lead the story. problem is the Producer's chair is the central attack of this debate Man.

you see that is what R&B ended up becoming a Producer's chair and who had the hot sound and the Pen suffered in the Process, so give me the Pen back.

bottom line Producer's are subjective, but a Memorable Song is not, because it is universal.

and Producer's again are only as hot as there sound, very few expections get it all right and I'm talking THom Bell right.

or Holland, Doizer and Holland right.

gotta have the songs man. songwriting has been missing and depth there.

music been cool on the Production side, but alot of these turkeys can't write there way out of a Paper bag with a hole in it. and it shows.

mistermaxxx R.Kelly, Michael Jackson,Stevie wonder,Rick James,Marvin Gaye,El Debarge, Barry WHite Lionel RIchie,Isleys EWF,Lady T.,Kid creole and coconuts,the crusaders,kc sunshine band,bee gees,jW,sd,NE,JB

Miami Heat, New York Yankees,buffalo bills

  

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BlackandProud
Member since Feb 08th 2012
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Wed Feb-15-12 02:33 PM

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68. "I agree about the writing but I also say that..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

R&B is missing the love. There's no real passion and love in R&B anymore. Artist like Whitney, Luther, Gerald Levert, Rick James, and many more etc had a passion and love and want to pursue and do great things musically. R&B is missing that love. There's not a lot of love in it anymore because while it's always been about the money and selling, it's because so self driven about money that the business has just gotten to the point where the art or again love isn't even regarded anymore. Now it's all about sounded just like the anybody else. Oh and another thing, there's that thing called originality too. That's missing, big time! No one wants to add there own twist and thing into the mix because they'd much rather just get paid and make music for the here and now and not music that will stand the test of time.

  

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Joe Corn Mo
Member since Aug 29th 2010
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Wed Feb-15-12 02:44 PM

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70. ""and they don't have any joy in their voices" (c) my mom."
In response to Reply # 68


  

          

now again... mainstream black music as i used to know it
is dead... but for the purposes of this post,
i might as well go in.


i know that artists were ALWAYS about making money.
and i realize that everybody did not used to release
stevie wonder/ marvin gaye level material.
and i realize that r&b has always been raunchy.



but i swear, even mediocre old music
seems to have people singing in a way
that made it sound like they were happy to be singing.

even a sad song showed some kind of joy...
even if there was pain in their voice.




like, lil' MJ had pain in his voice,
but there was a JOY in it, too.



even janet, who can't really sing... had JOY in her voice.
along w/ the pain.




i don't hear any joy in beyonce's voice.
not anymore, at least.

same goes for chris brown.

same goes for damn near every other new r&b singer.




even when the ohio players were singing a dumbass song like "fire,"
i could hear the joy in their voice.

from omorion? not so much.

  

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Artful Dodger
Member since Nov 20th 2009
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Wed Feb-15-12 03:44 PM

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72. "Man this is more than a mouthful - I concur in every way."
In response to Reply # 70


          

There is a reason why songs from the Ink Spots to the Dramatics to
Marvin felt so right - the love. It was replaced with animation.

  

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GumDrops
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76. "i think its just too pop"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

but it goes in cycles. and will come back around. but there are good, if not classic, songs out there. and always will be.

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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77. "edit"
In response to Reply # 76
Wed Feb-15-12 07:41 PM by OldPro

  

          

never mind
_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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mistermaxxx08
Member since Dec 31st 2010
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81. "if you got a Brenda Russell or a Leon Ware composing"
In response to Reply # 0


          

then you got something there. bottom line and to Quote one of the world's most known Producers Quincy D.Jones, its all about the songs, the songs, the songs.

gotta have the song period, R&B suffered from the Producer and the sound being the standard as to the song and the artist.

we went from back in the day asking what was that song and how come the DJ didn't say who it was? and also we would tape all the cuts in case it came back on.


fast forward to the mid 80's onwards and it has all been about oh that is so and so's sound which dominates radio and they have a whole bunch of hits, however how many truly memorable songs do they have?

Money tracks, not slot machine cuts which are cool, but ain't the kind of cuts that you gonna remember in 20 years time. big difference.

mistermaxxx R.Kelly, Michael Jackson,Stevie wonder,Rick James,Marvin Gaye,El Debarge, Barry WHite Lionel RIchie,Isleys EWF,Lady T.,Kid creole and coconuts,the crusaders,kc sunshine band,bee gees,jW,sd,NE,JB

Miami Heat, New York Yankees,buffalo bills

  

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tapedeck
Member since Dec 27th 2004
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Thu Feb-16-12 10:25 AM

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89. "the problem is URBAN RADIO!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

There are tons of soul acts that they dont play. Also, some of you peeps need to search other places for music besides the radio.

Check out NEW Soul music at: www.myspace.com/starbeing

Bumpin in the STEREO:
Gladys Knight&The Pips
Whitney Houston-self titled
Randy And The Gypsys
Jean Beauvoir-DATM
Atlantic Starr-Brilliance
Terri Lyne Carrington-TMP

  

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chinyre
Member since Aug 25th 2007
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Thu Feb-16-12 12:30 PM

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92. "agree.."
In response to Reply # 0


          


adelle isn't any more talented than these black r&b artist but she got some songs man. as annoying as rolling in the deep was, its a fantastic song. she assembled the right producers and took the time to right songs. its not really that deep.

  

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GumDrops
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Fri Feb-17-12 10:41 AM

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93. "funnily enough, the new usher song is almost a modern classic"
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Feb-17-12 10:42 AM by GumDrops

  

          

its lacking something - a climax ironically - but its at least trying to be a 'good song' in the classical sense (and its actually kinda romantic, rather than just sexual, despite the title) even while the track is very chart friendly. and its got to be one of ushers best vocals.

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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Fri Feb-17-12 10:53 AM

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94. "Usher is an empty vessel"
In response to Reply # 93
Fri Feb-17-12 10:54 AM by OldPro

  

          

I honestly haven't spent enough time with his new track to really comment on the song itself... on first listen it wasn't moving me but that could be more due to the sound... but I just can't help but hear a desperate cat trying to jump on whatever trend he can latch on to. He has no identity of his own... He's like some R&B Mr Potato head. It's actually sad what's become of him.
_________________________________
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Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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SP1200
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95. "lol"
In response to Reply # 94


  

          

>He has no identity of his
>own... He's like some R&B Mr Potato head. It's actually sad
>what's become of him.
>

http://i54.tinypic.com/2j51hj4.jpg

  

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Artful Dodger
Member since Nov 20th 2009
8361 posts
Fri Feb-17-12 12:13 PM

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97. "Amen OP Amen. He's been a gimmick his whole career but"
In response to Reply # 94


          

look at who mentored him from jump - the master of gimmicks. Puff.

  

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mistermaxxx08
Member since Dec 31st 2010
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Fri Feb-17-12 12:47 PM

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99. "Usher has talent and yet it never went to match the hype"
In response to Reply # 94


          

all he needs is one song and they his handlers never pushed it out of him. however he still keeps a hit and is almost 20 years deep in the game and he is still trying to hang in there, but at what cost?

mistermaxxx R.Kelly, Michael Jackson,Stevie wonder,Rick James,Marvin Gaye,El Debarge, Barry WHite Lionel RIchie,Isleys EWF,Lady T.,Kid creole and coconuts,the crusaders,kc sunshine band,bee gees,jW,sd,NE,JB

Miami Heat, New York Yankees,buffalo bills

  

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Calico
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96. "yes and NO"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i'll agree that most of the songwriting needs to improve, but nothing's dead, YOU just don't care for the medium as it stands right now, and i understand....

...so many different influences in R&B pop, or Hiphop make the final product very dilluted, cause there's this sense of many artists trying to please multiple audiences...BITD, you tried to make the best songs you could and HOPED it crossed over...now the crossover is the initial goal...

i have no real problems with most R&B artists other than the cursing...that irks the crap outta me....otherwise, it's understandable to see where they are now....

"yes, sometimes my rhymes are sexist, but you lovely bitches and hos should know i'm tryin to correct it"- hiphopopotamus

  

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OldPro
Member since Dec 10th 2002
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100. "I don't dislike all mainstream R&B now"
In response to Reply # 96


  

          

>i'll agree that most of the songwriting needs to improve, but
>nothing's dead, YOU just don't care for the medium as it
>stands right now, and i understand....

I just think it could be much stronger than it is


_________________________________
Reunion Radio Podcasts
Bringing Together Five Decades of R&B/Funk/Soul/Dance

http://reunionradio.blogspot.com/

  

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DJR
Member since Jan 01st 2005
17020 posts
Fri Feb-17-12 03:11 PM

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101. "Chris Rock nailed it on "Champagne" back in '97"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

A lot of it still rings true 15 years later.

  

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Ampex 472
Member since Jan 01st 2012
375 posts
Fri Feb-17-12 03:20 PM

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102. "Wow and I thought it had to do with these soulless fucks like Dr. Luke"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Dr. Luke
Ken Lewis
Alex da Kid
J.R. Rotem

All these mothfuckers are who fucking up R&B music with all that techno bullshit!

  

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