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Does musical maturity equal boredom?
Last Post 27 Jul 2005 09:13 AM by Norman Schwarzkopf. 30 Replies.
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Norman SchwarzkopfUser is Offline
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Norman Schwarzkopf

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27 Jul 2005 09:13 AM
    Just thinking about SFA's upcoming album and how it's supposed to be quite mellow cos that's "where they're at" at the moment. When bands get older, or their music matures, I often find myself growing less interested in them. I prefer the first few SFA albums to the last few, the Manics are exceedingly dull now, Beck has grown a bit less interesting (it pains me to say). Anyone else feel this? Any notable exceptions/contradictions?
    benniUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 09:17 AM
    Yea I can def identify with that for sure. Depeche Mode are one of my all time favorites.. Music For the Masses, Violator, Songs of Faith and Devotion all top efforts. But Jesus Christ what the f**k was Exciter all about? With the exception of maybe 'I feel Love' Bland is not the word. And dont even start me on 'Paper Monsters' Dave Gahans solo effort in 2003.
    Norman SchwarzkopfUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 09:22 AM
    Yeah. It's common for a band's early work to be exciting but undisciplined and as they mature, they find some discipline, improve their craft. But I think the lack of discipline can be half the fun! The loss of youthful energy's an obvious factor too. Then again, a band like dEUS were cool but all over the place to begin with but by the time The Ideal Crash came along they'd totally gotten the house in order and it's incredible!
    benniUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 09:26 AM
    Yea I think its down to the individual band I guess - as with anything else. If a band come along doing something innovative its great but if they decide to stick with that path and that path alone people will no longer see it as being innovative after a period of time but see it as more 'standard'. Catch 22 situation I guess - you'd want to keep your music consistent and do what you like but at the same time be progressive without losing what makes your sound what it is....
    Norman SchwarzkopfUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 09:31 AM
    For me, it's a bit of a worry regarding Pixies. It's been, what, 11 years since the last one? Frank Black is no longer Black Francis, is he? Judging by his solo output, I'd wonder if it'll influence the new stuff once they get around to writing it. I don't want Nashville Pixies!
    ishrinkUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 09:44 AM
    It's a natural thing, I guess. The Beatles and Radiohead would be the most obvious exceptions to me.
    PilchardUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 09:50 AM
    apparently the new supergrass album is very "mature" its interesting. some acts get better as they go on (especially in jazz) but pop/rock/indie acts tend to lose the spark. everyone going to see the pixies live wants to hear the old stuff not new material. same with the likes of the House of Love, Wedding Present etc - all those indie acts from the 90s. then again, u have someone like Ry Cooder producing knockout gems after all these years. "musical maturity" for indie acts tends to be shorthand for "we've done something we dont think out fans will like". its like ex-boy band stars trying to do a Robbie Williams and appeal to an older crowd. I think when u advertise the fact that ur new album is "mature" that you're pre-empting negative reactions from your hardcore audience and seeking to subtly show that theyre a bunch of reactionary f**kwits who dont appreciate your majestic, innovative new sound.
    benniUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 10:01 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pilchard
    I think when u advertise the fact that ur new album is "mature" that you're pre-empting negative reactions from your hardcore audience and seeking to subtly show that theyre a bunch of reactionary f**kwits who dont appreciate your majestic, innovative new sound.
    Too True.
    Norman SchwarzkopfUser is Offline
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    Norman Schwarzkopf

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    27 Jul 2005 10:06 AM
    Well, with pixies, there IS only old stuff. For now. They'd be pretty feckin brave to announce "this is a new song, hope you like it" right after playing Gouge Away or some classic. It can only pale in comparison. I think advertising maturity is just silly. SFA haven't "advertised" it, it's just obvious when you listen to them. SFA's maturity means less scattershot songs, less likely to turn into a six minute techno workout, less silliness, songs that are a bit more conventional and laidback. If a rock band advertised it, I'd expect their album to be less fun and generally less rockin.
    Vent My SpleenUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 11:31 AM
    I suppose we are all guilty of buying albums and wanting them to match expectations set in a different time and place. Fan as I am of the Pixies, their music has been copied to death and is less relevant or refreshing today. Listening to their stuff now is exhilerating to me as it is locked in with memories of the early ninties. If they released Bosanova now, it really wouldn't interest me that much. Of course, that is not to say that more mature output is not still very good, case in point the Last Wedding Present album which I think matches anything Gedge did years ago. I would have high hopes for the any new Pixies tracks, provided they were not going to just rehash their back catalog.
    GarUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 11:59 AM
    To answer Norman Schwarzkopf's question - it would be no, musical maturity doesn't equal boredom. When a band/act launches itself first there is an element of excitement and spontanity to their sound and songwriting because, more often than not, they are trying to be different or original. And sometimes that zip is lost when they mature and get embroiled in the commericalisation of the music industry (hundreds of interviews asking the same questions, horrible reviews, constant touring, controlling producers, label pressure etc). But sometimes their musicianship, songwriting and element of surprise prospers due to their maturing control of their music. A prime example of this was the last Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds double album. Through the years Nick Cave has produced some great albums but 2004's 'Abbatoir Blues/Lyre Of Orpheus' was sublime......you can hear how well The Bad Seeds combine together, Cave's vocals have gotten better and his lyrics have never been better (in my opinion). And all this is down to how well Cave and his band have matured. There's also the fact that we don't really want bands to sound the same throughout their career, do we? Think of Oasis - even when they have tried to experiment, it's never far from the formula which made them big with the first two albums. I have to say that I like certain songs they have produced through the years (some from 'Be Here Now', some from 'Masterplan') but they never really matured from the early Madchester indie-rock that made them exciting. They changed band members and are now changing record companies, but there's a feeling that their sound is just forever stagnant. But if they matured in their songwriting, decision making and musicianship then they might once again be exciting and worth paying €60 to see.
    benniUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 12:10 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Gar
    There's also the fact that we don't really want bands to sound the same throughout their career, do we? Think of Oasis - even when they have tried to experiment, it's never far from the formula which made them big with the first two albums. I have to say that I like certain songs they have produced through the years (some from 'Be Here Now', some from 'Masterplan') but they never really matured from the early Madchester indie-rock that made them exciting. They changed band members and are now changing record companies, but there's a feeling that their sound is just forever stagnant. But if they matured in their songwriting, decision making and musicianship then they might once again be exciting and worth paying €60 to see.
    I personally lost all interest in Oasis after 'Whats the Story, Morning Glory'. Maybe it was my own musical taste maturing or their lack there of. However regarding your comment there, I do remember seeing an interview with Noel Gallagher a good few years ago where he was asked that very question 'Why dont you experiment/diversify etc' and his response was along the lines of 'If we changed our sound the music press etc would jump on us and tells us we're changing and veering off a right path, stick to what we're good at etc and if we dont diversify we're told we're playing it too safe and being boring and rehashing.' Whether or not that was heartfelt and or a clever cover up for (what I think) are a bunch of lazy, half attempts at records since who knows... but there is a point there.
    strollerUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 12:30 PM
    Here's a few albums that prove that band's don't neccessary get less interesting as they get older; Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (5th Album) PJ Harvey: Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (5th Album) Eels: Blinking Lights & Other Relevations (6th Album) Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress (6th Album) Modest Mouse: Good News for People Who Love Bad News (6th Album) Elliott Smith: From a Basement on the Hill (6th Album) Common: Be (6th Album) Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (9th Album) The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (10th Album)
    PilchardUser is Offline
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    Pilchard

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    27 Jul 2005 12:50 PM
    in a lot of cases, acts only GET interesting to begin with when they have a few albums under their belts. a lot of it has to do with high expectations. take a band (and i would not be a fan) like the thrills - big, big, big response to their 1st album; total opposite for their 2nd. now i can't make out much difference between the 2 (only that the singer's accent has got more annoying) but all the hype and fuss and palaver over their 1st album just blew away. what were people expecting? an average dublin band = an average 2nd album, they will not get to the 9th and 10th album stage like the flaming lips and yo la tengo another good example would be coldplay. i listened to their new album at the weekend and its really really dull, nothing new or exciting on it. now albums 1 and 2 were grand but the new one shows there has been NO progression whatsoever. they havent matured or mellowed, just got worse. yet its the acts who stick around, get on with it and release albums which are better and better every time out who really impress. stroller mentioned Common's "Be" - i got it the other week after reading a piece on him and i LOVED it. the only Common album i had prior to this was "Resurrection" and now there's someone who has really progressed. makes me want to get the ones inbetween and hear what i missed. a good thread this one......
    PilchardUser is Offline
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    Pilchard

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    27 Jul 2005 12:51 PM
    by the way, those gooooogle ads are freaking me out, especially the ones pushing positive thinking for women.
    benniUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 12:55 PM
    I think theres a trip to the record store in order. My poor Bank Account..... and thats meant quite literally.
    GarUser is Offline
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    27 Jul 2005 01:13 PM
    I'm in the same boat Benni......whenever I have cash it's usually spent on music (if not cd's then books, magazines, gigs etc). It's a never ending cycle. But payday this Friday so can't wait to get alot of stuff.
    strollerUser is Offline
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    stroller

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    27 Jul 2005 01:14 PM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Pilchard
    stroller mentioned Common's "Be" - i got it the other week after reading a piece on him and i LOVED it. the only Common album i had prior to this was "Resurrection" and now there's someone who has really progressed. makes me want to get the ones inbetween and hear what i missed.
    If you want to try before you buy you can listen to his other albums here; http://www.undergroundhiphop.com/store/searchresults.asp?searchby=Artist&keywords=common The 6th Sense off the Like Water for Chocolate LP is a good place to start.
    Norman SchwarzkopfUser is Offline
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    Norman Schwarzkopf

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    27 Jul 2005 02:15 PM
    I think there's a lot of truth in the Noel Gallagher comment earlier. If a band radically changes direction, certain people moan about it and others moan if they dont change. Look at the bashing Radiohead got in some quarters over Kid A, not to mention losing a section of their fan base. While many others embrace it. When i say "maturity" i dont mean age. I know lots of immature people in their late 20s and 30s. Look at how many thirtysomethings are still in punk bands singing like theyre still in high school and their parents dont understand them. Maybe the word I meant was "sophistication", not maturity. A band can become more sophisticated and more proficient musically but less interesting with it.
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    Daragh Murray

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    27 Jul 2005 02:46 PM
    I'm not sure what you mean by musical maturity, but i do think that age usually leads to boring music. ITs very hard for a band to stay relevant and fresh as they grow older, they may hone their craft, but more often than not they produce albums which are 'nice' or 'quite good' but very rarely revolutionary, or as good as their original work. In fact i can't think of any band off the top of my head (apart from a few blues players) who have produced albums in (relative) old age, that were anywhere near as good as their younger stuff.
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