Artists often don’t know how to tell you what a song is about, or their full album, their film, et al. Isn’t that why they are artists? They express what the rest of us are feeling, but have NO idea how. Why do we expect them to? Their art is their expression.
I just read in Rolling Stone (1087, 9/17/09) where Maroon 5 keyboardist Jesse Carmichael is trying to explain the meaning behind a new song the band is still recording, and he says it is “a power ballad that feels really sincere.”
What? Are most power ballads insincere? Did Jesse make this up on the spot? I wouldn’t blame him if he did, and I submit that Jesse himself read his own quote in Rolling Stone, and like me, thought, “what?”
Artists should not have to explain to us what their art means. Of course, there are times when they want to, because they actually know. But if they can’t put conversational words to it, they shouldn’t have to force it.
But our media friends need the fodder to fill their pages (I’m using it). Marketing types need to be able to explain to their gatekeeper why this is different from the 47 other projects they have coming out.
Let the work speak for itself.
We don’t have to label and categorize everything. I realize our finite minds need the sorting help, but some things are beyond any singular silo.
Have you ever really thought about HOW MANY types of music we call Rock and Roll? Are they really all Rock and Roll? No way.
But, I would personally rather just call it all Rock and Roll as opposed to an infinite number of meaningless and stupid genre headers that do nothing but limit something that was never meant to be limited.
Check out The Avett Brothers. Try and label them. It will require more “genres” of music that you can count with one hand.
And that’s the way it should be.