New Bullshit: Some Nights

I feel very passionate about this subject. I have noticed an alarming trend on the rock charts in recent years, a trend so egregiously horrifying that it leads me to question the very sanctity of rock ‘n roll. Apparently it wasn’t enough that Muse, Adam Lambert, and 30 Seconds to Mars imitated the greatest band that no one likes. No, we now have a band out of Las Vegas with as much faux ornamentation as the city they call home.

Fun, what is this bullshit? You guys are obviously talented vocalists, so tell me, why the fuck do you feel compelled to join the long list of Queen copycats?

No, it is not good in the music industry to be compared directly to the giants of rock. It’s an obvious cop-out demonstrating your talent coupled with a startling lack of originality. Imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery, but in the music industry imitators are relegated to the hollow depths of weddings, cover bands, YouTube, and Las Vegas. That Fun even scratches the Billboard Hot 100 should be enough for the gods of rock to hide their craggy faces in shame.

Hypothetically, if Queen never existed and Freddy Mercury never recorded his immortal voice, “Some Nights” would be a halfway decent song (albeit with the Simon and Garfunkel and Genesis influences). There is a lot to say for the argument that good music for the listener is good music, regardless of context, social pressures, history, and dimwittedness. But here’s the problem: every time I hear “Some Nights,” I’m stuck counting the number of ways Freddy Mercury could have kicked these dudes asses at singing their own song.

Freddy Mercury is a great vocalist to aspire to (I would argue the second best in rock history behind Robert Plant), but songwriting is way more than a revelation of your influences. When writing a song, one should put so much personality and heart into the music that he/she is the person who could perform it the best. As good a vocalist as Freddy Mercury is, I can’t see him humming along to a Bob Dylan tune any better than Dylan himself, and that’s how it should be for any songwriter. This is the reason why an overwhelming percentage of covers are not as good as the originals. Music fans take originality seriously because there is a significant difference between “the band that started…” and “that band that sounds like…” The former is remembered and revered, and the latter is bullshit.

This is the latter. It is bullshit. Don’t buy it.

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