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Old 03-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think it's better to give lesser known things more of a chance than they usually get against some of the more famous things, they deserve it often. If everyone just accepted the general consensus polls of best albums it would be quite boring, it's like each one of these polls just reinforces opinions and it's hard to break out of it. And these polls often dilute the individual lists of critics anyway and it's just the famous things that end up in the main list as they can all compromise that they are ok.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm talking more about elevating something to classic status even if you don't like it than just general respect for someone. Those who do genuinely like it I have no problem with as I said. And I never talked about denigrating a whole genre, that isn't part of what I am saying at all, or what most people at Amazon say. I would say those who are most concerned about whether they like albums that are considered good are more likely to stay with the famous things than ever dare mention anything which is far less well known.
All I'm saying is that if one dislikes an album, then saying that other people only like it because it's acclaimed or because it's (somehow) "cool" to like it, is almost always stupid, useless and plain wrong. I'm not accusing you of anything, it was a few of the Amazon comments that struck me as the typical nonsense that's spouted by people who try to justify their dislike of something by blaming "scenesters" or the fact it's "cool" for its acclaim and popularity. When, in fact, there are thousands if not millions of people who genuinely LOVE albums such as Loveless, and are inspired by it.

Insofar as people should form their own opinions about albums, of course I agree. Critics and music journalism are good ways to find music you MIGHT enjoy, but ultimately the listener either enjoys something on some level, or they don't. If people focused solely on the actual content of the music itself, rather than being blinded by abstractions relating to how the music's perceived, then that would be much better. Even in what I dislike, I can usually see some iota of merit and can understand why others enjoy it, or why it's highly regarded. And so I don't appeal to these tired notions of how "scene" or "cool" or popular it is, in order to explain my own dislike/indifference/whatever.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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If people focused solely on the actual content of the music itself, rather than being blinded by abstractions relating to how the music's perceived, then that would be much better.
People often go beyond the basic content of the music though talking about influence and originality as if these are as important (I don't think they are) and can be objectively and clearly assessed.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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People often go beyond the basic content of the music though talking about influence and originality as if these are as important (I don't think they are) and can be objectively and clearly assessed.
Whether or not they're important, I find it quite interesting to talk about the influences of a band and the "originality" of a band (which often ties in to the way they sound in general, which is worthy of discussion of course). So I do think these things are worthy of discussion, but yes - the thing of prime importance is the music itself and whether or not you enjoy it on any level.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Whether or not they're important, I find it quite interesting to talk about the influences of a band and the "originality" of a band (which often ties in to the way they sound in general, which is worthy of discussion of course). So I do think these things are worthy of discussion, but yes - the thing of prime importance is the music itself and whether or not you enjoy it on any level.
They can be used to discuss their sound but people do it to say a band is important as they are original or they are important as they were influential. I think a band is important as the music is good to me. Influence is partly through chance and fashion and isn't always good either, and originality is nearly always way overstated and ignores other people so as to focus on the favoured artist.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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They can be used to discuss their sound but people do it to say a band is important as they are original or they are important as they were influential. I think a band is important as the music is good to me. Influence is partly through chance and fashion and isn't always good either, and originality is nearly always way overstated and ignores other people so as to focus on the favoured artist.
It depends what you mean when you say "important". An influential band IS important, in the grand scheme of things. Important to you personally? Well that's another matter.
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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And someone who says somebody is highly original or influential.......is that through their own study of all the music before and after? Nearly all the time I think we can say that is not the case, it's through them repeating what somebody else has told them. That's how the bandwagon can start rolling.

And anyway an uninfluential band might be important too. Just because they might have been little known like most bands doesn't mean they might not have been good, they might just not have been fashionable enough at the time.

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Old 03-13-2011, 05:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Loveless is my fave album of all time.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:56 AM   #19 (permalink)
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And someone who says somebody is highly original or influential.......is that through their own study of all the music before and after? Nearly all the time I think we can say that is not the case, it's through them repeating what somebody else has told them. That's how the bandwagon can start rolling.
I think that words such as influential and original can be overused, perhaps. If many quarters deem an album 'original' then it probably is, though... otherwise, something would come to light to prove otherwise (and by something, I don't mean a few dissenting voices on an Amazon review site).

Loveless is a polarizing album - which is to be expected given the nature of the music. It's not for everyone. I would find it very hard to argue against its originality or its influence, however. The influence is very obvious when you listen to any shoegaze band in the 90s - MBV were the kings of that scene. That assertion comes not only from the hearing other shoegaze albums, but also from reading many interviews over the years with shoegaze bands who talk about how MBV inspired them. I've read about doom metal bands, noise artists, 90s indie bands and many more, who claim to have been inspired by this album.

Influence is overstated, as I've said - I dislike the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls, but they were no doubt very influential. I merely find it interesting to see where many bands got their inspiration from, and how they used the music they'd heard before and created something very new and unique out of that. I find that fascinating, especially with some of the more unique artists.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I think that words such as influential and original can be overused, perhaps.
I think it's more than perhaps, it happens all the time in all genres. And people look at these opinions as being objective when really it is a matter of opinion often. It's very hard to say who exactly did something first, how exactly do you define that something for instance. And influence is complex, more than one person is involved in an influence on someone's music. And I just care whether I like the music or not anyway. Where you place something in a history of music is an opinion, history is not objective it is selective in how it deals with things.

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If many quarters deem an album 'original' then it probably is, though... otherwise, something would come to light to prove otherwise (and by something, I don't mean a few dissenting voices on an Amazon review site).
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Loveless is a polarizing album - which is to be expected given the nature of the music. It's not for everyone.
Well it obviously isn't mainstream music. But some of those who don't like it have obviously listened to other shoegaze or even music which could be classified as using noise / ambient aspects. I've heard these styles of music.

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I would find it very hard to argue against its originality or its influence, however. The influence is very obvious when you listen to any shoegaze band in the 90s
Other people weren't an influence on shoegaze?? Ride, Slowdive, Galaxie 500, Cocteau Twins, no doubt others. Ambient music goes back quite a bit, noise music has been around for quite a while (before Throbbing Gristle even I expect). Some of these things may have even started outside of popular music in classical or experimental fields. Just because people are less aware of these doesn't mean they might not be good or important. Surely MBV had their own influences? Everybody has their own influences really, nobody starts something from nothing.

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I
MBV were the kings of that scene.
That is a VERY subjective comment and way of putting it. Better to say they have gathered alot of respect over the years. But that doesn't mean there can't be room for other opinions.

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That assertion comes not only from the hearing other shoegaze albums, but also from reading many interviews over the years with shoegaze bands who talk about how MBV inspired them. I've read about doom metal bands, noise artists, 90s indie bands and many more, who claim to have been inspired by this album.
Maybe they have been or maybe it is just cool to mention MBV. Everybody knows fashion is at the heart of popular music, it guides people's opinions and styles, that's why the style of popular music has changed so much other the last 50 years. Frankly I'd like to make my own judgement that let someone else do it for me. And aren't people often part of a scene anyway, people who influence each other and grow together with a style?

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Influence is overstated, as I've said - I dislike the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls, but they were no doubt very influential. I merely find it interesting to see where many bands got their inspiration from, and how they used the music they'd heard before and created something very new and unique out of that. I find that fascinating, especially with some of the more unique artists.
What matters more though to me is what someone does with that influence. JC Bach greatly influenced Mozart, does that mean he is greater than Mozart? NO. The emphasis in popular music among critics is often a purist approach of what they say started everything (as if that is easy to define) instead of just looking at things on their own merit.
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