Friday, December 2, 2011

Where has all the R&B gone?

Ok, at the risk of sounding older than my years, what in the hell is up with music these days?

In our day you couldn't turn around without being sexily serenaded by a group of  young men or women dressed in coordinated urban evening wear. Biscuit put up some excellent examples the other day.

Nowadays literally EVERY song on the radio (regardless of claimed genre) is actually a techno song (or electronic dance music as the interwebs clarified for me). R&B was about making slow sweet love. Techno is about robots and humping at jack rabbit speeds. Sure our parents disapproved of the sexy lovemaking themes in our music. But I bet they would have caged us until we were 30 if all the love were removed from the music, the sex was taken up a notch, and the speed cranked up a couple hundred BPM's.

I blame white people. When R&B slow jams hit it big, white tweens everywhere were faced with the daunting task of developing rhythm and learning new dances that involve the groin muscles, like the butterfly. They've been battling that ever since. Enter "Electronic Dance Music," and all of the sudden bouncing and dry humping counts as dancing, and white people can go to clubs again. That's how it started. And now it's rampant. It's ruining the lives of all the people with soul.

What? You disagree? Suck it.

Exhibit A:  Even Usher has been corrupted.

Usher circa 1997: You Make Me Wanna

Note the dancers brought in to make Usher into a group. Note the use of a keyboard set to "Spanish Guitar". Note the unbuttoned shirt, gold chain, and wave cap. Mostly, note that this is smooth, grindable, R&B.

Usher circa 2010: OMG

Note the overuse of auto-tune. Note Will.I.Am's existence. Note Usher's robot suit. Note the creepy techno beat. Mostly, note that the Jersey Shore cast accepts this song as "good".

When I was 13, Biscuit and I saw Usher open for Janet Jackson. We sat in the front row and we had to avert our eyes as he made sweet love to a mic stand on stage. Not because it was vulgar, but because you couldn't help but feel like you were intruding on a deeply personal moment between him and Mic. That's the passion he put into it. He didn't robot. Eff it, he made lllllooooovvvveee to it. No longer. 

Do you see the consequences of this people?!? 112 is NOT MAKING ANY MORE ALBUMS!! So,  what? Cupid is just supposed to last me forever? Where have all the Boys II Mens gone, Where is R.Kelly when you need him most?

There is an entire generation of middle-schoolers who will never now that "freaking" is all about making sweet sweet love and the beauty of women. A whole generation who won't understand the romance that overtly sexual dancing should require (Don't even get me started on how they all watch porn)! We have a choice: continue with this glow-stick ridiculousness or get back to the soundtracks of silky sheets.

Maybe we should just listen to Country Music until this passes. You can't dance to that either.


1 comment:


    I short circuited when he started flying in the video.

    Bring back the keyboard set to Spanish guitar. You remember that from our keyboard, don't you?