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jester1470

Inoffensive music

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Following on from the Coldplay thread it got me thinking, many of the artists I like could be described as inoffensive and middle of the road such as Dido, Barenaked Ladies, Queen, Asia, ELO, Ultravox, Duran Duran, Def Leppard and the Beautiful South - all described as inoffensive and all sold shitloads of albums. This in turn got me thinking, should music always have an edge, or originality or not...

My conclusion was that I listen to many different things deoending on how I feel and that music doesnt have to be anything more than entertainment and people are entertained by many different things. So to me (no surprise), middle of the road music doesnt have to be bad, sometimes it does its job which is give me something pleasant to listen to,

Anyone else have any thoughts ?

Cheers

Stuart

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

i think it is a significant sign of having a dull taste in music. for me music that plays in the background and gets you tapping your foot gently isn't worth the plastic it's pressed on. it's the equivelant to birds tweeting or rain hitting your window. background noise that you barely notice. I like my music to be exciting, powerul, to really grab me and make me feel emotions, and I would say that the average listener cannot appreciate what I am describing while listening to the radio. this is why I find most of the music i enjoy by checking out bands online and activily seeking out music that will inspire me.

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Guest tv tanned

I think there's definitely a place for it.

I have a number of CDs in my collection which could be described as 'inoffensive' and are fantastic for putting on in order to have in the background as I relax of an evening with a cup of tea and a novel.

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Guest DustyDeviada

Well I guess Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler or Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel would be classed as "inoffensive" by many (snobby UK journalists mostly), and they are some of my favourite artists, so inoffensive me up.

Funny thing is, as long as they are perceived by the music press as being "cool" they are no longer inoffensive, even if the music they are playing is no more or less "offensive" than many of the artists listed in Jesters post. See Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, U2, etc.

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i think it is a significant sign of having a dull taste in music. for me music that plays in the background and gets you tapping your foot gently isn't worth the plastic it's pressed on. it's the equivelant to birds tweeting or rain hitting your window. background noise that you barely notice. I like my music to be exciting' date=' powerul, to really grab me and make me feel emotions, and I would say that the average listener cannot appreciate what I am describing while listening to the radio. this is why I find most of the music i enjoy by checking out bands online and activily seeking out music that will inspire me.[/quote']

But surely stuff like birds tweeting can be beautiful in its own right, are you never in the mood for that? And if music gets your feet tapping gently or otherwise it ust be making an impression somewhere. I dont think its anything to do with having a dull taste in music, I think its a moods issue, I listen to stuff that makes me feel emotions when I want to, sometimes its nice to just chill out and take it easy, switch off and not feel much, just listen to pleasant sounds... then again maybe thats just me.

Cheers

Stuart

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Guest tv tanned
Well I guess Dire Straits/Mark Knopfler or Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel would be classed as "inoffensive" by many (snobby UK journalists mostly)' date=' and they are some of my favourite artists, so inoffensive me up.

Funny thing is, as long as they are perceived by the music press as being "cool" they are no longer inoffensive, even if the music they are playing is no more or less "offensive" than many of the artists listed in Jesters post. See Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, U2, etc.[/quote']

Nail. Head.

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I wouldn't include Queen in the inoffensive list...not the first few years of their career anyway :)

Inoffensive music suits inoffensive people...the man who goes to work and does little bar discuss his golf outing, drives home in his merc to his big home, his wife is in the home gym working hard to maintain that size 6 dress size he likes, and his kids are in a residential school, as he sits in his 10,000 reclining chair with his slippers and a glass of red wine, I'm sure he would probably rather listen to Coldplay on his Bang & Olufsen than The Locust :D

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Offensive Music

I agree that inoffensive music serves a purpose and i also understand that in a lot of cases it sells well. This is because there are a substantial majority of average Joes out there who don't seek danger, don't like the edge and don't want to cause a fuss by standing up and being counted. They enjoy waking up each day and doing the same things as they did the day before. This is because regular routines develop a sense of safety that chaos does not. So to hear a song that sounds like everything you have ever heard before but to have it sold to you as something new gives a certain confidence that you will never be disappointed.

I enjoy many safe bands that don't use any kind of shock lyrics or bizarre and unusual musical concepts. I also (sometimes) enjoy writing music that follows a basic pop formula i.e. verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, coda (often just a chorus again); pretty much ternary structure (if memory serves). This is mainly because it receives the best response from an audience.

The things I find musically stop my heart though, are the pieces of music that do shock you into thinking "How the hell did they think of that?". Things like Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the moon" which as a concept album always makes me realise that the sheer song writing stamina required to complete a mammoth task like that is be beyond me. I struggle to sit down to write a single song in an evening without having to turn on the T.V. and give my head a rest and this is exactly why I find middle music so satisfying. It is because of its simplicity and the fact it isn't a challenge that it appeals to me.

I don't think you can knock it when it is done to the highest standards.

Sorry about the essay by the way but this is much better than doing my job.

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Guest Zeenat Aman

Thing is, a whole lot of bands who appear to think of themselves as being cutting edge, offensive etc are anything but that. Screaming voices and thrashing guitars with lots of distortion aint new, original or any more edgy than the latest coldplay release.

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I agree that inoffensive music serves a purpose and i also understand that in a lot of cases it sells well. This is because there are a substantial majority of average Joes out there who don't seek danger' date=' don't like the edge and don't want to cause a fuss by standing up and being counted. They enjoy waking up each day and doing the same things as they did the day before. This is because regular routines develop a sense of safety that chaos does not. So to hear a song that sounds like everything you have ever heard before but to have it sold to you as something new gives a certain confidence that you will never be disappointed.

I enjoy many safe bands that don't use any kind of shock lyrics or bizarre and unusual musical concepts. I also (sometimes) enjoy writing music that follows a basic pop formula i.e. verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle 8, coda (often just a chorus again); pretty much ternary structure (if memory serves). This is mainly because it receives the best response from an audience.

The things I find musically stop my heart though, are the pieces of music that do shock you into thinking "How the hell did they think of that?". Things like Pink Floyd's "Dark side of the moon" which as a concept album always makes me realise that the sheer song writing stamina required to complete a mammoth task like that is be beyond me. I struggle to sit down to write a single song in an evening without having to turn on the T.V. and give my head a rest and this is exactly why I find middle music so satisfying. It is because of its simplicity and the fact it isn't a challenge that it appeals to me.

I don't think you can knock it when it is done to the highest standards.

Sorry about the essay by the way but this is much better than doing my job.[/quote']

I know what you're saying but maybe its not just that people dont like danger, maybe they just like the music, I'm not a huge fan of Coldplay but i'd rather listen to them than any cutting edge metal band, not because I prefer 'safe' etc but because I enjoy more mellow music. What I'm getting at is people have a go because people like this style of music and saying things like they like it safe etc. what is safe about it except it appeals to the masses, as Dusty said surely all we're doing is falling into the media definitions. Peoples tastes being towards the more commercial element doesnt make something 'safe', it means that something within the music appeals to them, which in turn might suggest that on a commercial front its actually better than the 'cutting edge' thing. Basically i think I'm trying to suss out why so many people on here see the inoffensive stuff as so bad and why they look down on the musical tastes etc of those who do, is it jsut musical snobbery ?

Cheers

Stuart

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Thing is' date=' a whole lot of bands who appear to think of themselves as being cutting edge, offensive etc are anything but that. Screaming voices and thrashing guitars with lots of distortion aint new, original or any more edgy than the latest coldplay release.[/quote']

Could not agree more, anyone who thinks being more hardcore is a brand new idea is seriously mistaken, Elvis' performances were considered an outrage in the 50's and how tame are they now?

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Thing is' date=' a whole lot of bands who appear to think of themselves as being cutting edge, offensive etc are anything but that. Screaming voices and thrashing guitars with lots of distortion aint new, original or any more edgy than the latest coldplay release.[/quote']

Thats not whats being said...

And yes I'll agree with you that the latest batch of metal chugging guitars and screaming vocal bands are inoffensive, in that the lyrics reflect the same garbage in the Top 20, just presented differently...look at the sorry state of "emo" lyrics these days...

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Guest Zeenat Aman
I know what you're saying but maybe its not just that people dont like danger' date=' maybe they just like the music, I'm not a huge fan of Coldplay but i'd rather listen to them than any cutting edge metal band, not because I prefer 'safe' etc but because I enjoy more mellow music. [/quote']

I know you know this, but mellow does not always equal safe and inoffensive etc.

Cutting edge or what ever can be a very subtle thing.

Another point, if your going to judge music, one should take in to consideration the context in which the music was written, recorded and originally released, if at all.

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I think artistic, contemporary and experimental music will always be regarded as the elite by those who make it and it may be because of certain separatism that the people at the forefront of the scene display that leads to it not being as popular as it could, maybe should be?

The Beta Band were one of my favourite bands for a long time but they were so reclusive that it seemed like they didn't want you to like them, they didnt want you to hear.

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Guest Zeenat Aman
I think artistic' date=' contemporary and experimental music will always be regarded as the elite by those who make it and it may be because of certain separatism that the people at the forefront of the scene display that leads to it not being as popular as it could, maybe should be?

The Beta Band were one of my favourite bands for a long time but they were so reclusive that it seemed like they didn't want you to like them, they didnt want you to hear.[/quote']

A good band to use as an example, to my ears nothing in what they did was offensive, yet they were popular with the elitist post rock type musos.

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Guest Zeenat Aman
Thats what happens when a band wants to be "cutting edge"....cutting edge started and ended with Revolver and Sgt. Peppers....and I'm cool with that :D

:laughing::rockon:

They certainly covered a whole lot of ground with just those two albums!

The Beatles: THE most cutting edge band EVER!

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Guest Zeenat Aman
Agreed' date=' and probably the most popular too because they managed to fuse the previously unheard with the familiar and trusted.[/quote']

The ultimate melting pot of influence, innovation and genius.

I'd be interested to see someone try to disprove this though.

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I for one would rather listen to the birds etc than most of the "inoffensive"bands/artists that have been mentioned so far... Christ I would rather listen to a dentists drill to be honest... Safe music for the safe, I purchase items to wear at asda and have my 6 cd's by my toaster fo handiness at the fondue dinner nights, brigade!

I listen to a great deal of mellow music and will often have some Dub or ambient electronica playing whilst I work, walk travel. It is never 'just' on in the background. I will put it on to listen to it and more often than not it helps me get into a space condusive to the work I am doing at that moment. Gimme birds chirping any day, nothing better...

I for one read 'inoffensive' as dull for the unchallenged! But if rocks yer yacht

:popcorn:

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:laughing::rockon:

They certainly covered a whole lot of ground with just those two albums!

The Beatles: THE most cutting edge band EVER!

I was big on the Beatles when I was young (8-12) but listening back to them I listen to it from a completely different angle, I even think Ringo is a good drummer now....I prefer Revolver to Sgt Peppers....particularly Tomorrow Never Knows...theres a lot of fucked up shit on that which must have scared some people...I'm sure they were spiking George Martin's tea :D

The funny thing is, I would throw some of their earlier stuff into the inoffensive pile :D

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Guest Zeenat Aman

The funny thing is' date=' I would throw some of their earlier stuff into the inoffensive pile :D[/quote']

Definitely.

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think tho, about music that sounds offensive to the first listen in the background and could be mistaken for something else, but which has a powerful lyrical content. there are a number of artists who do not use music as their main means of projecting their message, but use familiar and comfortable sounding backing as a base, on top of which they build powerful messages through their lyrics.

of do these artists not count to those of you who count inoffensive as dull. does someone have to be screaming into a mic and shitting on stage to get your attention? perhaps it is a mark of the people who listen to these dull seeming bands that they are able to enjoy the simpler things in life.

/x

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