Hooks again

Reader BN wonders if the decline in the quality of sg music in the last decade shouldn’t be attributed to the demise in good songwriting.

Our SG songwriters need to learn from Toby Keith…..yeah, I know, you can’t believe I like country music, but being from the backwoods of East Texas, it is in my blood.

His latest project has 2 cuts that are hilariously delicious with hooks that you just can’t resist. You know, a song with a great story, a title that makes you go, ‘HUH?’ and a catchy tune with a story that sticks with you for a long time.

Where are those songs today in SG? There are some notable exceptions, but for the most part, everything in SG today seems to just be an old rehash of tired phrases and rhetoric.

I miss the days of ‘Step Into the Water’ and others that gave you the same meat, just prepared differently enough to hook you on it.

I’m usually wary of “good ole days” hypotheses like this, but I think there’s something to this diagnosis worth taking seriously without Chicken Littling the state of sg today. Thta said, I think I’d place the emphasis a bit differently than BN. The biggest change is sg in the last 15 years is that technological advances — namely the rise of the internet and the increasing affordability of recording albums — have disintermediated the industry. Talent that in an earlier generation would never have been taken seriously by the serious labels and promoters who acted as quality-control for the industry can now put out an album and put up a slick looking website and have a few glamour shots taken and hit the road - and make a go of it even if four outta five measure are flat and the songwriting flaccidly unoriginal. So I don’t think it’s that sg songs have gotten worse. It’s just that the sg songbook is being soiled and diluted by so much derivative “write by numbers” crap that any semi-literate person with a rhyming dictionary could piece together during the Sunday sermon. This kind of songwriting does not conduce to the sharpest hooks.

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