Twenty-first century pop is nothing compared to the hard rock bands of the ’80s and ’90s. Today’s music will never compete with old school hard rock. Here’s why.
It’s not about appearance. If you look at Steven Tyler today, you might throw up. But listen to his music from Aerosmith and you will change your mind. Today, “singer” and “model” are essentially synonymous.
It’s not only about the singing. Modern pop songs are based on the vocals and rely on the singer heavily if not exclusively. Rock is defined by the guitars and keyboards and topped with vocals, not the other way around.
It’s played on instruments, not computers. Today, if a song has any instruments in it at all, it’s usually synthetically generated. A few decades ago, music had to be played and recorded by real people with real instruments and recording hardware. It may have costed quality, but it gave authenticity.
The lyrics have meaning. Take Greenday’s American Idiot, Linkin Park’s In the End, or Skillet’s Rise. All of them have meanings beyond the generic “believe in yourself” songs of today.
It requires talent, something that is getting rare. It’s easy to set up auto-tune or create beats in seconds on a computer. A publisher with the right friends is half the job done to become a millionaire. Playing a guitar as well as Slash or Eddie Van Halen is not something you can do in a few minutes.
There are real concerts. 21st century live concerts consist of fancy outfits and hot dog stands. In the 80s, it was about the music and the bands. Thousands of people came to see their favorite bands in action — not for the food.
It’s good music. People like pop because everyone else does, and because it’s all that’s played on the radio. The people who like rock like it because it’s good, especially now that it’s so hard to find.
It won’t go down without a fight. Even after mainstream bands like Guns ‘n’ Roses and Nirvana are long gone, new ones like Breaking Benjamin and Linkin Park are keeping rock alive. It might be too much to hope for a revival, but at least it’s not going out completely anytime soon.