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Go to Church by Ice Cube

Yeah, I didn't take it too seriously, although I didn't like how he was saying that all of the pussies go to church. It was another gangsta hit that was better than others at the time.

Haha, that reminds me of when I was in high school. I used to be able to appreciate that kind of sound until I grew up (heh, I'm still young, only 19). I moved away from that style because I'm trying to develop my own. Lil' Jon's style (along with others like Jermaine Dupri and DJ Khaled) has been overused + annoys me now, since a lot of people try to imitate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI9Rdn2-ETA

^I don't really know how to feel about Aguilera's post-conceptional (wrong term?) comeback. I'll have to play the song again to know if I like it or not. Edit: I don't know why I kinda' like it (not a whole lot, though). She's sexy. That's all that matters to me, lol!

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I'd say my biggest objection to contemporary pop (especially hip-hop) is that it usually has about two seconds of actual music written for the whole song. Where a (forgive my elitism) realcomposer might come up with a short riff and think "this is a good start, I could develop this into a full song," a typical pop producer would say "I'm done. Loop it for five minutes and we'll call it a song."

That's not necessarily a bad thing. There are producers, like DJ Premier, that often make simple beats, but they can be incredibly effective and elegant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7nu9UeodZ0

That's one of my favorite songs. "Nas is Like" produced by DJ Premier.

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I'm with everyone that general modern pop isn't what it should be. But modern hip hop has some pretty good examples of great actual music and lyricism. If I may:

Touch My Soul, by Collective Efforts

Dark Skinned White Girls, by Murs (honestly, most anything by Murs)

Daydreamin' by Lupe Fiasco

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQYcoPfE7Xk

Demolition Double by Turbo T Double

Coincidentally, this is the same dude who does the street fighter raps. Note the sweet shadaloo hat. Makes tons and tons of references.

Stylistic differences aside, I think it's fair to say these are all competent, skilled artists who put more than the crap you hear on the radio into their songs.

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The song from Nas was cool, but the loops did get on my nerves a bit. Oh yeah, I forgot about "Daydreaming" from Lupe, one of the best examples of good modern hiphop music I've heard thus far.

Pharrell Williams:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oiqw4YZ0nLY

I don't exactly know the message of this song (about being a player or whatever). If that's what he meant, I don't follow up with the morals, but the way he brought it was irresistibly dope.

I don't exactly like the phrase when he said something about getting sucked by a bitch, but I overlooked it because of the song's creativity + general message. I like the jazz-like swag and the Jamie Cullam samples @ 4:12. Skills!

Let's take it ten year back to Lauryn Hill!

She should've never involved herself with Rohan Marley, nor commit those faults in the legal aspect of sales (losing money b/c of disputes concerning songwriting)... she would probably be mentally stable right now. Bless Lauryn's soul.

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Not to be a hatin' or nothin...but really, what do I do if I completely detest rap in all forms? I can't stand it at all. The second a "rapper" starts talking in that loud, obnoxious voice that somehow turns a poetry reading into something cool (not that I have anything against a good poetry reading, mind you) I switch channels. Usually to another rap song, or to a contemporary crap band, or (and this is what eventually happens) completely off.

So am I just SOL for modern music? The last artists I really had respect for were the swing bands of the 40's, and I wasn't even alive then. Where did the musicians go? Please don't say to the session rooms - even though I bet it's true. sigh.

If you could recommend some "modern pop songs" that have even half of that improvisational skill/musicianship demonstrated in bands of the past then, please, by all means, give me something to listen to.

Otherwise I'll just be over here in the corner, slowly phasing out of existence. Oh, how I hate (most of) my generation...

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Not to be a hatin' or nothin...but really, what do I do if I completely detest rap in all forms? I can't stand it at all. The second a "rapper" starts talking in that loud, obnoxious voice that somehow turns a poetry reading into something cool (not that I have anything against a good poetry reading, mind you) I switch channels. Usually to another rap song, or to a contemporary crap band, or (and this is what eventually happens) completely off.

There are quite a few more laidback rappers as well that you might like. MF DOOM has a rambling style that a lot of people (myself included) seem to like. Gift of Gab is incredibly rhythmically solid and his work as a part of Blackalicious is wholly excellent. Saul Williams is an interesting rapper in the sense that he doesn't really rap all of the time, he does a lot of spoken-word styled stuff. He was the guy who released an album for free that was produced by Trent Reznor (The Rise and Fall of Niggy Tardust). If you haven't checked out most of the videos in this thread then by all means look at some of them. You may also just never be able to get into rap music, which is completely fine as well.

If you could recommend some "modern pop songs" that have even half of that improvisational skill/musicianship demonstrated in bands of the past then, please, by all means, give me something to listen to.

Otherwise I'll just be over here in the corner, slowly phasing out of existence. Oh, how I hate (most of) my generation...

I can't really think of a modern pop song that shows any improvisational skills, yet alone good ones. Being a giant fan of The Mars Volta though, I do have to recommend you check them out. A lot of their music is based heavily on improvisation in both their live shows and albums. They are a bit hard to get into and it seems to be either you love 'em or hate, but they're still worth a listen. If you can make it through Cassandra Gemini all the way through your first try then you're a trooper.

Squarepusher is also worth a look-see. His albums - especially Ultravisitor - have quite a bit of improvisational elements in them, especially on his song Iambic 9 Poetry where he basically improvises with himself on multiple instruments.

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest this song which has been kind of a guilty pleasure ever since I heard it for the first time.

Yes, seriously.

Look past the horrible auto-tuned vocals and focus on the music itself, it's amazing. I was honestly awestruck when I heard the chorus drop for the first time. I was all like..holy shit this is awesome! Dynamics? In my pop music? It's more likely than you think. I was very surprised at the inclusion of a string section to go along with the stereotypical MTV 'rock'band image. Very tight production as well, I just wish she was a better singer :(

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr0Wv5DJhuk

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Yep, most modern hip hop is just awful. No two ways about it.

I assume you're being sarcastic (I hope), but I never pass up a chance to recommend Nujabes and CYNE. :)

Nujabes (featuring Cise Starr & Akin from CYNE) - Feather

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26NIChKGDZU

Nujabes (featuring Cise Starr) - Lady Brown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjqTiQhOgU8

Nujabes - Counting Stars

CYNE - Maintain

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No, I do think that MOST modern hip hop is bad. Not all, but I challenge you to go to OurStage.com and browse "hip hop". Out of probably thousands of tracks, maybe 1% are worth listening to.. the rest are bitches, hos, niggas, 808s, terrible mastering, sine waves, and maybe autotune.

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can i just throw in my two cents

pop music - popular music

people on this site may make the distinction between soundtrack (movies/games) and everything else as being pop - but i don't

i will throw together most rock/pop/rnb/rap as all pop - but things like underground hip-hop or obscure electronic/jazz (squarepusher) - i don't consider as facets of pop music at all - there genres do not play the game with major labels and sell out to commercialism

this is a cool thread still - and those hip hop examples are great - but i still do not think of it as pop

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Not to be a hatin' or nothin...but really, what do I do if I completely detest rap in all forms? I can't stand it at all. The second a "rapper" starts talking in that loud, obnoxious voice that somehow turns a poetry reading into something cool (not that I have anything against a good poetry reading, mind you) I switch channels. Usually to another rap song, or to a contemporary crap band, or (and this is what eventually happens) completely off.

As aforementioned, not all rapping = loud and obnoxious. If you happen to not like rap at all, that's fine. There are various types of rap/hiphop I don't really identify with myself.

So am I just SOL for modern music? The last artists I really had respect for were the swing bands of the 40's, and I wasn't even alive then. Where did the musicians go? Please don't say to the session rooms - even though I bet it's true. sigh.
The session rooms, lol.
If you could recommend some "modern pop songs" that have even half of that improvisational skill/musicianship demonstrated in bands of the past then, please, by all means, give me something to listen to.

Otherwise I'll just be over here in the corner, slowly phasing out of existence. Oh, how I hate (most of) my generation...

John Mayer, perhaps (because of the guitar solos). Well, I don't think he has half, but maybe a third or fourth, lol! Some of his songs are more improvisational than others... depends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi3TLDS7hm8

I find myself getting annoyed with most hiphop because of it's robotic setup; lack of improvisation. If it's too improvised (no structure), it sounds messy; if it's too robotic, it won't sound natural or realistic; rather, bland and predictable.

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y'all need some aesop

the man is extremely inconsistent (hot as hell one track, ice cold the next) but i love this one. i've simply never heard someone string SYLLABLES together like this guy. his sleazy, overly sarcastic tone on EVERY SONG just makes me love it even more.

there's also none shall pass, which i think is another of his bests.

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I'm very annoyed by some people calling others 'stupid' for listening to whatever is popular, and that this would mean that they can't form their own opinion.

You know, listening to something because it's popular IS the consequence of someone's opinion. You might not like it because it isn't your opinion, but it IS still their own choice.

I seriously hate people who dislike popular music just because it's popular, or who dismiss popular because 'lol everyone listens to it because they want to fit in'. You might not realize it, but there are SO many people who 'want to be different', that they aren't different at all.

/rant

I'd say I'm gonna regret clicking the submit button, but then people will whine about why I chose to click it anyway.

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I'm very annoyed by some people calling others 'stupid' for listening to whatever is popular, and that this would mean that they can't form their own opinion.

You just missed the point. Luke was talking about people who are already stupid. It's clear that listening to pop /= stupid. Besides, it's not a serious statement.

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Squarepusher is also worth a look-see. His albums - especially Ultravisitor - have quite a bit of improvisational elements in them, especially on his song Iambic 9 Poetry where he basically improvises with himself on multiple instruments.

How is it that I've never heard of squarepusher until now?! DAMN I listened to like every single song on youtube... plus Chris Cunningham directing the music videos? Ah, it was good times for several hours...:D

Anway, thanks for the heads up, man!

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There will always be closed-minded, "stupid" people (just going along with the thread). I just hope the world is less overrun with them soon, so I can get onto a life without such a mosquito infecting the entire world on my mind. Oftentimes I think of a world where high quality/high standard is forced (a scenario that seems to be on the rise, anyway), so that such people, static variables of life who simply 'accept things as they are', will simply accept it—not an idiocracy overrun with mediocrity. If anything, it'll protect humankind in the end, imo, at least for longer than what some people currently in power will destroy. (Then again, anything I say merely on this Internet forum can easily be seen as shortsighted, and countered by someone else with a different motive for the world; and who's to say I'm the one with the better plan?)

There's such a thing as seeing art on a personal level, and one on an historic level. There's such an opinion as hating mainstream music because of the philosophies behind such a thing, and knowing better alternatives anyway. I don't see the difficulty in understanding if one merely thinks, or rather, has multiple experiences on the issue. As for me, I can't think of any Youtube links to offer or whatever!

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OverCoat, that song makes baby jesus (and me) cry. :(

Excuse the cliched 'they sold out/old material is better/second album syndrome' complaint, but I feel that in this case it really is true. Pendulum's music most definitely had a turning point at the rerelease of their debut album Hold Your Colour, which is one of the greatest selling drum & bass albums of all time (I think this means they were doing something right). The two new tracks, Blood Sugar and Axle Grinder (replacing Another Planet and Still Grey) are not only sub-par, but break the continuity of the album. From here on, it only gets worse (and I say this as a big Pendulum fan).

The next single, Granite, was a mediocre, formulaic clone of Slam.

Then In Silico was released. The lead single, Propane Nightmares, is positively boring and part of the riff sounds like a kid trying to play Smoke on the Water (but hitting some wrong notes). 9000 Miles is a decent track, but is let down by the fact that it's essentially a clone of Streamline (which is in turn, very much similar to the track Spiral, which they released before signing to Breakbeat Kaos). Now on one hand, I think it's great that they 'tried something new', but I was utterly disappointed in the poor execution of what would have otherwise been a fairly good concept. Instead of an accessible entry-point for newcomers to the drum & bass scene, In Silico only offered a watered-down mixture of rock and breaks. Sorry folks, barely a trace of drum & bass to be found here. I'm very much inclined to put it all down to the influence of the new label, Warner Music, but at the same time, the inclusion of Rob Swire's uninspiring vocals on so many tracks makes me wonder if there have been changes on a more personal level within the band.

Even through all this disappointment, I remain hopeful that their next album will be a return to form. In the meantime I guess at least I've got The Qemists to give me a good dose of hard rock drum & bass.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=zY9LuBxHSVA

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OverCoat, that song makes baby jesus (and me) cry. :(

Excuse the cliched 'they sold out/old material is better/second album syndrome' complaint, but I feel that in this case it really is true. Pendulum's music most definitely had a turning point at the rerelease of their debut album Hold Your Colour, which is one of the greatest selling drum & bass albums of all time (I think this means they were doing something right). The two new tracks, Blood Sugar and Axle Grinder (replacing Another Planet and Still Grey) are not only sub-par, but break the continuity of the album. From here on, it only gets worse (and I say this as a big Pendulum fan).

The next single, Granite, was a mediocre, formulaic clone of Slam.

Then In Silico was released. The lead single, Propane Nightmares, is positively boring and part of the riff sounds like a kid trying to play Smoke on the Water (but hitting some wrong notes). 9000 Miles is a decent track, but is let down by the fact that it's essentially a clone of Streamline (which is in turn, very much similar to the track Spiral, which they released before signing to Breakbeat Kaos). Now on one hand, I think it's great that they 'tried something new', but I was utterly disappointed in the poor execution of what would have otherwise been a fairly good concept. Instead of an accessible entry-point for newcomers to the drum & bass scene, In Silico only offered a watered-down mixture of rock and breaks. Sorry folks, barely a trace of drum & bass to be found here. I'm very much inclined to put it all down to the influence of the new label, Warner Music, but at the same time, the inclusion of Rob Swire's uninspiring vocals on so many tracks makes me wonder if there have been changes on a more personal level within the band.

I wasn't going to say anything abut Overcoat's post but you echoed my thoughts. I lost mad respect for them from Hold Your Colour onward, especially considering their bitch-out with Breakbeat Kaos/DJ Fresh and later the dogsonacid forum. Really they're a whiney bunch with far less talent than they perceive, though they did push for a level of production values DnB had not really seen before then and everything before Another Planet was ace (HYC was a good album but quite a few stinkers), but they rejected the scene that raised them and refused to acknowledge those that helped them get as far as they have.

For good DnB, The Qemists are great. Really though, Spor and Noisia still have some of the best mixdowns in any genre I've heard. Danny Byrd's new album is also pretty sweet. There's also Sub Focus and DJ Fresh for tunes similar in vein to Pendulum.

/rant

Pendulum happens to be like, one of two artists who I can't stand (the other being Kanye West).

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I wasn't going to say anything abut Overcoat's post but you echoed my thoughts. I lost mad respect for them from Hold Your Colour onward, especially considering their bitch-out with Breakbeat Kaos/DJ Fresh and later the dogsonacid forum. Really they're a whiney bunch with far less talent than they perceive, though they did push for a level of production values DnB had not really seen before then and everything before Another Planet was ace (HYC was a good album but quite a few stinkers), but they rejected the scene that raised them and refused to acknowledge those that helped them get as far as they have.

For good DnB, The Qemists are great. Really though, Spor and Noisia still have some of the best mixdowns in any genre I've heard. Danny Byrd's new album is also pretty sweet. There's also Sub Focus and DJ Fresh for tunes similar in vein to Pendulum.

/rant

Pendulum happens to be like, one of two artists who I can't stand (the other being Kanye West).

Well, I like In Silico. Quite a bit, actually. So what if it's not "genre" dnb? It's not even really dnb in my book - and that's a good thing IMO. You can't tell me that the dnb scene doesn't need any new ideas or anything - noisia? spor? I've heard everything they've got to offer after listening to one song...

I applaud Pendulum for trying something new, even if it was for the wrong reasons... XD

fast edit to avoid foot in mouth:

I never did say that Pendulum was inspiring on all of their tracks; as you pointed out, they do indeed rehash tons of material. I was just commenting that I like the way they took a step away from the typical dnb/jungle/it-all-sounds-the-same - I didn't mean that Pendulum is the BEST BAND EVAR OMG LOL111!!11!~.

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Pendulum happens to be like, one of two artists who I can't stand (the other being Kanye West).

That is another thing: I do notice that Kanye West is overrated, although he does have talent. I guess it's because he showed more than enough differentiation and some depth/intelligence to go with his music.

He'd be fine if he:

  1. Didn't put emphasis on his words in a way that's unpleasant
  2. Try to sing
  3. Would do something that's 100% Kanye rather than sampling old hits all day. Even if it's one or two songs, something.
  4. Repeat certain words and try to make lame sounds effects in his raps (again, unpleasant)

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