Monday, June 11

Maroon 5, Nose Candy, and T.I

Artist: Maroon 5
Album: It Won’t be Soon Before Long

Comments: This album isn’t very good.

Rather than go through the reasons why this album stinks, I think I’m going to use this space instead to describe a new sub-genre of music that I have been talking about with friends for the last few months. I’m going to do this because A) I think that It Won’t be Soon Before Long falls into this sub-genre, and B) I can just describe this genre off the top of my head, whereas if I were going to do a proper review of this album, I would have to listen to it again. And, quite honestly, that is something I am not really interested in doing.

I have never done cocaine. I have seen cocaine, I have seen people use cocaine, and I have been given multiple opportunities to use cocaine. Still, it remains a drug that I have no hands-on experience with. In books and film, characters in the throws of a cocaine high are often hyper-active, energetic, and completely deranged. While this is obviously exaggerated for theatrics, it is not too far from the truth; people high on cocaine are friendly, if not sadly intense. A character shift occurs while people are on cocaine. They turn into sped up, cartoon distortions of themselves.

This is not the only change that occurs. Music taste also shifts along with character. People who would usually have no interest in what DJ Tiesto is doing are suddenly screaming for his songs so that they can dance. People who despise club mixes like Danger Mouse and Girl Talk eat that sort of high paced nonstop mixing up. Tastes shift to take the form of something fast, big, glossy, and cheap. People on coke want music to match their good mood; people on coke want Coke Music.

Now, it is true that almost any dance music will appeal to someone on a coke binge. However, this does not mean that all dance music is Coke Music. For example, I love listening to Night Ripper by Girltalk, and we have already established that I have never done coke. And, as much as I dislike trance music as anything more than a passing interest, not all ravers and housecats are dabbling in nose candy 24-7. So what then is Coke Music?

On the surface, Coke Music seems fun. It is upbeat, sunny, and (much like a coke head) ready to party. It is well suited for dancing, drinking, kissing, and lovemaking. However, as it plays on, the fun upbeat feeling gives way to something a little more sinister. Depression starts to appear under the glossy disco funk. The music begins to sound hollow, sterile, and lifeless. The high-hat snap and funk guitar that only moments ago served as the soundtrack to fun are now the deflated blasts of soulless sadness made up with designer hair and top-of-the-line makeup. What once was fun, happy music, is revealed to be a distorted mask of joy over a sad, hurtful face of meaningless destruction.

This is the core of what Coke Music is; dance music that is not fun, but soul crushing and lifeless.

Oh sure, the new Maroon 5 CD isn’t as bad as all that, and I am in no way trying to suggest that anyone in Maroon 5 has a drug problem or supports that kind of thing. But it doesn’t even have the benefit of being catchy or accessible like the best singles off of Songs About Jane. It Won’t be Soon Before Long is about as close to the personification sterile desperate Coke Music as I have heard in a while. I am sure there are some tracks on here that people will like, but for the most part sensible people will pass on this record.

Then again, people who use coke have never really been considered sensible.

(On an unrelated note, I am about 8 months late getting King by T.I, but it is a fierce fucking album.)

Rating: 2.5 out of 10

Worth The Money: Ha.


Zilla Rocca said...

I hear ya on the Maroon 5 album. I didn't think they could make something as warm and catchy as "Songs for Jane" again considering they worked that album for 3 years straight.

The second half of the T.I. album simmers down considerably, but the first half was among the best half of hip hop in '06.

Paul Tsikitas said...

Mr. Dogg, I would love to do a more intensive year in review or maybe a review. I will work on that and email it to you before I fly over the pond.