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Whittling away at the pile of new music

I picked up three new and upcoming releases the other day for a first-time listen.  One is the first national release from a band, the second from a perhaps lesser known artist with a few previous releases, and the third from a more well known musician.  All three are being distributed by the same music company and represent two record labels.

Insert CD number 1.  I move forward slowly with new bands.  Maybe I am jaded.  Maybe I just feel the music world is overflowing with too many choices.  Maybe I just feel many of those choices all sound the same.  I need to give bands more chances, because on occasion, I have grown to love a band in the live setting after dissing a CD on a few listens.  But something tells me that this new pop-punk band (I have purposely left nameless) will never find a place in my music library.  A copy-cat band that sounds just like so many others, I did not even notice when the album flipped to the next tune.  This record label may have joined in the fray a bit too late.

Insert CD number 2.  My first impression was that this was a worship disc that lacked flavor and depth.  Once again I felt like I was listening to the same music that another group had already put out.  I wondered if the music was written just to fulfill a recording contract.  One song moved me, but for the most part it just seemed blah.  Sure, I know worship music sells.  Unfortunately, that fact leads to a glut in the genre, in my opinion.  I did enjoy one song on the CD much more than the rest, but I think the whole package would have been much better if all of the others songs did not sound the same.

Insert CD number 3.  This is the only one of the three that I gave more than a handful of listens, even though it was in the worship category.  This third album comes from a multi-Dove Award winning musician whose songs may be sung in your church.  One GMA week I found out that someone else wrote the lyrics of a popular song from this artist.  I am not sure about other songs.  But as I listened to the new music, I noted the stepped up production value which may have influenced my decision to listen more.  Though perhaps it is just my familiarity with this artist.  The experience made me wonder – is this musician getting more money spent on the recording and production for this disc over other music out there?

After experiencing all three albums, I had more questions. With so many bands being taken off record label rosters, why do we have new bands that sound the same as everyone else?  What are record labels looking for to be the next big thing?  With the music industry on a slippery slope, why do local bands even seek a national record deal these days?  Why do some bands/artists get picked to pour money into production, while others - who are often more talented - are left behind?

I’ll always have questions.  It just seems I am always pondering things in the music world these days.