Because my knowledge of the current music scene (is that what the kids still call it … a scene?) is limited almost exclusively to the ads I see when I log into my Lycos e-mail account, I feel that I have diagnosed the current problem with music today.
The artists have no souls.
I believe it all began last year when the ads for P!nk began running. I thought at the time that her apparent lack of emotion was due to her having completely exhausted herself thinking up her name, or perhaps the name of her album, M!ssundaztood. :rolleyes: Later, I realized that she was just one of a new breed of peep-show girl: “I’ll show you every inch of my body the law allows, but I’m gonna stare at you like the piece of walking crap you are while I do it so you never forget which way the money is flowing here.” Sorry, B!tch, I ain’t buying.
Next, I believe, came Outkast. Okay, one of these guys looks confused … like he got into his car and when he turned the key, the hood opened up. But the guy with the big hair, he just looks … vacant. The lights are on, but there is No Body Home.
Avril Lavigne came next. You really can’t tell by the album cover, but her racoon-eyed meant-to-be-piercing stare has about as much humanity of rifle barrel. Here’s a tip, honey. In the close-up of her face Lycos offered in her ads, she looked more like a sixteen-year-old victim of child abuse than an artist with (one would hope) more than one story to tell.
But most recently, there’s Ben Kweller. Now, I’m assuming that this is him on the album cover. What intelligence burns behind those unfocused eyes … what compelling observations on the human condition drip from those slack lips … I will never know, I can assure you.
I’m not asking for musicians to smile all the time and act like they love everything they’re going through. (I only ask that of porn actresses.) What I’m wondering is, when did the crack-dealer’s-lookout stare-down-a-dog look become de rigueur for these flavors of the month?