Has anyone noticed that in the last few years music has been getting better and better, and of late has been of exceptionally high quality? For a music lover like myself it's been like Christmas day every time I sit down in front of YouTube.
For a decade and a half or so this has not been the case, everywhere I turned my poor little ears were assaulted by Hip hop and boom boom, or some dork screaming until they wanted to detach themselves in an effort to escape the horror of it all. I locked myself away like an old man with my tatty old albums, peering out of the dusty windows from time to time, only to mutter "rubbish" or "get a real job hippy!" then slammed the rotten net curtains back in place and turned Led Zeppelin up again.
Then one fine day a few years ago, while I was rocking in my faithful old chair with my old green cardigan on, a new sound penetrated the confines of my self made prison, (Jack Johnson) It was a cheerful bubbly acoustic sound, like water bubbling from a brook or the hearty giggles of young children. I lifted my head and listened, my god I thought, what is that.... and behold, it was the resurgence of folk rock! But unlike a lot of genres over the years it hasn't come blasting onto the music scene boosting "Here I am and you're all gonna love me!" Nope, Folk rock just quietly flowed in, just one quality song after another, catching the attention of people with real musical taste, influencing all our young musicians and teaching them that music isn't just about sex appeal or drugs and drinking or having a good time, it's also just about the share pleasure of music, of letting the melody get inside of you. But to my amazement, other old genres heard and replied, Motown lifted it's fuzzy Affro head. smiled a cheeky grin and sent us Aloe Blacc, a man who seems to excrete coolness from every pore of his body, but it looks like he's time traveled straight out of the '70s.
So I ask you all, my quiet, thoughtful intelligent Tolkien fan friends, shut that old copy of the Children of Hurin, or the adventures of Tom Bombadil for just a little while, It'll keep, the professor will understand, he enjoyed music as well. And listen to some of this stuff, it will invigorate you and make you appreciate the arts even more. Thanks for reading. Here is a short list of some of the really talented young guys and girls out there. it's all on YouTube.
Ben Howard, Avalanche City, Michael Kiwanuka, Luke Thompson, Liam Finn, Glen Hansard (The Swell Season), Mumford and Sons, Lydia Cole, Missy Higgins, Aloe Blacc, Florence and The Machine, Jason Mraz, Dave Mathews Band, Jack Johnson, Donovan Frankenreiter, John Mayer, and many many more.