Artistry in Music

The other day, I read Justin Bieber took artist of the year at the American Music Awards.  I almost cried.  In all honesty–and this is nothing against Justin Bieber as a person–he is not a great musician.

As a singer/songwriter/musician, I have a great deal of respect for the artists who write their own songs and produce their albums.  Artistry in music comes from being able to put down the things we all feel but can’t seem to say correctly.  Music becomes the medium through which we understand the thoughts and emotions bouncing around in our brains and hearts.

So, when I see musicians who are singing songs which a) have no substance and b) do not take a lot of skill to produce, I get really frustrated that these songs become top hits.  It’s not because I don’t like the artist (I actually don’t know if I like them having never met them); I just don’t consider them musical artists.

The amount of vocal talent in the world is undeniably and unbelievably amazing.

It’s a shame that such talent gets wasted on lyrics that mean nothing.

So back to Justin Bieber.  I will say this: the kid is an entertainer and he has some very cool dance moves.  But while his music is catchy, his lyrics are mediocre at best.  Yes, I realize he is young and trying to find his way in a very complicated and confusing business.  But I think it says something about him as a person that he is content with settling for these types of songs.

I’ll admit-maybe I’m looking at this too deeply and five years from now Bieber will be a well developed artist.

But he’s got a long way to go to get there



  1. JR · November 24, 2012

    I thought it was interesting that you were focused on the lyrics. My first thought was more about the music itself.

    The actual composition of music wed to the quality and tonalities of instrument and voice, and then the quality of the lyrics (if any) involved makes the greatness of the song and is the vehicle used to effectively portray the message. Of course I always get lost in the epic music of symphonies, and the beauty of a well balanced, well playing ensemble, or even a great singer, with great lyrics, playing the piano or guitar expertly to accompany a solid voice and lyrics.

    But then again, I don’t think popular music really understands that. Most of it does seem written to just be catchy, though there are some artists that I respect (might be why I have tended towards the Indie/folk genre lately).

    • foxatck21 · November 24, 2012

      I feel like the musical composition side is a whole different ball game because there’s so much personal preference that comes with it. Good lyrics will be good lyrics regardless of the genre.

      I guess the reason I didn’t talk so much about music composition is because it’s a very different ball game then it used to be. Working with recording software and electronic equipment takes just as much talent and skill to create a track as it does to create a track with live instruments.

      Ultimately, it really comes down to how you look at it. Really my thoughts are just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the discussion of good quality music.

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