Just like a questionable call by an NFL Referee…

I am inviting any and all readers of this post to first listen to the music which you can download for free here. After the listening please feel free to post your “call” here in the comments section.

Now for my “flag on the play” call…

First things first, let me make something very clear, this is not a “hit piece” from some frustrated musical curmudgeon, quite to the contrary…I love this music thing so much and when you love something you might or you should have an opinion about it.

It’s probably because I don’t fit into the predefined demo for this mixtape that I don’t get it. Wait, let me rephrase that, I do get it…sort of. But what I don’t get is the sonic landscape more than anything else. The vocal performances on here are solid, so it’s not an issue of my usual nitpicking over vocals. No, it has a lot more to do with what I have been railing about for a while now: musical homogeny.

I mean I get “it” with trends and styles and genres and subgenres and the whole shooting match. But what I don’t get is how we arrived at a point where musically, an artist’s identity is obscured by the sameness of the musical palette of which they are presented.

In other words I should not be able to close my eyes and listen to an album, mixtape or any other production and get the feeling that I could insert any number of vocalists in the place of the featured vocalist that I am currently listening to. In my warped musical world your music, lyrics, production, your everything should sound only like you. Now how you arrive at that point is the $1,000,000 question. But one thing’s for sure we’ll know once you do.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.