More questions than simply criticism… I’ve had a few thoughts that I wanted to write down re: two of my favorite vocalists who both began their respective careers in the early 90’s. You can check out the new music from Toni Braxton below and then Ce Ce Peniston right after that. Then let’s chat.

To Checkout “Celebrate” from Ce Ce go here.

And we’re back… what’s going on my people? I mean, alright let me just stop beating on top of and around and behind the bush. I really want to get a grasp on this “Pop” music thing. What has me confused is that Pop is simply short for Popular. Throughout the course of recorded music history there have been many musical movements that have been popular and as the whole time thing works, movements have their day and then they make way for something else. Pop now means some sterile, stiff, robotic, metric, music that anyone can dance to and you’ll hear on the soundtrack to Jersey Shore.

No at the risk of sounding like a detached, crotchety parent who would preface their opinion with “Back in my day…” I’m not going to do that at all. As I stated earlier I love these ladies work, because first and foremost I love their voices, that’s where it all starts with me, if the instrument ain’t happening I ain’t listening.

I’m concerned about where are a lot of folks that I truly dig are going with this whole Pop thing. No I don’t want it to be 1992 or 1993 again, those days are never coming back and for an artist to go over a well worn path that’s a re-tread and I would never expect anyone to do that because that doesn’t facilitate growth. But having said that, I don’t here anything progressive happening with either of these tracks. To me they are not songs that can stand by themselves, they are beats with lyrics (not that anything is wrong with that).

I just can’t seem to understand why everyone is going for a similar sound? What happened to let me go somewhere and make something and use some sounds that no one has used or come up with a rhythm that is unique or, or… if I hear one more damn song with the kick drum on all 4 beats. You wanna be progressive put the kick drum on all 7 beats and make the song groove. My ire is not reserved for only Toni and Ce Ce it truly goes out to all those who follow trends instead of setting them. These ladies have proven in the past that they were very capable of setting trends, but is the problem that we are facing now that artists are so desperate to be popular that they will use the same dough and cookie cutter as every other bakery?

That’s my Pop Music Talkabout. Please feel free to leave a comment, let’s talk about it.

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.