CAUTION: Changing Musical Tastes


For the last five years of my life, an eon to a twenty-year-old, music has been imported from across the Pacific; but for the first time since I was 15, I am listening to American artists again with unabashed regularity. I’m not sure if it is the general euphoria that comes from new music or the availability of said new music from my old favorite artists before the switch or it may be that I am no longer afraid of my taste in music. Maybe Japanese and Korean music was my way of hiding my love for idolatry; and truly, what better place for that than Japan and South Korea? But new music from the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Brandy, Beyoncé, and Rihanna (coupled with my newly established lack of caring what other people say) have stolen my attention back to North America.

I have to say that it is nice to be back home, “Okaeri!”

But it has also made me take into account a large, gaping chasm in the talent factor of the two worlds. While some artists stand this test: Hyori Lee, ayaka, and Utada Hikaru; other artists like Namie Amuro’s lack of vocal prowess and Yuna Ito’s / Shimatani Hitomi’s / YUI’s blandness have shifted my opinions.

But this raises another question. What is it about American artists that make them shine more, engage more, and entertain more? At least for me…

Is it because I can understand them or is it that they belong to my culture? Are they just more talented?

My undying love for Namie Amuro is always shoved into the bright light of day by comparing her to Western artists. Do I think that she would stand a chance against one of the divas of the West? Not really… but I still love her to death. Even Hyori Lee, who shows some surprising vocal chops on her third album It’s Hyorish is nothing when compared to Beyoncé or Christina Aguilera…

It’s a paradigm shift that is taking place with me right now, and I’m not sure how to react. My account shows the true shifting as Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Amerie, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift take their rightful places in my top twenty.

I’m not sure if this is permanent, or if it will last until all these women stop releasing music and then I will probably steal back across the Pacific, but until then, [Who’s Afraid of Music?] will have more Western reviews. And my grading scale will be more critical. I may completely revise some older posts as I did with that Entertainment Weekly spread I did, but my lack of posting is a bit irreversible to my readers. I am sorry about being busy, but school is a busy thing. I will make a bit more of a concerted effort to post at least once a week this semester.

So, thank you for reading my blog, if you read it. I appreciate it very much.

~ by vinyabarion on January 24, 2009.

2 Responses to “CAUTION: Changing Musical Tastes”

  1. You know, that has always been something I’ve noticed.
    I just can’t help but love my Asian artists tons more than the ones that play on the radio everyday here.
    Especially when you take into account things like vocal talent.

  2. I think it’s a matter of training and what’s in in a certain culture. I think that some Asian artists do stand a chance against the western ones but they need to have grown up in the west to gain a flair that attracts western audiences to them.

    When I listened to some artists when they we younger, I noticed that they actually do have power, vibrato, and are on key. But I feel that different cultures have different norms for singing and to somewhat assimilate to that norm let’s them become accepted in that culture.

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