Style Over Substance?

Talk to your hearts content.....but keep it sweet! No record sales, live events listings or ebay labba labba.

Moderator: B&F Moderator

Style Over Substance?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:28 am

Have you noticed that some popular songs have a catchy chorus / beat but don't actually have much substance?

Some examples are:

Stage Coach - Dennis Brown
3 Little Birds - BMWs
God is Standing By - George Nooks
Run Run - Delroy Wilson
Africa Land - Carol Kalphat
I Wanna Be Loved - Ken Parker

Does this mean that all the time and effort it takes to write "proper" verses is actually unnecessary?
Ranking Glasses
 
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Peacemakeya » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:32 pm

Please clarify what u saying RG.

r u saying 'proper' arrangements is the conventional intro/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus/outro

as being lesser than or improper to 'free-form' arrangements?

Surely u not talking about the lyrical substance of some of these songs which r so very profound they registered on the collective consciousness of the ages.
Last edited by Peacemakeya on Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Peacemakeya
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:18 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby jb welda » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:37 pm

Yeah because you know, if "three little birds" actually had any substance at all, its lyrics would mention a certain substance that would be building up under those three little birds on Bobs doorstep, and of course it doesn't.

one love
jb
jb welda
 
Posts: 5143
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:56 pm
Location: caliweedonya

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:59 pm

I'm talking about the lyrical substance Peacemakeya, and if you listen to the songs you'll hear that it's noticeably lacking as JB alludes to. Nice songs but they are very repetitive and don't have proper verses.
Ranking Glasses
 
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Tune In 2 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:05 pm

Yes they my be repetitive, however surely the substance is found/heard in the repetitive parts that are sung or do i not get the meaning of the word Substance (The essential part of anything/ the most vital part) ?
Tune In 2
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Novice » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:19 pm

No, I hadn't noticed that because I haven't listened to the radio in the last 40 years. Is it contagious?

-Me-
Novice
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:22 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:09 pm

Ranking Glasses
 
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Tune In 2 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:00 pm

I would not say "Style Over Substance"
however following your way of thinking does this one qualify ?
The Royals - Pick Up The Pieces
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... B1pzfs9SKY
Tune In 2
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Tune In 2 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:22 pm

I would not say "Style Over Substance"
however following your way of thinking does this one qualify ?
Burning Spear - He Prayed
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... woELf7CTkw
Tune In 2
 
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:55 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Animist Roots » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:29 pm

I understand what Ranking Glasses say, but the concept ''substance'' can go very deep, and maybe it could be molded by subjective standards. There's a kind of simplicity that is very hard to create. As Peacemakeya said there's some factors that involve psychological mechanisms, some people will feel it and some people won't. ''Some like it hot and some like it cold'' :D
Also the beat, the instrumental itself can carry some kind of emotion that complements perfectly with the minimal lyrics.
Tune in 2 made a good point too, i think there's some songs that doesn't need nothing more than repetitive parts to express what they were meant to express.
There's also some simple songs that don't pretend nothin more to be than pure entertainment.If any man have ears to hear, let him hear!

This is not reggae, but for me is a clear example of a repetitive proper simple lyric that reach the target:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbY_ujqEuvk Lamize pa dous- Misery not sweet
Animist Roots
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:33 pm

I actually like all those songs including He Prayed so yes, there is obviously much more to a song than the lyrics and one simple lyric / message can hit the spot.
Ranking Glasses
 
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby jb welda » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:37 pm

I actually do believe a lot of reggae songs, particularly in the past twenty years, are underwritten. By that I mean they are underdeveloped as songs, they depend too much on one verse worth of lyrics that is repeated at least three times, and a minimal chorus which is also repeated. Many of them I can see if the artist/composer sat down for a couple more days and used the first verse as just one verse and expanded upon it in two more original verses, the song would be much better. I don't know about the examples given so far, but certainly I hear these a lot. I do not mean meditative songs where the repetition is meant to be lulling or meditative, but more like the writer just ran with what he had at the moment. Gregory Isaacs was famous for that, and it shows in a lot of his songs. D Brown also, in his later years, did this a lot. Burning Spear also, but his music was much more effective for it I think, as it was the original chanting dread sound for me. Twinkle Brothers, as much as I love them, have a lot of songs with basically one or two lines plus a chorus, all repeated a lot of times in the song. So I think Glasses has a point although I am not sure I agree with his examples.

one love
jb
jb welda
 
Posts: 5143
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:56 pm
Location: caliweedonya

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:29 pm

I'm obviously not a singer or a musician, I work in a bank, but that is true of a lot of modern songs where several artists sing over the same popular rhythm. There is a catchy hook / chorus and a verse to fill the gap. It can sound "throw away" and awful on one hand but on the other, Beres Hammond has become an expert at it with hit after hit.
Ranking Glasses
 
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Novice » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:14 pm

Anyone consider that maybe all the "art" and "emotion" they believe goes into it or would like to go into it isn't really the case much of the time?? It is after all a job and they're trying to make a living and if you don't have to work that hard and can still put a product out and get payed, why not? It's human nature to an extent. The one's with more integrity about it are probably the ones producing the tunes with more "substance."
If you're born with talent or an ability to do something, it might not be something you have to think about so eventually you might see that you don't need to put as much effort into it considering the audience and fans who lack the talent or ability are always more easily impressed so you can get away with giving less because the allure that people put in to it seems to do the rest of the work for you.

Is it really any different than any other type of cult-ish behavior. If you have the opportunity to see video or behind the scenes footage of some of the songs that really move you emotionally being made, I would recommend not watching it because it might take away from the essence of why/how you enjoy the song...that being said most won't have a problem with it and it will actually add to their enjoyment because they enjoy..whatever arbitrary explanation of whatever idiosyncrasy they have developed from the cult.

-Me-
Novice
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:22 pm

Re: Style Over Substance?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:30 pm

Yes, a producer has a "hit" rhythm and artists make up a song to fit that rhythm rather than the music and the song being created organically. The focus is on the hook and the chorus rather than writing meaningful verses as JB has said. This has resulted in a dreadful race to the bottom. However, it does make talented and creative artists stand out in comparison, e.g. Samory-I.
Ranking Glasses
 
Posts: 2199
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:17 pm

Next

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 12 guests