I still prefer falling asleep listening to the old songs in my playlist because of their eternal charm and evergreen nature. However, music these days seems to be lacking these ethereal qualities.
The sudden fame of Dhinchak Pooja, Omprakash Mishra, Taher Shah, Hero Alom, and people’s addiction to ‘cringe pop’ has forced me to ponder on the dearth of musical brilliance and creativity that our generation faces. Or, maybe we as a generation have lost the understanding to appreciate good music and lyrics. I am more inclined to believe that latter is the truth because to say that there is a paucity of good music would be incorrect.
Recently when I was listening to Mohammad Rafi’s ‘Chaudhavi Ka Chand Ho’, I could not but help admire the sheer brilliance of his singing techniques and the mesmerising lyrics. Similarly, the lyrics of song ‘Mera Kuch Samaan’ by Gulzar always leaves me enraptured because of the subtlety with which it successfully conveys the complexity of a relationship. Even fun-loving songs like ‘Ye Chand Sa Roshan Chehra’ still make not only mine but everyone’s feet tap. The lyrics of these songs were not crass and the singers were not content with just above average singing.
Whenever I hear Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Funny Valentine’ or ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ I cannot help but swoon to its tunes. Tom T Hall’s ‘That’s How I Got To Memphis’ or Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ still delight and enchant me. There must be a reason that different and newer versions of songs like ‘Abhi Na Jao Chhodkar’, ‘ Lag Ja Gale’, ‘Blue Skies’, ‘Message in a bottle’ are being sung over and over again by the singers. To say that my criticism just stems out of nostalgia for the times gone by would incorrect. After pondering about it a lot, I realised that my doubts held a lot of substance. I am not saying that the music that we are producing today has a substantially deteriorated quality. Undoubtedly, we have a lot of talented singers, lyricists, music composers, and directors. However, to say that the standards have dropped drastically would not be an overstatement.
So the question remains who is to blame for the popularity of cringe-worthy songs like ‘Selfie Maine Le Li Aaj’, ‘Bolna Aunty Aau Kya’ or songs like ‘Gandi Baat’ which though have very catchy tunes put forward the concept of eve-teasing and molestation. We, as an audience, are to be blamed for this poor condition of the music industry. The originality in the music produced by Bollywood has taken such a dip that every few months we find a remix version of an old song on our music playlist. Mass media following of the YouTube sensation Rebecca Black or the recent Omprakash Mishra should certainly be discouraged. This is necessary because in the process we are seeing the death of music and musicians that deserve the encouragement and spotlight. If we fail to do so, it would be a great disservice not only to our generation but to the upcoming one.
Feature Image Credits: YouTube