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Pitch Please: Hype killed the music star

10 November 2013 By Kristopher Jones, Columnist One Comment

I’m learning how to play the guitar this semester.

It’s something that I wanted to learn for a while now, but didn’t have the money or time to pursue until now. Two weeks ago, I was assigned two songs to learn: some piece I’ve never heard of and The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” I visibly cringed.

If you asked me if I liked The Beatles, I would promptly answer no.

Then I would probably become public enemy No. 1, with legions of “Sgt. Pepper and The Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “The White Album” owners patronizing me for not falling head over heels for one of the most accomplished musical acts of all time. People hold The Beatles to such a high musical standard that, to be honest, I don’t think any artist should be held to.

It’s not like I hate the band’s members or think any of the music is bad.

I just don’t see (or for better words hear) the hype that a lot of other people do.

Let’s talk about that word for a minute: hype — excessive publicity and the ensuing commotion.

Take Bruno Mars for example. During his solo debut back in 2010, people over-exaggerated how talented he was to the point of me hearing his name being mentioned let alone hearing any tracks from “Doo-wops and Hooligans” being played on the radio made me mad.

That wasn’t the problem with his latest work because all the hype had died down and I don’t listen to the radio unless I’m in a car.  When a person acts like an artist is some kind of musical deity that can do no wrong, it’s frustrating.

Yes, some positive acknowledgement of the music is good in doses, but seeing proclamations of how flaw-free an artist’s discography is completely uncalled for.

Hype: the four-letter word that killed The Beatles for me.

One Comment »

  • Abla Triki said:

    Hello Jones,

    Interesting point of view you got there! I agree with the ‘Hype’ idea your highlighting. I really feel like that most of the time. Although, this column raised my attention and shocked softly the music lover in me.
    Therefore, I want to share my opinion and argue couple of things. Here are my two points:

    First, there is a contradiction when saying that after awhile Bruno Mars’ “Hype” is quickly forgotten and a new effort by the media has to be done to fuel it again, which shows their is nothing unique about him —
    Well, the difference is : The Beatles didn’t, still don’t and probably won’t need a new album to generate that audience “Hype” trance you’re referring to.

    Second, I believe comparing the work or the “Hype” of pioneers such as The Beatles with Bruno Mars doesn’t seem fair at all. Not to forget the fact that they changed tremendously the course of history musically, contributed to mass media expansion (first apparition in 1964 in the homes of millions of Americans, changed not only music but Television forever.)
    Also from their impact on freedom of expression to their musical innovation, they still inspire millions of people today, professionals to amateurs.
    Bottom line, music took a whole new direction artistically and also socially because of productions such as “Here Comes The Sun” and in fact all the many masterpieces on “The Abbey Road”album…

    Consequently, the reasons some see them as music “Deities” are way beyond the music they made.
    So I hope you’d agree their is a much bigger picture : I don’t see any social trend or change cultivated from Mars music that comes even close to The Beatles’ worldwide impact. For this reason, it is somehow degrading for their legacy to be put on the same “Hype” level-concept as Mars. Now, of course you’re free to like it, hate it, but I believe it is not because their too “mainstream” that you judge them obsolete… but maybe they simply don’t meet your musical expectations = there is no “too Hype” factor involved, just personal taste.

    Finally, I don’t see how “people think they are flawless” is an argument to the frustration you refer to… They were out of the box, innovators who embraced the beauty of imperfection, syncopation and improvisation. Combined cultures and instruments, they weren’t perfect but knew how to expose an audience to the core of their soul. I believe that’s what makes them flawless to some.

    PS: Other than that, again great idea, love to see a deeper explanations on the WHY your allergic to the “Hype” , that could be a good follow up maybe:))

    Best Regards,


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