March 29, 2012

Soft rock vs. something else

Dr. X comments:

I think this is where the line is (see live performance below).  Anything softer than this is effeminate and pointless soft rock.  But I am not prepared concede that this is effeminate or pointless.  It is light in the verses, but not the loafers.  The chorus is soulful and the performance is, if a bit too polished and technical, certainly competent.  Hall and Oates have nothing to be ashamed of here.



As for Seals and Crofts or Bread, well, no, I can't get behind that, man.  But we must be honest, too - weaker artists can produce strong performances, or at least perform good songs comptently.  I believe it was Johnson who said 'Nay Sir, argument is argument.  You cannot help paying regard to their arguments, if they are good...argument is like an arrow from a crossbow, which has equal force though shot by a child.'  The same is true, I say, of a good song, and I will go to the wall even for songs originating even with The Archies or, perhaps more defensibly, The Monkees.  Open ears and open minds, I say.


That said, some rock is soft but still rock, or perhaps something richer.  Competence is one thing, greatness another.  I wish to dedicate this to an old acquaintance, since passed from this life, who once played 'Springtime for Hitler' on the Vassar bells.

1 Comments:

Blogger Laird of Madrona said...

She's Gone is a soul ballad. I appreciate a really good soul ballad, but it's not my favorite genre, and this one is just so-so. Where it deviates from the formula is where it suffers the most: the synthesizer and the distorted lead guitar, which I suspect were used to make the song more palatable to a pop/rock audience.

Hall & Oates two big hits in the early 70's that sandwich She's Gone are both much better, in my opinion: Sara Smile and Rich Girl.

Rock is Rock. But can a song be Rock and still be Smooth? This question is explored, in depth, in this docudrama.

March 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM  

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