Friday, 3 August 2012

'Fortune' isn't the new 'Rumours' but...

I'm kind of sick to death of hearing people talking about Chris Brown beating up Rihanna. Before you think I'm totally mental, I obviously don't advocate domestic violence in any way shape or form BUT after having read this review of Brown's new album, I can't help but think the world has gone slightly mad. --->
 So, Chris Brown is a famously nasty man who beat his also famous ex girlfriend, media darling Rihanna. But Chris Brown is also a musician (of sorts) and I can't help but feel that this review, although I agree with the fact that Brown is a vile man whose music isn't much better, is kind of missing the point. It's not a review. It contains about one sentence judging the record by it's actual musical merits (or demerits as the case probably is, I haven't actually listened to it and don't ever plan to). Even though the lyrics sound a bit shite, people who like Chris Brown's music don't listen to it for the poetry do they? They like the beats, the melodies, whatever. If Brown had done nothing wrong, no one would pay attention to the lyrics because it's just the sort of shite you hear EVERYWHERE. I think Chris Brown is a fucking moron and his lyrics are terrible.  But just because we don't like what people do in their private lives, does not mean that we should automatically disregard their artistic outlets (I find it really funny that I just used that phrase whilst talking about CHRIS BROWN). Take John Donne, 16th century poet and writer. A famously misogynistic bastard who got up to all kinds of no good during his not-very-long life,  and the sort of person who, if I knew, I'd hate. But just because I don't like HIM doesn't mean I have to automatically hate his poetry: I kind of do because I studied it for A Level and it drove me up the wall, but some of it is actually pretty beautiful. Donne probably isn't the best example because we're talking here about pop music, not poetry, so let's try one of the most famous bands of all time: Fleetwood Mac. I'm pretty sure nobody has ever said "Final words: don't buy this album" about Rumours, lauded as one of the greatest albums ever made etc etc etc. Hey, guess what? Lindsay Buckingham beat his girlfriend. Do I think Lindsay Buckingham is a good person? No, not really. He seems like a bit of a wanker to say the least. Do I appreciate Lindsay Buckingham's music? Absolutely. Take The Beatles - John Lennon, again, wife-beater. I don't think it's at all commendable, but he didn't write songs about beating up women, did he? Chris Brown may write about 'super soaking hoes' which is not the most romantic way to talk about a lover, but at the end of the day, that's pop these days, you get shit like that everywhere. In fact I'm pretty sure 'super soaking hoes' came from Soulja Boy. I have no idea if Soulja Boy beats up women. Nowhere has Chris Brown said 'Hey guys, it's really cool to beat up your girlfriends and if you do you'll be cool like me', and as much as I don't think it's a forgivable act, I think that to actually set about writing a review of a record, you have to listen to the record and not the media frenzy surrounding the artist. Chris Brown is not my cup of tea, as a person or as a recording artist, but fans of his kind of music shouldn't be deterred from listening to the songs they want to, just because some reviewer in a newspaper seems to think he can rid the world of violence. I bet whoever wrote that review would flip out if they saw someone slagging off Rumours. Or Sgt Pepper.

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