I'll preface this by saying I do not watch MTV or MTV2 for that matter. The only music video shows I watch are on the homo channel -- which btw is the BEST damn music video showcase I've ever seen. Better than 120 Minutes. Better than Headbanger's Ball. Logo (the homo channel) is owned by MTV so it figures. Or I watch 2 hour loops of soul/80/etc. on the VH1 spin-off channels you get when you order expanded cable.
Anywhoo, I rely on the moments I spend in the car to listen to chart toppers and sometimes TV commercials. I sometimes hear a song a year or two after it became a hit. Right now there are so many new young female pop singer-songwriters coming out like the girl who sings about the bubbly toes and the other girl who's not gonna sing you a love song. So when I heard 'Rilo Kiley' and that song Silver Lining I figured she was one of them, as in she sang one of those other songs, too.
Then I visited the website and I was both put-off and surprised at its dark art student vibe. Then I realized they are an emo-pop-rock blah blah blah blah blah band...or at least they want you to think they are.
So my question is -- why'd they do that???
Who marketed them and decided to turn that bubble gum pop song into their debut single? False advertising! People who want to hear a blonde girl next door peppy girly love song like that 'Silver Lining' are most likely NOT gonna wanna listen to the rest of the album or this band. Frankly, the single sounds really uncharacteristic for them. I guess they got a deal with a hitmaker or producer or something.
Anyhow, the point of this long post is, music is so much more than how much you like a singer's voice or a song or even a band. They need to be marketed well, you need to 'get' them and find them authentic and predictable, even if it's in their unpredictability. Even top 40 pop singers like Pink complained at how they weren't marketed right and packaged through producers to create a sound they later changed.
And notice how a lot of rock singers abandon ship and turn into jazz singers when they get older? Some such singers are very good at jazz, like Pat Benatar, and some are horrific like Joni Mitchell but their continued popularity seems to have nothing to do with how legitimately good they are at their craft.
It has more to do with how they are marketed and how they're perceived. Joni Mitchell's kooky croaking ass (don't get me wrong, I love me Blue Canyon and Joni's folk) in experimental jazz still fits with her hippie roots, so people actually follow her and buy her albums. But a "rocker" like Pat Benatar gets slammed for supposedly selling out or going elevator music on people when she does the same.
Alright, tangent over. But does anyone feel as strongly about this as I do? I'm actually really annoyed that the music industry (or bands themselves) feel the need to crank out cookie-cutter monotonous Top 40 'guaranteed hit singles' instead of being true to their particular sound and identity. It cheapens a band's muscianship and credibility I think and encourages a flavor of the week mentality and not actual artist development or helping music. It just seems fake. This reminds me of when The Cardigans had a number of pop hits and then declared themselves to be a hard rock group. They tanked and were never heard from again.