Selasa, 12 Oktober 2010
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Contemporary R&B (also known as simply R&B) is a music genre that combines elements of hip hop, R&B, and pop music.
Although the abbreviation “R&B” originates from traditional rhythm and blues music, today the term R&B is most often used to describe a style of African American music originating after the demise of disco in the 1980s. Some sources refer to the style as urban contemporary (the name of the radio format that plays hip hop and contemporary R&B). R&B has also been used to refer to rhythm & bass although the accuracy of this abbreviation is open to debate seeing that bass forms part of a rhythm along with the drums.
Contemporary R&B has a polished record production style, drum machine-backed rhythms, an occasional saxophone-laced beat to give a jazz feel (mostly common in contemporary R&B songs prior to the year 1993), and a smooth, lush style of vocal arrangement. Electronic influences are becoming an increasing trend in contemporary R&B, and the use of hip hop-inspired beats are typical, although the roughness and grit inherent in hip hop may be reduced and smoothed out. Contemporary R&B vocalists are often known for their use of melisma, popularized by vocalists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.
Contemporary R&B originated in the 1980s, when musicians started adding disco-like beats, high-tech production, and elements of hip hop, soul and funk to rhythm and blues, making it more danceable and modern. The top mainstream R&B artists of 1980 included Michael Jackson, Prince, Jermaine Jackson, The Whispers, The S.O.S. Band, Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang, Yarbrough and Peoples, Smokey Robinson, Patti Labelle, Rick James, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dazz Band, Evelyn King, Marvin Gaye, Mtume, DeBarge, Midnight Star, and Freddie Jackson.
In the mid-1980s, many of the recordings by artists Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, Anita Baker, Teddy Pendergrass, Peabo Bryson and others became known as quiet storm. The term had originated with Smokey Robinson's 1975 album A Quiet Storm. Quiet storm has been described as "R&B's answer to soft rock and adult contemporary—while it was primarily intended for black audiences, quiet storm had the same understated dynamics, relaxed tempos and rhythms, and romantic sentiment."
Tina Turner made a comeback during the second half of the 1980s, while Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson broke into the pop music charts with a series of hits. Richard J. Ripani wrote that Janet Jackson's third studio album Control (1986) was "important to the development of R&B for a number of reasons", as she and her producers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, "crafted a new sound that fuses the rhythmic elements of funk and disco, along with heavy doses of synthesizers, percussion, sound effects, and a rap music sensibility." Ripani wrote that "the success of Control led to the incorporation of stylistic traits of rap over the next few years, and Janet Jackson was to continue to be one of the leaders in that development." That same year, Teddy Riley began producing R&B recordings that included hip hop influences. This combination of R&B style and hip hop rhythms was termed new jack swing, and was applied to artists such as Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Guy, Jodeci, and Bell Biv DeVoe.
In the late 1980s, George Michael became one of Britain's best-known contemporary R&B musicians when his debut album Faith (1987) went to the top of the R&B album charts in the United States, making him the first white artist to achieve this honor. Faith featured a number of chart-topping singles, including the U.S. R&B #1 hit "One More Try". The album won several awards, including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Michael Jackson remained a prominent figure in the genre, following the release of his album Bad (1987) which sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Janet Jackson's 1989 album Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 continued the development of contemporary R&B into the 1990s, as the album's title track "Rhythm Nation" made "use of elements from across the R&B spectrum, including use of a sample loop, triplet swing, rapped vocal parts and blues notes." Prince wrote and released his smash hit "Sign “☮” the Times", a track that introduced traditional R&B elements with contemporary R&B, adding blues guitar into what is considered a predominantly synthesizer and drum machine driven track. It was and still continues to be critically acclaimed by critics as one of Prince's finest tracks.
From New World Encyclopedia
"Indie" was first used to differentiate between pop music and independent artists. It is based on the fact that indie artists were on independent record labels; it did not refer to the stylistic qualities of the music. "Indie" as a musical term grew from the confusion that emerged as certain sounds became associated with the term. The musical stylings of the bands overshadowed Indie's original connotation. The term "Indie" would be most effective when used as a descriptive add-on to a musical genre term, making distinctions between the musical and business aspects of music. For example: indie-rock, indie-pop, indie-rap, indie-metal, etc. Yet, indie is still widely used as a stand-alone term, resulting in a term that is broad and vague. The use of this term in America differs from its use in Britain because, in each respective region, there are completely different histories and, thus, different connotations.
"Indie" music charts have existed in the United Kingdom since the early 80s. As in America, where there are charts for Pop, R&B, Adult Contemporary, etc., Britain has the similar categories plus an independent music section. The sounds that dominated the charts, during the time of their conception in the early 80s, were guitar-based alternative music from the C86 movement, the Sarah Records' twee pop sound, and other indie pop artists. So, the sounds of the first indie artists were mistakenly understood to be the sound of indie. Yet, beyond those initial indie influences, the sounds of indie music became as wide and varied as those of the commercial market and beyond, only linked in terminology by their independent record label affiliation.
In America, indie has quite a different history. "Indie" and "alternative" were synonymous outgrowths of the post-punk and new-wave movements, which derived from the 70s punk movement. The genre that resulted was an alternative to commercial radio music and was deemed "College Rock" because of its prevalent exposure on college radio stations. When alternative rock broke out of the underground scene into the general market in the early 90s, a split occurred in the alternative scene. Two factions emerged: The artists who went to major labels and those that stayed underground. Nirvana and similar grunge bands became the commercial face of alternative rock and bands like Pavement created the aesthetic and stylistic blueprint for 90s indie rock. The artists who remained underground were called "indie" while "alternative" became the catch-all phrase to describe popular music. Once again the sound, not the commercial stance, of bands like Pavement became associated with "indie" and confusion of the term persists.
In fact, there are likely to be several popular, and wildly varying, strains of indie rock going at any given time. For example, some of the more popular recent strains include:
- Baroque Pop, an updated take on the folk music of the 1960s, as well as the Beach Boys' pioneering Pet Sounds album, typically identified by its quiet vocals and more ornate, orchestral instrumentation and arrangements. (See: Arcade Fire, Danielson Famile, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Broken Social Scene, Islands, Stars)
- New Prog, a complex, experimental, intricate, and meticulous form of rock music. (see: Mew, Muse, Porcupine Tree)
- New Weird America or Freak Folk, a more experimental take on New Folk that generally revolves around quirky, psych-inflected folk songs and ballads. (See: Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Animal Collective, Six Organs of Admittance)
- Psych-Folk, the most heavily psych-influenced strain of New Folk, frequently consisting of avant-garde noise, drones, or dissonance, and often employing natural field recordings for added atmosphere. (See: No-Neck Blues Band, Brightblack Morning Light, Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice)
- Psychedelic pop, a revival of 70s psychedelic pop. (See: The Shins, Of Montreal, The Flaming Lips)
- Disco-Punk/Dance-Punk, a hybridization of New Wave music and punk rock aesthetics. (See: LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, !!!, Out Hud, Liars, Radio 4, Death from Above 1979, Lost Sounds, The Stiletto Formal)
- Garage rock revival, a throwback to a more primitive 60s rock and roll sound which was heavily influenced by Delta blues. (See: The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Von Bondies, Eagles of Death Metal, The Vines, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hives, The Black Keys)
- Twee pop, a genre which is known for simple, sweet melodies and lyrics, often with jangling guitars and a noted emphasis on childlike naivete. The name "twee" comes from the British slang for something overly sweet or knowingly cute. (See: The Boy Least Likely To, Architecture in Helsinki, Belle & Sebastian, Tullycraft, Camera Obscura, Girls in Hawaii)
- Musical collectives, where a large group of musicians—which may vary significantly from album to album, or even from song to song—collaborate on a project, often while maintaining solo careers as well. (See Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, Arcade Fire, The Polyphonic Spree, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, dEUS, The Hidden Cameras, Islands)
- Post-punk revival movement. Popularized by bands such as Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things, Babyshambles, Razorlight, Editors, Bloc Party, The View, it is influenced primarily by the New Wave and post-punk movements of the 1980s. The core of this movement has mostly been the resurgence of spiky 70s punk and 80s post-punk rhythms and riffs akin to those played by The Clash, Gang Of Four, Television and Wire. Often this style has been blended with other genres such as garage rock.
Khamis, 7 Oktober 2010
December 31, 2009 by MichelleZ
The “Korean Wave” is unstoppable! It started with BoA and Rain, then DBSK, Super Junior, Big Bang, and now 2PM, SNSD, and more! Korean artists took over Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, and now is even encroaching upon the American music industry. KPop is the word!
I am an unabashedly big fan of KPop, and it’s not just because the singers look handsome/pretty or their songs have ridiculously addictive melodies and rhythms (which is what KPop is stereotypically known for). The truth of the matter is, compared to the other Asian music industries, the Korean music industry has evolved a “fool-proof” system to nurture their artists to become world-class performers. I listen to mandopop, cantopop, jpop, and english pop, and none of the artists in those industries are as versatile or multi-talented as KPop artists, and I say its due to a difference in how their music industries are structured.
1. KPop artists go through a trainee system
There are basically three top record companies in KPop: SM, YG, JYP. Each of them has a rigorous trainee system to prepare would-be singers for their debut. Trainees get singing lessons, dance training, even language lessons, and many of them stay as trainees for years before they officially debut. For example, Jokwon from the ballad group 2AM was a JYP trainee for EIGHT years before he debuted, and G-Dragon and Taeyang of Big Bang have been with YG Ent since their pre-teen days. If you’re good enough to become a trainee, then you’re sort of admitted to this prestigious university for KPop stardom, and you can only get better from there. I think this system also breeds more well-rounded artists. Vocally strong trainees get dance training, and dance-focused trainees get voice training, and gradually they become quite competent at both!
Contrast this to the Taiwan or HK music industries…sigh…I even feel a little ashamed to talk about it. Look at F4 or Fahrenheit, these two immensely popular boybands were basically formed for their looks. They chose guys who can’t sing, dance, or act, and packaged them in this fancy good-looking image and released albums to further their popularity in dramas. I’m sorry, but I remember watching Fahrenheit perform at Asia Song Festival a few years back, and I cringed at their sloppy dance moves and horrible live singing. They just looked like amateurs compared to DBSK, who also performed at the event. And if you consider Korea’s trainee system, you can’t really blame Fahrenheit for being horrible. Each DBSK member had an average 2-3 years of trainee experience before debut, whereas Fahrenheit had none. Korea’s music industry makes a huge investment in their artists before debut, while the artists in other regions don’t really receive systematic training to become singers.
2. KPop’s music promotion structure relies on live performances
KPop artists promote their songs mainly via live music performance programs. Yes they also release music videos, but I’d say the live performances are what really sustains a given song’s popularity. Each of Korea’s major networks have their own weekly live music programs (Inkigayo, Music Bank, Music Core, Mnet Countdown), and there are also regular concerts and award programs held throughout the year. So think about it, when KPop artists release a song, they have to perform it live (with legit sound equipment and fancy lighting) in front of an audience at least 4 times a week! And each promotion cycle for a single lasts at least 2-3 months. You can do the math. KPop artists get A LOT of practice and experience performing in front of audiences. And with so many performances, Kpop artists have the room to experiment and develop their stage presence.
The JPop industry also has live performance programs, but they’re not as rigorous or demanding as the Korean programs. And let’s not even talk about Taiwan or HK. These two regions pretty much rely on music videos to promote music. Artists go on variety/talk shows to verbally promote their albums. In fact, if a given album has about 11 songs, 7-8 of them will be turned into MVs, which I think is evidence that they’re dependent on MVs to maintain exposure for the artist. In terms of live music programs, HK has only one, Jade Solid Gold, and every artist who goes to sing on that show always sound more horrible than usual, they must have a very bad sound system. And in Taiwan, there are no shows dedicated only to music performance. The only opportunities where artists can actually perform their songs are at variety programs, and you can guess that the performance space and sound equipment are pretty crappy. So not only are Taiwan and HK artists inexperienced to begin with, they don’t have any opportunities to practice their craft in front of live audiences! Practice makes perfect, and if you can’t learn through practice, you just don’t improve! For example, Show Luo is one of the hottest male singers in Taiwan right now, but when I saw him sing a fast song live at an award show, he was huffing and puffing and out of tune, and he has been in the music business for over 15 years! I mean I like him and all, but his live performances are not even on par with those of SHINee, who are teenagers and just debuted in Korea a year ago.
Basically, Kpop artists get exponentially more practice both behind and in front of the camera. I remember in Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, he claimed that in order to become super good at a given skill, the magic amount of time to invest is 10,000 hours! In other words, if you dedicate 10,000 hours of your life to a skill, you’ll become pro at it. I’d say KPop artists are MUCH MUCH closer to reaching those 10,000 hours than artists in other regions. And you wonder why KPop has taken the world by storm…