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So why kick a music genre until it's a dead horse? Because music critics regard what they do as Serious Business. They're trying to calculate the canon of Great Works of Western Music here, and there's no room for anything less. They seem to think that if enough people listen to good music , people will start giving out flowers and candy and overthrow The Man and cure cancer, but if they listen to bad music, people will have their souls crushed and vote to establish fascism.

Critics with strong political beliefs go further -- some are still angry that the decline of music in the late 60s prevented the revolution that was so, so close then. They seem to forget, or maybe they never even realized, that so much of that music was brought to us - and perhaps could never have existed otherwise - by corporate entities.

I Want to Date a Girl Whos a Rage Against the Machine Fan: Poems about Love, Death and Heavy Metal

Another reason for this is that entire genres have been created by taking a style the musicians hate, and then doing the exact opposite. Critics who like these rebel genres have to pan the ones they rebelled against. Maybe both genres have something to offer?

Don't be silly! This is music , and there's only one way to do things. Sometimes, a genre turns into a dead horse through a mix of Hype Backlash and It's Popular, Now It Sucks ; the music hits a peak level of popularity where it appears to be everywhere, and both the public and the critics get sick of it. Most of these genres have one or two exceptions, the bands that the critics like in spite of it all. Of course, the critics usually spend their time trying to explain that no, these bands aren't really part of the hated genre at all.

For those people who haven't figured it out yet, most music criticism is very close to Fan Dumb. See also Sci Fi Ghetto. There ain't no respect for s bands who made songs specifically for arena spectacles, like Foreigner and REO Speedwagon. Critics regard them as pompous, fake, and not real music because their songs aren't really played -- they're performed. Especially to fans of Three Chords and the Truth , this is unacceptable.

And since arena rockers usually wrote straightforward lyrics, those who feel that True Art Is Angsty have nothing. A sub-type of heavy metal from the s, bands like Poison, Bon Jovi , and Motley Crue inspire a lot of hate, even from people who love other kinds of heavy metal. Amateur critics dismiss it as nothing but make-up, big hair, fancy costumes, and videos, with no room for actual music in there. Among professional critics, hair metal had the misfortune of being too tied to the s rock "establishment," especially MTV. Rock critics don't usually like or know much about music that isn't rock, but they're wary of attacking genres that they know they don't understand.

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So they leave Classical, Blues, Jazz, and "World" alone. But Broadway show tunes don't have the mystique that makes those other genres so scary. If it was sung in a theater, rock critics dismiss it as sappy, soulless stuff for lame fifty-something white people in One of the stock funny anecdotes among music critics is that Marvin Gaye , the master of suave Motown love ballads with soul, originally wanted to sing showtunes. Exceptions: The recent Broadway musical Avenue Q , due to twisted lyrics and a subject matter for twentysomethings i.

Dead Baby Comedy , is exempt from this criticism.


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It is unclear whether other musicals with unusual subject matter can break the stigma. Musicals with "Horror" in the title seem to get an exemption also, with quite a few of the songs from Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Picture Show getting a pass from many rock fans. The rock-influenced musical Passing Strange also seems to get a pass.

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The hate for those is similar to the hate others have for Manufactured Bands see below. Albums by the likes of Fleetwood Mac or Eagles -- which seem to consist of the same song repeated for seven tracks or more -- send a shiver down the spine of every amateur critic. After all, it's produced by The Man , who is the root of all evil but not that one ; and it probably got played due to payola anyway. The fact that lots of people love it is only proof that it's bad -- what do the proles know, anyway?

Also currently applies to bands such as Nickelback which have the "sold 10 million albums but I don't know anyone who owns one" type of fanbase.

"Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

Exceptions: Professional reviewers like this stuff more for obvious reasons. Every now and then, a mega-hit album like the Eagles' Hotel California Crosses the Line Twice for amateur reviewers -- first it's so popular and formulaic that they hate it on principle, but then it gets bigger and bigger until they feel they can't dismiss it.

Fleetwood Mac usually get a pass, on account of being incredibly successful, being famous for their troubled history, being actually really good at catchy pop-rock and not being as wimpy as the soft rock bands they were usually lumped with. Probably more of a target for amateur critics than professionals, this genre is also the one that most non-critics who start getting interested in music will hate the most.

From Fabian and The Monkees to N'Sync and Britney Spears , performers who serve as faces for a faceless team of composers are viewed as outright traitors to music. They are the monster, the roots of the evil corporate machine that suppresses true music. They perform catchy but empty pop designed to hypnotize teenagers into becoming shopping-obsessed zombies. The average critic cares a lot about sincerity, so singers who only sing instead of writing their own material are unacceptable depending on how long ago the artist came to prominence -- no one's criticising Nat King Cole or Frank Sinatra for not writing their own tunes Professional critics have to publicly give 'equal time' to modern manufactured bands for obvious reasons, but are free to trash selected out-of-date whipping boys like the Monkees with gusto.

And don't even mention the words "Milli Vanilli" around them. The older bands suffer the same fate as hair metal -- manufactured bands prospered most between Elvis getting drafted and the Beatles arriving, so they are seen as the horror which the Beatles saved music from. Speaking of "older", note that in recent years manufactured bands and their intended demographic are getting younger - Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers and The Naked Brothers Band are presumably marketed to kids whose parents think they're too young to go on the Internet.

Interestingly, manufactured bands targeted toward girls get far, far, far more criticism than those targeted toward boys even if their music is of the exact same quality. Manufactured bands targeted at girls almost always acquire the Periphery Hatedom of their generation. In Britain, much of the ire for manufactured bands is specifically directed at contestants from The X Factor or Britains Got Talent who actually started musical careers. While some manage to acquire mainstream acceptance, many are derided for appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator and existing solely to "steal" the Christmas Number One single spot with a cover version to validate the existence of the programme with the back cover of several Pop Stars: The Rivals VHS tapes actually implying the the Christmas number one was the prize for winning the programme.

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The backlash against this seems to have culminated with the successful Facebook campaign to put " Killing In the Name " at the top of the Christmas singles chart. Generally, the ire isn't really directed at the singer themselves - evidenced by the success of Leona Lewis and the praise for JLS attempting to be original with their material - but at the system which got them into the position and Simon Cowell.

Exceptions: The formulaic hit factory of Motown, which -- as a black-run business with heavier blues and jazz influence -- doesn't seem bland or inane to critics like the whitebread Monkees do. Motown also has the advantage that a lot of its bubblegum acts like Marvin Gaye , Stevie Wonder , and Michael Jackson showed some creative talent and eventually moved on to their own things, while tools at other companies rarely did. Even the major studio band of the company's golden age, The Funk Brothers, got their belated due as the craftsmen that made the company sound so good.


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  8. Recently, some critics have discovered manufactured bands -- they're so hated that liking them ironically seems cool and daring. Other amateur critics, in a reverse of what the pros do, don't like the Monkees but make a point of how much better they were than today's manufactured groups. The Monkees themselves also often get bonus points for successfully rebelling against their puppetmasters and for Mike Nesmith being one hell of a songwriter. As noted above, many critics generally don't hate manufactured artists as much as one would think.

    Britney Spears? The Monkees have also been somewhat Vindicated by History lately. Justin Bieber and The Jonas Brothers also don't receive, for the most part, overly negative reviews on their albums. Indifference moreso than dislike is probably the most common critical reaction. Viewpoints about the Sex Pistols vary: they started as a band manufactured by Malcolm McLaren, but with the addition of John Lydon his influence over them was heavily diminished.

    Subsequently they initiated the first wave of British punk, with bands like the Clash and the Buzzcocks citing them as the direct reason they formed. In some cases, if a manufactured band breaks up then regroups a few years later when they're a bit older and wiser, there's sometimes a good chance that they will manage to win the favour of critics and the public. Take That is a pretty good example.


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    4. Also, starting in The New Tens there is a small boy band resurgence in the Britain but girl groups are still out of the question. Finally, outright parody bands such as Spinal Tap may get a bye on the basis that they were really attacking the sort of band they pretend to be. Project still sell in Korea and Japan. It likely helps that they're generally willing to mock themselves relentlessly. It's not really a negative, nor is it decried as "manufactured" at least not over and above what American critics think of the dancy, peppy J-pop genre as it is.

      Nu-Metal is an umbrella term coined in the mids to refer to music that blends heavy metal elements with other styles, typically Industrial and Alternative Metal. Nu-metal is hated by many metalheads, who stereotype it as commercial and musically simple.

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      In fact, there are many that argue nu-metal isn't even a subgenre of metal, although some music critics argue that it is an experimental and diverse genre. Exceptions: Deftones and Disturbed are more Alternative Metal than the rest of the bands they're often grouped with, and as a result they are more well-respected; Deftones in particular seem to have attained an Ensemble Darkhorse status within nu-metal.

      Slipknot , at least with the release of All Hope is Gone , has seemed to have shed the nu metal tag and there have been arguments among music critics concerning whether or not they were really a nu metal band. Korn and Limp Bizkit are also sometimes given a pass, possibly due to them being the first bands to play the style and, as a result, their bands that tried something "different". However, have fun mentioning the last two bands to a metalhead. In the case of Korn, their latest album has arguably made them Acceptable Targets not just to metalheads, but even to some NuMetal fans as well.

      Limp Bizkit , being one of the originators of Nu-metal are still popular, their release Gold Cobra sold very well and even received considerable praise from music critics, even the ones who had trashed the band's previous releases. Many think the genre died in the late 90's Dr. Every surface was velvet. Footprints covered the carpet like brush strokes on a canvas; I imagined Madonna whirling around, stretching, dancing.

      A set of weights rested in a corner. The art was even more striking. Madonna spent her first major paychecks on paintings. Madonna is short, and the art was hung low, for her own appreciation. She wanted to be face to face. The girls are holding sticks up in front of the men, and they have to jump really high, and while they jump, they have to tell a story.