Champagne Socialist

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Where has the great pop ballad gone?

Listening to the Beatles yesterday, I couldn't help but realize that there is no great pop balladeer or melody writer in today's music (tell me James Blunt is and I'm liable to smash your face unrecognizable!). Joking aside, it's really kind of disheartening. Paul McCartney was the ultimate pop balladeer. "Blackbird" is pleasantly haunting with just his guitar and smooth voice. "Let It Be" is one of the most well-known Beatles tunes. But my favorite of all is "The Long And Winding Road". The combo of his voice, the lyrics and the violins is simply stunning. McCartney's Beach Boy counterpart Brian Wilson was just as good of a balladeer, except with his mulitiple problems, his career has not been as successful. "Pet Sounds" however, is the ulitmate ballad album. Wilson had (and still does) an uncanny ability to arrange and compose the most beautiful pop ballads. They weren't cheesy either; they were very introspective.

I doubt we'll ever see the likes of a McCartney or Wilson again. Noel Gallagher of Oasis wrote a few great ballads, but he steers his band into an electric rock direction most of the time. I hope I get proven wrong. Our music today desperately needs a balladeer.


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