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I can't think of anyone else for the 5 other categories, but for "Most overrated singer" it has to be Madonna. While I will always enjoy her classic '80s recordings, the past 15 years or so have seen her become way too precious and pretentious. 1990's Immaculate Collection was a bit of an epitaph when you look at what's happened since then.
U2 over-rated? Yeah right... Bono's seemingly limitless charity drive and earnestness (and he's ability to appear in every single musical documentary) will grate but c'mon, what's THAT got to do with the music?

Madonna over-rated? No. "Ray Of Light" was one of the best albums of the nineties. Unless you're one of those whiners saying that she isn't as great now than she was in the 80s. If that's you then good luck, farewell and amen. Obviously your head is stuck in a time warp somewhere and has no inclination to travel back to 2008. All you need is ears.

Yes I know "everyone's entitled to their opinion' blah blah blah etc. I agree totally 100% no-arguement-here as long as I am entitled to my rebuttal. Wink
I don't know, I don't really consider any musician to be "overrated." Any time someone is able to go into making music and turn that into a living, I say "God bless 'em," it's a wonderful thing. Some say it sucks to see people with blah-level talent having successful careers while someone really brilliant labors in obscurity, but really - if a given blah performer retires, the audience for their stuff isn't suddenly going to grow better taste. That's what they like, they'll go find more blah. They're not into brilliant. So I tend to look at it as different dishes to serve all tastes; I don't really look at musicians in terms of being "overrated."

But having said all that: the Beatles.
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Originally posted by Camus:
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But having said all that: the Beatles

How do you reconcile that with what you've said above? Are you saying the hype that still surrounds the band is overrated (I'd agree) or that the musicianship and songs are overrated (can't agree with that)?

I mostly meant, "having said all that, if I was FORCED to pick one, it would be the Beatles." But I'll elaborate - certainly it was not inteded as a jape or an empty provocation!

Listening to the Beatles, I'm always struck by their hypercompetence as musicians (some might say ultracompetence). They were an extremely inventive bunch, with talent and personality to burn, and I'd put them among the greatest bands ever, certainly.

But that's all from a dispassionate, step-removed, "history of music criticism" standpoint - which is NOT how I relate to music, not primarily. When I think of songs that have connected with me personally, and made me sing in heart or voice, songs that have really taken me someplace...I have to be honest. The Beatles have not grabbed me that way (and not from lack of exposure, as if that were possible!). Maybe two or three songs do, but only sometimes - if I'm in the right mood.

I don't know that the problem doesn't come down to exactly what you mention: the hype, as you say, does seem out of proportion. Growing up, it was always Beatles this, Beatles that, Beatles Beatles. And I could see what the fuss was about, sure, but it seemed so overblown. Maybe that "put me off" during my formative years.

Today I respect their talent, and I appreciate whenever one of their better numbers comes on - I listen and groove. It's good stuff. But they'll never be a favorite band. In fact, over the years I probably have enjoyed them more as actors! Their movies have never failed to get me successfully immersed and enjoying it all, the act and the antic providing a perfect context for the musical interludes.

And really, some of their songs are dynamite, especially in that setting. I can appreciate the hell out of them from a critical/intellectual perspective, even if they don't really get their hooks into the twitching pulp of my heart. It's not a knock on them from a critical perspective to say their songs just don't reach me the way, say, Crowded House does.
Aaaah.. finally figuring this out.

It's all about the hype, the relentless media and radio saturation. We have heard all about these people for years and years relentlessly and have come to the somewhat strange conclusion that anything that popular cannot be that good.

OK.

But what the hell is that to do with MUSIC? Who gives a toss who sings it if the song is GOOD.

Besides I have a theory that Beatles dig was trying to get attention knowing some fish will grab on to that line and respond. I mean the explanation is feeble and unfocused isn't it? That last paragraph made me wince.
You're welcome, Camus! Glad to have the opportunity to speak on it. Gave me a chance to examine my previously unplumbed thoughts on the topic.

In fact, something occurred to me after I posted. I never thought about this, but now I wonder if it wasn't a factor in my not connecting. If I really think about it, the Beatles have always been sad, to me! Because of what happened to John. There was never a time when I was aware of them, without that knowledge. And maybe without my even realizing it, that cast a pall over my ability to appreciate the carefree joyousness which is so abundant in their catalog.

God I wish he'd lived.

As to U2...now I have to grin, because this is where I see the other side of it! I've always felt quite warmly towards U2, I'd say I'm a solid "casual fan" (never seen 'em live, for instance). And since I'm fondly disposed towards them, I hardly noticed the hype that has been over the years (as you rightly point out).

Except during that whole "Pop" phase. I noticed that. That hype was odious and undeserved. Not that the album itself was so bad, but the hype was bad. I don't like to feel made fun of in that way. I mean, was it just me, or was the whole band leering at us with this "we've made our biggest, flashiest, tackiest album ever - ON PURPOSE! - and we're going to make you LOVE it!!"

I mean, yeah, it was a little funny, but the joke thins after months of relentless publicity.
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Originally posted by Dazz:
But what the hell is that to do with MUSIC? Who gives a toss who sings it if the song is GOOD.

As I said (paraphrase): I recognize the technical excellence of their songs, but they don't grab me. Not one single song of theirs has grabbed me anywhere near the level as any of my favorite twenty Neil Finn compositions.
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I mean the explanation is feeble and unfocused isn't it? That last paragraph made me wince.
This seems a remark more suited to a thesis critique than to a casual conversation. I was being fairly breezy in my observations; I'm not writing a book about these guys.

I don't know why I don't love the Beatles. I don't know what the real reason is. Camus asked me to clarify what I meant and I tried to figure it out myself. But the supposed "reasons" I cited may be only straw-grabbing on my part. I don't really know why I haven't had much luck appreciating them over the years, when so many clearly intelligent people love them (sometimes even to the point of becoming overly defensiveSmiler).

Does anybody know WHY they do or don't love a particular artwork? Certainly we can single out prominent features (good or bad), but I think that for most of us, how we respond to art or song is visceral and hard to quantify. Doesn't mean it's not fun to take a crack at it, though!
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It's all about the hype, the relentless media and radio saturation. We have heard all about these people for years and years relentlessly and have come to the somewhat strange conclusion that anything that popular cannot be that good.

That's part of it. I think relentless repetition of the same song, regardless of how good can soon turn to hatred. Certainly that's the way I feel about Don't Dream It's Over, Better Be Home Soon, I Got You and I See Red (the first two I see as well written songs that have been played to death and I no longer like them, the other two are two ordinary songs that have had too much exposure IMHO). The Two U2 songs I listed are the ONLY two U2 songs I like, and I have heard most of their output. It doesn't do it for me. The Edge is an ordinary guitarist, I'd be tempted to say a one trick pony (ever seen Bill Bailey's sketch on what a catastrophic event at a U2 concert is like?).

It's not always easy to divorce your personal thoughts on the person and their art. It's still Bono who wrote the song as well as singing it, so I have an inbuilt dislike already. There are two songs of U2's where I can transcend this, but that's all, becuase the others as songs/music do nothing for me.
Yeah, when you have a strong feeling about a performer it can be hard to separate that out from the song being performed. It's an emotional reaction either way, for most of us.

I'm pretty lucky in that I don't really care much about people's personal lives, so I get to appreciate great music even by total scumbags (it might make me borrow rather than buy it though Smiler)! But when it's tragedy rather than distaste, it can have a big impact. I couldn't play or listen to any CH for a long time after Paul died.

EDIT: I did check out the Bailey bit, a couple days ago - nicely done. Also, if you don't mind my asking, which 2 U2 songs do you like?
Yes I did see Bill Bailey's U2 piece. And I have to say it's completely fair!

Perhaps it would be interesting to see who we think is the most UNDER-rated musicians/vocalists around.

But it seems to me that U2 bashing is coming as fashionable as Beatles-bashing. I have nothing against opinion but when one twat called Damian Hirst said U2 should give the biggest band in the world to OVER-hyped The Arcade Fire, I cannot help but think it is the sound of someone trying to be 'cool'. I used the word trying because when one's list of credits include a strange UK only mid-90s phenemenon Blur, a cartoon band who made more interesting music than Blur then follow up with some god awful crap like The Good, The Bad & The Queen cannot be taken seriously by anyone outside a writer for Q Magazine.
Arcade Fire seemed like they sounded great, but by the end of the album I could not remember a single song. Not sure why Damon Albarn's so hot on them.

It seems like it's pretty fashionable to bash anyone whose gotten popular. Among the most stridently avant, the backlash outraces the bandwagon sometimes!

But by saying that, I'm not implying that an accusation of fashionableness can in any way undermine a bash. A given bash has to be judged on merit not fashion.
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Perhaps it would be interesting to see who we think is the most UNDER-rated musicians/vocalists around.


Very true, I think you should start that thread Wink

I think there's a lot of truth to:
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It seems like it's pretty fashionable to bash anyone whose gotten popular


though I've never liked U2 Big Grin It's a personal thing though, I don't think their music is crap, there's obviously a lot of talent there and Bono in his day had an amazing voice and range, it just didn't do much for me. A bit like Pink Floyd, I guess I consider them overrated because I could never really get what people were going on about with them, it just didn't seem that good to me. And this is from a lover of prog rock.
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Also, if you don't mind my asking, which 2 U2 songs do you like?
Ironically two of their biggest hits, Mysterious Ways (I think that's the title) and Pride (it is called that and not In The Name of Love isn't it?)
This is a good discussion. To each their own....Camus, I love U2 and have seen them live many times, but I am so ready for them to take "Pride" out of their set list, lol! It is a great song, but for me the live version never lives up to the studio version and it just plods along...

Over-rated in my book: The Doors, Dave Matthews Band, Rush (though I do like a few of their songs)
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As to U2...I'm fondly disposed towards them, I hardly noticed the hype that has been over the years (as you rightly point out).


Yes I grew up with U2 from their very early days when they were only getting big in Ireland (hadn't yet cracked the rest of the world) so there was never any hype for me. Then all of a suddeen around the time of Live Aid and The Joshua Tree and were being hailed as the saviours of rock and roll. Bono started to develop his 'American' accent and I kind of lost interest (although liked Joshua Tree).
From there on in they became so overhyped and while some of their songs hit the mark, it didn't have the same heart as their old stuff.

Mr Sadly , it's a pity you don't connect with any Beatles songs. I've always thought that EVERYbody loves at least 1 Beatles song such was their immense talent, but I was wrong (My brother tells me he doesn't like ANY Beatles songs but I know he's just winding me up!) So now I'd like to think that EVERYBODY loves at least one Crowdies song! Big Grin

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a strange UK only mid-90s phenemenon Blur, a cartoon band who made more interesting music than Blur then follow up with some god awful crap like The Good, The Bad & The Queen cannot be taken seriously by anyone outside a writer for Q Magazine.


Sorry will have to defend Damon Razzer . I think he's great and his work gets better the older he gets. The Good, The Bad & The Queen was a great album and won BEST ALBUM at Mojo . Don't forget he also did Mali Music and his soundtrack work (101 Reykjavik, etc). I admire the way he experiments with music, works with other cultures and still comes out with quality. In fact i would really love to see him and Neil (as a solo artist) collaborate. But I'll get off my soapbox now Razzer
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Originally posted by cinnamon:
Mr Sadly , it's a pity you don't connect with any Beatles songs. I've always thought that EVERYbody loves at least 1 Beatles song such was their immense talent,

Well OKAY, Smiler full disclosure: there is one song. At a bar with a ton of revelers for my then-future-bro-in-law's bachelor party, the song "Help!" came on the jukebox, and they had it up SO LOUD. I couldn't believe how great it sounded! I'd heard it a million times before to little effect. But ever since then when I hear it...it connects. I hear it how it sounded in that moment.

So there's one that broke through. Who knows, maybe what I need is just to hear them all at ear-splitting volume.
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Originally posted by Mr. Sadly:
It seems like it's pretty fashionable to bash anyone whose gotten popular.


OK Big Grin I'll bash an unknown!!

I found Miranda Lee Richards (the opening act for Tim Finn) insufferable! Every stylistic trick she tried was transparently just that - an attempted trick. Her between song banter was insipid. Some of the songs were well written, but her delivery was pitiful. It made me think that she didn't write them, although I'm not sure that's accurate. When she'd shake her head and say "What a beautiful song," after having performed it, wouldn't it make sense she'd say that only had she not written it?

Harsh, am I not?
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Originally posted by double-H:
Harsh, am I not?

I would say that if it WAS her own song (after the singing of which she shook her head and said "What a beautiful song!") then she deserves whatever harsh you may have handy!

Because, SHEEESH.

Although I guess you could pull off a crack like that with the right kind of panache, but it sounds like she was short in the panache department.

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