• Charlie Taylor

"Everything Sounds The Same"


There it is, ladies & gentlemen. The one phrase that will always piss me off, no matter who says it...


But let me begin with this. Even though the phrase pisses me off, the people that say it are, in some ways, correct. Because it is in our nature to have some form of routine in our lives. We need things in our lives that are "the same". You drink the same drinks, wear the same clothes, (depending on the season) it's how it is.


But apart from the factual correctness of the statement, the people that say this aren't saying it to comment on human nature. They're saying it to demean whatever they consider "the same".


In the past few months, I have come across people saying that phrase in the context of the music we have categorised as "Rap" or "Hip-Hop". And because of this, it apparently means that the entire music genre is finished.


Right?


WRONG.


Let me tell you what the person that says "everything sounds the same" is actually saying. "I only listen to what the popular playlists & the radio play and therefore declare that everything sounds the same." Or, and this one is more hidden "I can't be asked to look for new sounds." You see the issue with that right? They're allowing other people to dictate what they listen to.


Let's do a thought experiment. We're in 1960s America and Motown is all you hear. We all love a bit of Motown! But imagine Motown is all that the radio plays. It is all that you see when there's a performance on the TV. Regardless of how much you love Motown, you would probably want to switch it up at some point.


But alas, this is the 1960s, unless you're musically inclined and know where to look, it would take some effort to get some variety in your life. A trip to the record store maybe. Going to a show from somebody you never heard of because a friend put you on. Imagine that! Going to a show and you have no idea what you're in for. Perish the thought!


But you manage to do it. With all that concerted effort, you achieve that wanting of something different. And just like that, you have widened your palette.


Let's give another example. You have a place where for the past 10 years you have copped the same jeans. They're nice jeans! You look decent in them. But you want to switch it up. Maybe go from a loose bootcut to something a little tighter? Yes! That's the motive. But, I'm sorry to say, that place, let's call it "Bootcut Central", doesn't do any jeans that aren't bootcut.


So what do you do? You love Bootcut Central! But you're desperate to switch it up. There's only one way, you go out and find another store that hooks you up with a different cut of jeans. You have no idea what jeans you're going to come across but you're determined to get a fresh look. After going to a few stores, trying on a few cuts and slowly but surely, you find them. You found a fresh new pair of jeans. They fit perfectly and you cop it there and then.


Voila, you have just gone out and explored.


Do you see what I'm getting at here? The people that say "everything sounds the same", give a defeatist mentality towards the music they listen to, be it first hand or second hand. And for whatever reason, blame the music, they blame the culture and not, I don't know, the audience that just accepts it or how about the labels that don't care about diversity, as long as it makes them money?


There is nothing worse than people that say "this thing is bad" and offer no solution. But here are these people that want to condense this vast landscape to what they only see on the surface.


Nobody says "all chicken tastes the same". Because everyone knows that there are different ways of doing chicken. Even though some ways are more popular than others, everyone knows that if you want to switch up your roast chicken recipe, you can do so. The same goes for jeans, for shoes, homes, I could go on.


So why is it that we do this to the music of today? Even though compared to the person that had to trek to the record store or even more riskily, go to a show with no knowledge of the artist performing, we have a world library LITERALLY at the tap of a finger.


The "everything sounds the same" crowd are giving this opinion because they either don't know where to go or more likely, choose not to switch it up. And there, ladies & gentlemen is the source of my anger towards people like this.


It's worth saying that I agree in some way. I've never really enjoyed the majority of mainstream music for most of the time I've been alive, I have actually been one of these people! But I don't say it anymore. Why? Because I look for music I want to love. In my early years, I was given the music my father & sister listened to. And then I grew up and went to find my own taste. (For the record I loved what my father & sister exposed me to. The music at my school disco, however...)


You do not need to listen to the music that makes you want to say "everything sounds the same". None of us does. Especially in this age where we can find 20 different genres in one day if we put the time in. If the person that went out of their way to find something different to Motown, then you damn sure can find something different.


If you think "everything sounds the same", don't bitch & moan about it. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. And support those people that are doing something different. You have more control over your taste than anyone has ever had in human history. So enough with that stupid phrase, stop being lazy and go explore.