I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

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powderedtoastman
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I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by powderedtoastman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:42 pm

I've been doing some thinking on and off... somebody recommended to me the Hamilton soundtrack so I listened to a few of the songs on Spotify a while back. While the premise of that musical may be very entertaining, I can't stand the actual composition, and the typical dramatics that go into these works. There's something about the melodies and harmonies that's so cookie-cutter, so common to nearly all musicals made after a certain point, and I can't quite put my finger on it... it has a super "cheesy" and not genuine feel and sound to me, I guess. I think Grease and Cats are the only exceptions I can think of where the soundtracks don't bother me too much.

Rogers & Hammerstein I can listen to just fine, I really liked Pirates of Penzance. There's just something about that classic era that works much better to my ear.

Anyone else?

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by cefyn » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:45 pm

Yeah, me too - it's called 'getting old' apparently! I have to disagree with you on Grease and Cats, they're carp too.

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by powderedtoastman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:47 pm

I'm not so sure about getting old.. I'm only 32!

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by celestemcc » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:11 pm

Ha! Actually I agree... much of it is that since perhaps the 70s, the trend is for musicals to sound more like pop music, with unforgettable tunes. (I am not including "Hair" or "Jesus Christ Superstar" in these, though they probably started the trend). Many of the tunes sound alike, and the singers strive for a style that makes them all sound alike.
Just found this Youtube linke (non commercial) it's great:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8pk1PkKnJ4
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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by powderedtoastman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:09 pm

celestemcc wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:11 pm
Ha! Actually I agree... much of it is that since perhaps the 70s, the trend is for musicals to sound more like pop music, with unforgettable tunes. (I am not including "Hair" or "Jesus Christ Superstar" in these, though they probably started the trend). Many of the tunes sound alike, and the singers strive for a style that makes them all sound alike.
Just found this Youtube linke (non commercial) it's great:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8pk1PkKnJ4
That kind of touches on it!

Interestingly, actually I do like the soundtrack to the South Park movie, which is like a highly produced musical. The fact that it's so tongue-in-cheek helps, but at the same time, the musical composition is also a little more bearable, so I kind of wonder why that is.

As far as things sounding alike, why is it that I can't stand it for modern musicals, but I don't seem to get tired of listening to a lot of the same chord progressions from Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven? And, well, some people can't stand those I guess...

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by celestemcc » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:25 pm

For what it's worth, one of the best musicals to come along in years is "Book Of Mormon". Written by the guys who write "South Park", which explains the humor... Notably the tune "Hasa Diga Eebowai". (Spot-on send-up of the Lion King's "Hatuna Matata".) A show worth seeing, btw, unless you offend easily. We were paralyzed from laughter.
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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:29 pm

Wait - what about Chicago? I thought the music was excellent. Or is Chicago not "modern" ?

Grease? It wasn't really 50's music. It was a stylized interpretation of 50's rock 'n roll. Music actually composed by "artists" of that era could be said to be predictable and to utilize only a few chordal structures, but it had authenticity. Music in Grease was no better than Saturday Night Fever. But that is just my dumb opinion. :D
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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:27 pm

I've never dug musicals.
South Park, Bigger Longer Uncut is about the only one I like!
And maybe Paint Your Wagon.
I've got the DVD of South Pacific somewhere - bizarre movie. And A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - overrated.
celestemcc wrote:the trend is for musicals to sound more like pop music
Rock-opera is always turgid rubbish.
Lloyd Webber can go to hell.

But sometimes it's worth tolerating - Phantom of the Paradise is an excellent movie. As are the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Little Shop of Horrors.

I'm sure West Side Story is genius, but I've never seen it all the way through.

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by randalljazz » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:46 pm

west side story was the last good one...
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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by Andrew Fryer » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:53 pm

Actually, I don't mind Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by celestemcc » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:21 pm

Lol: JCS is the only Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of any worth, probably because it got bona-fide rock singers. Yes, Chicago is a good one, it's more old-style. Grease is a music-theatre version of 50's music but did it really well. Always did get a chuckle out of "Magic Changes": "C C C CCC A AA A minor F FF FFF G GG G seven..."

Rocky Horror is a movie musical; are we talking stage shows? Any Leonard Bernstein is good!! As is any Sondheim.

Come to think of it... it's the more modern genre that really is poor: "Rent" being the one that brought it all down hill.

As a singer myself, though, I lament the trend toward the irritating voices that all sound alike and belt, belt, belt. (Oy, "Cats". But that IS Andrew Lloyd Webber.)
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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:49 pm

I actually am a big Queen fan. But I didn't like what I've seen of We Will Rock You, the musical. I have to say, the South Park one was probably the best. I guess I just hate musicals😣

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by powderedtoastman » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:49 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:29 pm
Wait - what about Chicago? I thought the music was excellent. Or is Chicago not "modern" ?

Grease? It wasn't really 50's music. It was a stylized interpretation of 50's rock 'n roll. Music actually composed by "artists" of that era could be said to be predictable and to utilize only a few chordal structures, but it had authenticity. Music in Grease was no better than Saturday Night Fever. But that is just my dumb opinion. :D
Come to think of it, Chicago was pretty good to my taste I had forgotten about that. But that must be for the same reason I'm OK with Grease. The music is very jazzy, and if you took the words/story away, the backing would feel just like jazz, and not at all like the sort of musicals I didn't like.

I remember watching the movie Rock of Ages on an airplane once, I don't think I liked it very well, but not for the reasons I don't like Rent or Batboy or Hamilton... I think I just didn't like Rock of Ages because it takes rock and makes it too soft. I sure am a picky customer!

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by Rognvald » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:50 pm

Hi, PTM,
Musicals were intended to be the Opera of the masses. They have been quite effective in fulfilling that role. I, personally, cannot see any differences in musicals from 50 years ago to those produced today. They are, in my opinion, decidedly low brow. In regards to the hit phenom "Hamilton," I cannot imagine how an intelligent person could sit through 5 minutes of that rap cacophony and not emerge without serious brain damage. Our society is in decline and "musicals" are one of the pathways leading the Herd to their demise. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: I can't stand the music from modern musicals, in general... why is that?

Post by Cipher » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:52 pm

Probably an acquired taste but from a pure music composition (and lyrics as well) standpoint the musicals of Stephen Sondheim are the most sophisticated and profound works in this genre of the 20th century. Company, A Little Night Music, Passion, Sunday In The Park With George, Sweeney Todd, etc..are all masterpieces.

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