Posts Tagged ‘X Factor’

As a biased lover of music, I’ll try hard here to not offend others choice of music.  I accept that everyone has the choice to listen to what they want, and everyone has the choice to watch the X Factor if they want to.  For the average person, such a program offers reasonable entertainment value, especially at the beginning of a series when it’s fair to say, the quality makes for a good laugh. 

Viewers sit glued to the box in anticipation of the next young talent deemed to have the ‘X factor’ by the panel of ‘capable’ judges.  But as a very casual viewer of this program, it leads me to question the authority of judges to choose who becomes the next pop star.  Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl has publicly criticised such programs for undermining the important values of music. He argues that music is really about friends getting together and learning to play instruments whilst sounding like shit.  Lets face it, all bands sound like shit at first, it takes time for musicians to find their feet and get comfortable playing with other musicians.  But this learning process is what creates originality. 

Back to X Factor, and we see a kid turn up as a no body. He’s deemed by a pop star to be industry relevant, and then nurtured and coached by the judges and other industry leaders.  Given a few months the kid’s now a pop sensation.  Now of course it’s all a bit of fun for the kid, and commercial television networks are loving the ratings, but for the population of younger viewers (and many older viewers who should know better), what they watch then gives them a false impression of what’s really important in music.

As I feel my personal taste get in the way of a balanced argument here I’ll try to scale it back a little.  Yes I’m biased, but I think that one of the most important, universal qualities of music which has been forgotten is sincerity and honesty.  That is the ability for the artist to perform as themselves, not as something manufactured.  As a lover of good music, no matter what it is, the thing I appreciate more than anything is when you can tell that the artist means what they sing.  Whether it’s about a personal experience, or an issue that’s pissed them off, music that’s made with conviction is always good music.  It may not align with my tastes, and it might not align with yours, let’s face it everyone has their own taste and that’s certainly a good thing.  But sooner or later someone’s got to stand up and put a stop to this shallow trend in music.

I guess the only saving grace, is that most contestants fail to forge a lasting career in music.  After the show ends, so too does their 5 minutes of fame.  Sure it was a bit of fun while it lasted, but really, I’m yet to see any television music competition like the X Factor produce a talent that makes my jaw drop.